I can't remember the first record I ever bought. Does this make me a bad person? Does it make me a bad musician?? Other people seem to be able to remember. Maybe if I think hard enough I could work it out. I haven't done that yet. But I definitely don’t have the moment etched into my memory.
I don't know if my relationship with music is slightly skewed from 'normal'. But I also had to gradually learn what my early influences were. These weren't etched into my memory either. In fact I didn't really notice them being influences at all...but they will have been. The only way I can describe my relationship with music is that it is from the inside out...not the outside in.
At the age of about 10 (give or take a couple of years either side) I remember asking my brother to do me a mix tape of all the songs I would hear him playing from his bedroom.
Bryan Adams - Run To You (1984)
Chris Isaac - Wicked Game (1989)
KD Lang - Constant Craving (1992)
There were others, but I can't remember them. These stand out because I remember the feel, the moment, the memory. I remember my brother saying 'I'm only going to do this once for you mind.' It was my favourite tape. Mainly because of Run To You. So I'm going to stop writing for a moment, and listen to these songs...just to see.
Fuck me. I need to message The Bass and J Tizz! Run To You has clearly been a massive influence. It has all the elements of music that I want in my music. The push of the guitar, the constant note, the looped guitar riff. ...I'm clearly going to spend the day reading Lester Bangs and learning about my music style, tastes, influences, psychology,. I mean...the vast majority of what I want to hear on a daily basis depends on my mood...but there are clearly some underlying elements that hook me in.
Do I sometimes capture the vibe of Dire Straits in my music because I love what Mark Knopfler does in his songs or because Mark Knopfler plays music the way I like to hear it. I have never studied any musician/band/production (until more recently for the process of understanding and learning, not for dissecting what I love about a vibe). There's something about music that I 'get' without really knowing how to explain what that means.
I was listening to J Tizz's upcoming postrock album with him the other day and as usual was being overly opinionated with my untrained ears. But, I think he likes my opinion for that reason...all my opinions are based on the vibe that comes from the song as a whole...not how technically excellent or how masterfully produced it is. These elements make a big difference and I get that...but my ears seem to be able to ignore a shoddy production and hear the song. Plus we both think there's a place for distortion in his music. There is an energy that comes with the way he mixes...he's a drummer...this is what he wants to hear the most...not always...just mostly...but he's got good ears...I like the way he mixes his music. He's trying a few things out with his new album and it will always sound good because he is an exceptional musician but I want him to keep it J Tizz. Distort.
Anyway, me and The Bass accidently ended up watching a Free tribute band the other day. So now he wants to start a Free tribute band. But more importantly, I think -
Free - Alright Now
- was on my mix tape. It was definitely one of the songs I used to listen to when I was young.
I remember hammering my sister's The Kinks tape when I was 9, almost 10. I have a definite time line for that cos we moved into a different house while ours was being modernised. For example…
The Kinks - You Really Got Me
…reeealllly got me (I stand by this pun)
Dire Straits - Money For Nothing
and then she drifted off into the land of the mix tapes.
…to be continued.