Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My Music History, Part I: The Beginning

My taste in music is rooted in the 70's. I was pretty young, but listened to whatever the older folk were listening to. The most popular was of course the Beatles. We would drive around with my dad and he always had a Beatles 8-track playing in the car. I learned all their songs at a young age. My dad also had a tape called "Storytellers" that we listened to all the time. It was one of those K-tel specials that you ordered from TV or something like that. Looking back, there were some classics on that tape. Some of the ones I remember were "Killing Me Softly" (Roberta Flack), "Maggie May" (Rod Stewart), "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (Gordon Lightfoot), "Mr. Bojangles" (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), "One Tin Soldier" (Unknown), "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" (Unknown), and several others. Apart from that, I had an older sister and cousins who were into the whole teen thing so I was exposed to disco, Peter Frampton, "I Will Survive", Blondie, and other 70's mainstays. When we were little, my mother would always watch Solid Gold on Saturday nights, so I spent most of the late 70's/early 80's addicted to all the top 40 songs on the radio. Every Saturday afternoon was reserved for Casey Kasem's Weekly Top 40. I remember loving songs like "Elvira" (Oak Ridge Boys), "The Gambler" (Kenny Rogers), "Don't Stop Believing" (Journey), I bought my first album - yes, ALBUM - around 1980. It was Van Halen's first album. In 1982, my sister became a big Def Leppard fan. Being young and impressionable, I followed along and became a Def Leppard fanatic as well. "Pyromania" became the second album I ever bought and I played it for hours on end. I also became a big fan of 45's and bought several. Some of the ones I can remember buying include "Gloria" (Laura Branigan), "Rosanna" (Toto), "We Got the Beat" (Go-Go's), and many other 80's classics. For a while, my life revolved around "Eye of the Tiger" (Survivor) and "Centerfold" (J. Geils Band). Other songs that were at the top of my list at the time:

Physical (Olivia Newton-John)
Don't You Want Me? (The Human League)
Hurts So Good & Jack and Diane (John Cougar)
Private Eyes (Hall & Oates)
Mickey (Toni Basil)
867-5309 (Tommy Tutone)
Start Me Up (Rolling Stones)
Jeopardy (The Greg Kihn Band)
Electric Avenue (Eddie Grant)

By the time I started junior high around 1984, I had turned into a certifiable metalhead. I spent most of my time worshipping at the altar of AC/DC, Rush and Judas Priest. I had a jacket I used to wear that was covered in those little pins with pictures of the bands on them. I used to draw the band names/logos on all my school books. I waited with anticipation for each new issue of Hit Parade and Circus. I would play air guitar in front of my mirror. In short, all the things a normal 13 year old boy would do in the mid-80's. The albums I listened to most are as follows:

Screaming For Vengeance (Judas Priest)
Defenders of the Faith (Judas Priest)
For Those About to Rock (AC/DC)
Moving Pictures (Rush)
2112 (Rush)
Animalize (Kiss)
Out of the Cellar (RATT)
W.A.S.P. (W.A.S.P.)
Piece Of Mind (Iron Maiden)
Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue)

There were alot more, but those were the ones I remember most. I had several Judas Priest albums and they were the band I worshipped most for a while. My brother was a huge Iron Maiden fanatic. Between the two of us, we had a pretty good colection of heavy metal tapes. Plenty of Ozzy, Deep Purple, Ronnie James Dio, Dokken, and the like. Kinda wish I still had most of them.

Stay Tuned for PART II...

6 comments:

Ed Abbey said...

We rode the same musical "train" up until the metal music and that is where I got off. I have been stuck there ever since.

Thanks for bring up all those 70's and 80's songs. They are such good memories and I have a sudden urge to dig out all my old stuff and listen to them again.

Rik said...

ED: Thanks, i hope to have even more memories in Part II...

I've been on sort of a nostalgia kick lately myself, don't know where it's coming from.

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

Rik, i too listen to Casey Kasems American TOP 40! this was the 80's! ever notice his voice? quite unique hehe

i also listened to UK's billboard, and would u believe i think it was a guy named rik (not u of course) who hosted that countdown.

Rik said...

Yes, and here's an interesting tidbit many people do not know: Casey Kasem is the voice of...wait for it...Shaggy on the Scooby Doo cartoon.

Ed Abbey said...

Did not know that. Casey Kasem was a staple in my life and then it was Rick Dees. I haven't listened to the weekly top 40 since it was hijacked and I jumped off the musical train over ten years ago. Rick Dees was in La Bamba and I think that was the first time I ever saw him instead of just listening to him. Both have very distinctive voices.

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

SHAGGY!!!? i love Shaggy! oh my didnt know this! i had those old beta tapes of scooby dooby doo. they were my favorites, scooby and shaggy.

oh now i remember rick dees! thats the one!