Peanut Butter Knife

Monday, July 21, 2008

A History of My Taste in Music Part I

A few months ago, I started posting these lengthy rambling pieces about how my taste in music has evolved over the years on a certain message board I frequent. I stopped at roughly 1992 and I am now going to re-post the first 3 installments here in an effort to encourage myself to finish writing the rest of the series. Enjoy.

Part I, Birth-Elementary School.

Unlike alot of you here, I did not have musically inclined siblings (or any siblings for that matter) and my parents were not overly into music either. Actually, my dad was quite a music lover in his own way, but not at all hip and not at all a record collector, so I didn't really get too much of it passed down from him. All my musical discoveries pretty much through high school were my own. Preschool, really up through about 1st grade, my pop music memories are of a small handful of my mom's records that I would play on my Fisher Price record player: a James Taylor 45 for the song "Handy Man", a 45 for the funk-soul novelty hit "Chick A Boom" by Daddy Dewdrop, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and an LP collection of 50s hits performed by some anonymous hacks called "At The Hop". Plus whatever was on the radio in the car or around the house. Also probably by 1st or 2nd grade I was watching Nickelodeon alot and they had their video show "Nick Rocks" this is probably where I first heard Hall & Oates "Out of Touch", as well as stuff from Thriller. I asked for the Hall & Oates album for either Christmas or my birthday and got it and played it incessantly. Soon after I got a tape player and proceded to buy either with allowance money or from begging my mom, Hall & Oates' H2O and Rock N Soul Part I. I was pretty hooked on music by this time and started listening to top 40 radio (this would probably have been WRQC at the time). Though oddly, the stuff I gravitated towards the most tended to be on the more adult-side of top 40. This was mid/late 80s so that meant Huey Lewis, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, John Cougar Mellencamp, Crowded House, Squeeze, Wang Chung, Billy Joel, Robert Palmer, U2 etc etc mixed in with some of the wimpier hair metal (Def Leppard, Bon Jovi) and pop (Rick Astley, Whitney Houston). At some point I had tapes of all of those artists. As an only child, I mostly just stayed at home and found ways to entertain myself. One of those ways was by listening to Casey Kasem every Sunday Morning and making up my own lists of my favorite songs each week. I called it "Mike's Top 10" and at one point I had them all collected for the years I did this (mainly 1986-87) and stapled together. Not sure whatever happened to these gems. Probably lost in the fire at my parent's house a few years ago.

In 1988, I was in Middle School and we moved to a new suburb...This is the point where pop music turned from something to entertain myself with to an all out obsession. But that will have to wait for Part II.


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