A blog is only a start in evaluating the importance of music in my life

I am in the cheating mood and my music collection is an object, let’s split hairs and say it’s a collective noun, so it’s in the singular. I guess I could have written about 50 songs which tell the story of my life. Or perhaps more interestingly, the story of 50 records. Maybe I shall give one or two anecdotes about specific pieces of music if I feel generous enough and I’m not quite sure where this entry is headed. But first of all I should predicate this with a mantra: music is central to my life in every respect; my creativity stems from it, I am inspired and often write whilst listening with headphones on full, this is serious stuff!

I have been accused of being a musical fascist, that I have metamorphosed into a ‘I like what I like’ and there’s no reasoning with me. I think that’s a bit wide of the mark and people who are disappointed they can’t converse with me about blues or gospel music for example because I am stuck in a rut, should perhaps think again. Yes, I confess, my heavy/grunge/stoner/thrash/leanings show no sign of dissipating but I am gradually adding some contrast, honest guv!

I grew up listening to the LPs in my father’s collection and my favourite was Tenessee Ernie Ford Favourites and his song 16 Tons which was released in 1956 would be my song of choice but I enjoyed plundering the picture sleeve 45s, Bill Haley, The Platters and then the 78s which bit the dust so easily, one slip of the fingers and they were in fragments like the 1954 classic by The Crewcuts called Shaboom which ended up looking like someone had bitten a chunk out of it.

I quickly moved on to Billy May and his orchestra, Tijuana Brass, a bit of James Last, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, strange musical tastes for a 9 year old.But then I discovered Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile and there was no going back as it were. 45s had been important to my dad and in 1970 they became seminal in my life.

‘I Hear You Knocking’ has a great opening; that slight dirty sound of the guitar lick in the beginning, a bit of slide guitar, a guitar solo and my love affair with rock began. My commitment to ‘skinny white boys with guitars’, remains to this day. Jo Jo Gunne, Run, Run Run confirmed this new trend and suddenly Atomic Rooster, Savoy Brown ousted my brief infatuation with David Cassidy that lasted all of one summer. Five Bridges by The Nice was followed in swift succession by Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, Pink Floyd’s Umma Gumma, Status Quo Dog Of Two Head, Steve Marriot, especially the song, Tin Soldier and then what followed literally changed my life: I discovered Led Zeppelin.

I remember that 1973 was the year I suddenly nailed my colours to the mast, well actually I embroidered various names on my denim jacket, but I fell in love hook line and sinker with Robert Plant and the rest is history. In quick succession I acquired Zeppelin 1-4, House of the Holy but then the long wait for Physical Graffiti ensued, which was painful. No one today could begin to understand the interminable wait for the great dinosaurs of rock to put out a new release. I even discovered Rush’s first album because Geddy Lee sounded like Plant on  the track, ‘Finding My Way’ waiting for this double album and Montrose, Robin Trower and Steve Hillage – told you it was guitar all the way for me. Burn by Deep Purple probably sums up 74/75 and not without a full scale row with mother who didn’t want me to see Led Zeppelin at Earl’s Court when they announced dates, really she was fighting a losing battle as NOTHING was going to keep me from going, even if it meant leaving home to do it, but that came later….

I joined a band called Cassandra 1030 (OMG) and that began a ten year affair with singing in bands.  I had strange musical taste for a girl, most of my mates were into The Bay City Rollers. It’s only when you start to put things into some sort of order that connections begin to emerge. I haven’t even begun to talk about the things which were really important. I need to return to the drawing board and think again about what I want to see in this history; I realise now I haven’t even scratched the surface.

 I find it intriguing to explore the imagination, especially when it stems from memory and love taking my mind on a walk. Hindsight shapes our own narrative arch, our experience, background, genes, sexuality all contribute to how we see the world. The past now stretches out behind me like clear water. It’s interesting how a few tracks can begin a thought process which might end up absolutely anywhere, so another writing exercise appears from nowhere and this might be Objects which shaped my life No 14a.

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