Wednesday, July 13, 2011

...from Mark #21 - On my last post I got asked this...

"I realise you were into Rock & Roll from an early age but when did your taste go out in all directions (so to speak)?"

It's a wide question, with a wide answer. At the RnR clubs as a kid the DJs played a very broad church of stuff : Hillbilly, RnB, Rockabilly, Doo Wop, 50's pop, even a little Cajun and all of these led off into interesting areas; Doo wop to Soul, Hillbilly to Country , Blues to Beat etc. By the time I got round to the Stones / Pretty Things / Downliners and all those fine 60's groups I already knew all the Bo Diddley / Howlin Wolf / Little Walter songs they were covering (which sort of helps when you're listening to a new style).

Even better was going down to 'Gaz's Rockin Blues'  (which is still going strong) where the 50's RnB I already loved was combined with Ska and all the other Caribbean styles that I was about to be unfaithful with. On top of that the late 70's were a particularly fertile time in the charts with all those great 45s by Blondie / Costello / Dury / Jam / Specials etc. packing the top twenty, so it was hard to avoid lots of different styles and influences.

Another strange but probably influential factor was growing up in a small town. There was quite a Rock n Roll scene in Swindon but we had no choice but to hang out with the Mods, Punks and Skinheads. Or we'd all get beaten up by the Casuals! So it meant as a teenager being open to all my mates record collections, one loved the Artwoods, one loved Benny Goodman, one loved Crass, one loved Laurel Aitken, and so on. Some I loved too.

Two particular life-changing moments were hearing these two tracks, at which point I realised that all the excitement and fury a young man needs could be found elsewhere.

On the other hand I have friends who call all the music they like Rock n Roll. And maybe they have a point.

So, what were those 'Road to Damascus' records for you? Not just tunes you liked, but those that opened up a whole other world?


  1. Hello,
    There were no Rock n Roll clubs where I lived (in **it town). Incidentally, my brother was a casual (not a good role model). The clubs sound positively brilliant in Swindon. I think you're a hunter-out-er & you didn't learn vicariously.

    My record collection consisted of cheap Nothern soul comps + The land of Ozz soundtrack until I became a waitress (earnng money). So at around 13 I think i sprang into action with records such as;
    JB- Hell (beauty personified) Every track was incredible. It was like finding gold.
    I was a bit melancholy so 'lonely sad eyes' (I'm not joking, (easily still one of the finest/prettiest/funkiest songs ever).
    'Sincerley' by the Moonglows (a little syrupy but It made me start buying anything 45, 33, from the 50's/60's.
    I was fanatical about Donovan (I was a hippy - I liked the crumby ones where he wasn't imitating Dylan + always hated mellow yellow)
    Joni Mitchell 'case of you' incredible.
    Joan Baez 'Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2 - once I had a Sweetheart'
    Chuck E's in love - Rickie Lee Jones.
    I got patronised by my friends for liking Johnny Cash aged 11 (didn't like ring of fire). My mates were into Duran Duran. I was freakish.
    Acker Bilk - Stranger on the shore (beautiful)
    J.J Cale - Naturally (incredible)
    Patsy Cline - I fall to pieces,
    Jerry lee Lewis (My records never recovered from the number of times I played them in the early - late 80's)
    Lots of country albums (from US garage sales 80's, when people were thinking that tapes were better)
    Areatha Franklin (wonderful)
    Stevie Wonder- talking book(Too good)
    New Order (My era + still positively love them)
    Marvin Gaye (Got it to overcome nerves with boys - still works! - Impossible to over rate him)
    Pixies (better than toast)
    Kate Bush; This woman's work, Kick inside entire album.
    Some classical because it was cheap but I only get excited about Mozart (I witnessed a baby being born, while helping out to no.5 concerto, aged 19)
    Beatles- Old Brown Shoe (Brilliant)
    Jimi Hendrix - Manic depression,
    I had some cheap Calypso stuff which thrilled me (carboot sales).

    I think I became a bit lazy in my 30's but I suppose show's like god's jukebox, SR&R, 60's, Reggae, all John Peel's stuff too put me back on track. I'm not flattering you, I'm being honest.

    I didn't educate myself very thoroughly in music, however I do love the stuff.

  2. I should've added;
    Small Faces - From the beginning +,
    John Lee Hooker (compilation tape free with select magazine circa 1986)

  3. I mean, the obvious thing is that the progression to 'delight' wasn't so smooth for me. (You make it sound so easy). But having been there I realise you must have hunted it down to a large extent. (I've not heard of the Downliners). The 60's scene was nowhere to be found where I was. Blues yes, but not much. I think the dancing clubs is what's missing for me. I can't believe you hung around with 'Mods, Skinheads & Punks'. All good.
    Brian Wilson.

  4. It seems as if I've given the impression that nice things just kept happening to my ears. Which is sort of true, but a lot of unpleasantness happened to them too ! I've always been a voracious collector/listener, or at least hearer, so I think the answer is not necessarily open mindedness, more open earedness (I'm as guilty of being judgemental as the next man, maybe more than him even).
    Also bear in mind these events are knocking on 30 years ago so it all seems now like a flurry of aural excitement, but it was no more chock full of goodness than any other time
    There really haven't been more than a handful of single songs that have literally changed my life, the two above are very important songs to me.
    The Dalai

  5. I think open eared is the most important thing as,...(basically because I hate Brian May's silly fanciful guitar masterbation with his silly 18th century hair) What I mean is - If you can't appreciate music you'll always be an ass-hole in musical terms. I'm a little past the ass-hole stage and verging on half-full-on music appreciator. I like the fact you are still alive as we don't have many full-on listeners/understanders + givers to music left (at least not many who can listen to more tan 2 genres). I think your two tracks are very 'cool' tracks to have learned from/loved. I suppose you were born at the right time. Van Morrison was a massive influence on me. They all mean't something different to me. Van Morrison His Band and the Street Choir album was incredibly important to me. Still very important because of certain tracks and it being soley MINE when I was 13. Brian W

  6. I grew up in the '80s and '90s so like anyone who was a rebellious teenager during the '90s, the grunge movement from Seattle was a huge influence to me. I loved Nirvanna an Pearl Jam. I did go through a throw-back hippy stage where I listened to a lot of the music from the '60s and that time such as Janis Joplin and The Doors(and while my friends loved The Grateful Dead, I couldn't stand them). I can pinpoint two times when my taste has been influenced a bit. The first was when I was probably around 16ish and heard Tool for the first time (I live in the states so I'm not sure if they made it over there or not). I love the way their music flows (my favorites are Schism and H.). Then the second time my tastes were changed was through the magic of youtube and trying to find pieces of God's jukebox (unfortunately, I didn't discover God's Jukebox until you were already gone but found this site instead)or bands that may have been featured. That lead me to Baby Charles (who I adore!) and many other really great bands and songs that I am constantly listening to.

  7. I assume you think it happens 'the same' for everyone but it doesn't. For me it was sometimes slow and unassuming, where I played it to friends and suddenly realised I 'loved' it. Sometimes getting it home and putting it on my crappy old turntable and straight away realising I was 'in love'. Mostly I had to endure rubbish and it was only when I came home to my horrible room at home to my beautiful records where I 'knew who I was' again. I lived through the rave generation young man...
    Trudi Chase

  8. Note: To: Rebellious teenager et al - You can find gods jukebox downloads if you go onto Twitter and look for @casettearchive - he has approx. 2 years worth of god jukebox to download.

  9. I'm starting a music website. It's not very good.

  10. Good news about the Reggae show. Extremely good news. Much looking forward to it.

    First breakthrough was when I was about 7, being bullied at school and going round to my friend's house to walk to school with. About 8am in the morning I opened her door and loudly playing was Dolly Parton (I still don't know the song. It struck me that;
    a- There was no shouting and screaming/arguing in her household plus,
    b- This was possibly the sweetest sound I'd ever heard.

    I had a moment with 'Bright eyes' circa 1981 but as reiterated couldn't purchase until I was approx. 13. Owning my own tune got me excited. Partly collecting coming from my waitress money (1.98 per hour) was one of the things which made it special. Across the road from the restaurant was an indoor market, so every Wednesday, brown packet in hand, I'd cross the road after an early shift and spend my wages on secondhand vinyl.

  11. I only really got into music very recently, it used to be that I only listened to whatever my friends liked and none of that particularly impassioned me. Then when I went to university three years ago I accidentaly stumbled upon Birdhouse in your soul by They Might Be Giants, it was the first time I found a band on my own and the first time I was listening to music just for the sake of hearing it. That was one hell of a gateway though. All of the music I listen to now stems from that one moment when I realised that maybe there was something to this whole music thing people seemed to love so much. I have a notebook now where every time I hear something interesting I write it down to check out later. The list is ridiculously long and I hope I never reach the end of it.

  12. I have different songs that link me to events and times, both happy and sad. Hearing a song can take me back to where-ever it is. Although, whenever I hear the into to House of the rising sun, I see Mark Lamarr singing it on Never mind the buzzcocks to Kenzie, bless him!

  13. Growing up in the 90s, my first tapes were Mariah Carey and whatever I could record off the radio. Somehow I got a hold of the Blues Brothers movie soundtrack, and everything changed. Aretha, James Brown, Cab Calloway? Amen!

    My dad played a lot of great music on our road trips too. Trapped in the car for 6 hours at a time listening to Van Morrison's Moondance, Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits, Marvin Gaye, Steve Earle's Transcendental Blues, and The Band also made an impression.

    I started listening to God's Jukebox in college and dearly miss it. I have gads of songs and albums that I first heard on God's Jukebox and I think of the show whenever they pop up.

    -Clair in America

    Also, I can't find @casettearchive on Twitter. Anyone have any leads on old episodes?