Do you occasionally seek out music that takes you back to your childhood? I certainly do and thanks to iTunes and YouTube; I can easily track down those tunes which were soundtracks to my childhood. Music for me is both a time machine, mood-enhancer, and at times a lab experiment. Most of my early exposure to music was from my terrific parents and a few friends’ older siblings whose names I shall not reveal (for now).
Joining a band was not the first nor primary reason I picked up the guitar. The creative process, textures, the sounds, themselves fascinated me. For at least a couple of years, I didn’t even have a clue what distortion was. I described distortion as the ‘squealy sound.’ I still recall the first times I heard distortion live which was at Don Banks Music store in Tampa, Florida. It might have been another kid in the store or my teacher Per Warpe who still teaches at that school. I marveled that a little electronic box could make these cool sounds. I intuitively knew though that is was all about the hands and ears; not just a bunch of boxes which is really where the music comes from.
I’ll definitely come back to the topic of music.
Some select songs from my childhood…
Paul Simon, Graceland: What’s not to love about this song? Paul Simon tells great stories with wonderful music accompanying the songs. I think the studio version of this track was the first song I ever heard on compact disc. I heard it at my friend’s house and marveled at the disc tray that seemed well like ‘ the future was here in this house.’
Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This): I recall my mom having this on cassette tape and it reminds me of her art studio. Not sure why… Check out that warm, fat, analog synth. Oh yeah!
Sting, Russians: Another song that my mom hipped me to. Supposedly around time, Sting couldn’t or didn’t want to write as many love songs with all of the challenges the world. Growing up in the 1980’s, we (kids), were bombarded with messages that the Soviets and U.S.A. might nuke each other. This stuck with me on some level. Do we have a 21st century equivalent of this song?
Robotech, theme song for the American TV show: I was really into this sci-fi,animated soap opera. I think I dug the pretty ladies and cool robots.
Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science: Science, geeky-catchy tune, more great synths. The 80’s cranked up some seriously catchy tunes.
Don Cherry as played by Shadowfax, Brown Rice: It was probably one of the first groups I was exposed that were not a traditional rock, pop or jazz group. Shadowfax sounded to me at the time like it came from a distant land which I later learned originated in Chicago. Go figure…