It is amazing to me how magical music is. How one note can take you to a whole new place, a whole other time.
Our home is a haven for us through music. We listen to music all the time here, and with quite a bit of diversity.
You won’t find a lot of country music here, but I love Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and a few others… I’m sure my mom could fill in my country loving blanks. They are classics though, men who’ve been in music a long time (oh and The Dixie Chicks).
Which leads me to tell you my most embarrassing musical confession. The first concert I ever went to was a Kenny Rogers show. At a fair. I was a child and I don’t recall going willingly, but I don’t recall putting up much of a struggle. I know that my aunt was really excited, she LOVED Kenny Rogers and there were many a joke made about tossing her panties on stage… I had no idea what that meant at the time. I didn’t have the knowledge I required to be truly horrified… I am not a Kenny Rogers fan now, if I were to hear him I would cringe and shut off whatever was making that awful noise… but back then I think I liked him, I sang along and had a good time.
It wasn’t my doing. It wasn’t my choice I tell you.
Then there is Rap, we don’t listen to much of that at all. Except the Beastie Boys, because, well I love the Beastie Boys, I can’t help it.
We DO NOT listen to Opera if we can help it but K has taken to singing in an operatic voice so we may have to invest in a few good operas for her to listen to if that is something she wants to get into.
But I am getting ahead of myself. I want to talk about my first musical discoveries that I considered my very own. Choices I made that were for me and that probably drove people crazy.
The first band I ever truly liked, loved, knew all the words to several songs.
Are you ready? You really probably don’t want to know….
I remember being a kid in Bakersfield in the summer of 86. I was across the street at our neighbors’ house swimming with their grandkids who were visiting for the summer. One of them had his boom box out by the pool and he popped in a new tape, one none of us had heard… and what came out of that box of sound?
Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet album. I remember the immense power behind Living on a Prayer.
I was 9 and had NO idea what they were talking about but it made my mind crazy with power. I had to have it. I needed it. I got it somehow, I’m sure my dad got it for me, and I listened to the album over an over again. I loved You Give Love A Bad Name, Social Disease, Let It Rock and more than any other, Wanted Dead Or Alive.
It was my thing. I was a 9 year old rocker chick all of a sudden. Thinking to capitalize on my newfound musical obsession or more likely to get me to play ANY OTHER ALBUM OH PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, my dad brought me home a Heart tape one day…
Oh Heart, how had I gone so long with out you?
And Heart, it’s what made me think of all this today. Julie has this cool little radio doodad on her blog and yesterday it played a Heart song… I was thrown instantly back into my late 80s rock glory. Which to be fair, pretty much consisted of only Bon Jovi, Heart and later Guns N’ Roses. Sad isn’t it. But still, I can’t stop rockin out…
Until I think of what I started listening to next… it was a quick jump from there to the Beastie Boys, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Talking Heads and then… oh then I found them, The Ramones.
The entire time I was listening to those bands though I was also hearing Nat King Cole, The Doors, Jim Croce, Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Hendrix, and so many others I can’t begin to name them let alone finish
When I got out on my own a little more I found other music to love. Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, The Cure, Leonard Cohen, Blondie, The Bangles, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Dizzy, REM (their early stuff was really important to me in my early teens), Mazzy Star, Ella Fitzgerald, BB King etc etc… The list goes on and on and on and again I can’t even start let alone stop.
Then I moved to Portland and while I didn’t start to discover any new music I found so much that was new to me, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Albert King, Son House, Etta James, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and even Captain Bogg and Salty.
There is not a musical bone in my body. I’ve gotten tanked and sang Karaoke badly a couple of times, and I can’t say I wouldn’t do that again (especially if you came home Martin).
Mr. Kaos once forced me to record a rendition of Fever with him, swearing if I would just try I could sing in tune, and then he forced me to record the lyrics to a couple of tunes he had written. He gave up eventually, thankfully, I think he accepted that my love of music and enthusiasm with the mic couldn’t make up for a sad lack of skill and training.
In our home now we predominantly listen to Jazz (a lot of bebop) Blues and Tom Waits.
Tom Waits doesn’t go in a category… he gets his own.
That music that is always on the air in our home though, it comes down to love. It is a part of the way the Kaos family loves life and each other. And it’s a beautiful thing, sometimes melodic, snappy, discordant, harmonious or just plain crazy…
But it’s pretty clear to me no matter where I wound up in my musical tastes my love all goes back to something like this:
Or maybe this
(But I must say, I thought it then, and I think it now the poodle hair boys looked fucking ridiculous, no matter how much ass it got them)
What’s your first musical love?