What music were you exposed to in your family home – genre, artist, or style.
My earliest memories of music are of my father’s old record player in the early 1960s. I suppose it was meant to be portable. It was a great big square box affair with a handle like a suitcase. As far as I can recall he liked brass band music, mum liked pipe bands amongst other things. Later on, we got a gramophone in a big wooden cabinet. This was fun as you could stack records on it. Naomi and I were sometimes allowed to put a record on the player. As we were with mum more during the day, I remember the music she liked better. She liked the music she heard at the movies, artists like Nelson Eddy, Jeannette McDonald, Mario Lanza, Deanna Durbin. She enjoyed “The Bachelors”, “The Seekers” and Frank Ifield (He yodelled). I can remember her mentioning Frankie Laine and Johnny Ray but I’m not sure if she liked them. Mum was in her thirties by the time these artists were becoming popular. She did not like Elvis, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones but didn’t mind Freddie and the Dreamers because they were funny. Mum used to sing to us sometimes too. She liked yodelling; I think she picked this up from cowboy songs. She sang us songs from the wars like “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag” and “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”.
Did you enjoy that type of music or did you rebel against it?
When I was very small, I just accepted it. I enjoyed the novelty of playing records. I didn’t really enjoy the light opera but I did come to love the bagpipes and brass bands. Most people either love or hate bagpipes. I’m one of the former.
How did you listen to music in your childhood home? Radio? Record player? Television?
The record player as I mentioned but we had the radio on a lot too. When we were a bit older Naomi and I got transistor radios and listened to the music we liked. Each of us got a portable record player when we were about thirteen and we played those a lot.
Did you buy records, tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks or CDs?
We bought records, 45’s (singles and extended play singles) and albums with our pocket money. In our teens we would have been buying something just about every couple of weeks I think unless we were saving up for a double album. When we started to buy records, you could buy a single for about a dollar I think, albums were around $5-6. This was in the early 70s.
What performers were you drawn to most as an adolescent?
For me it started with The Beatles even though they had already broken up. The Beatles had been around since I was a small child so they, and the other British bands of that era were where I started. By the time I was fifteen or so there was so much diversity in music. We were hearing artists like Elton John, T Rex, David Bowie, Status Quo, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and so much more.
Who did you go to see for your first concert? Who did you go with?
The first time I went to a concert it was a big outdoor one at Adelaide’s Wayville Showgrounds. The headliners were Slade and Status Quo and there were three other support bands, Lindisfarne, Caravan and a local band, Fragile. I went with Naomi and she will remember any details I got wrong.
What concert has been your favorite concert to date?
I have been to so many concerts over the years that it is impossible to pick just one. Here are a few from the 70s and 80s:
- The first time I saw Paul McCartney and Wings- Apollo Stadium, Adelaide about 1976
- Elton John- Memorial Drive, Adelaide 1972. That show cost us $5. Can you believe it?
- Midnight Oil- I’ve seen them several times but probably the best one was in Melbourne in the late 80s I think.
- Split Enz- Thebarton Theatre on their Six Months in a Leaky Boat tour in the early 80s.
When do you listen to music? In the car? At work? While studying or doing projects?
A little bit on the radio, mostly when I wake up. In the car, Naomi always has music on so I hear a lot of her stuff. She has very eclectic taste but I enjoy the same stuff so it’s fine with me.
Did the music you listened to affect your attitudes, way of dress, or view of the world?
Not that much. I was not keen on Midnight Oil at first because I thought that they were too political but they write great songs and won me over with the music. Over the years my own views became a lot closer to theirs but I wouldn’t say that they directly influenced me. When we went to concerts in the 70s we would dress up a bit, a band T shirt, a bit of glitter. I remember sewing sequins on a hairband before going to see Gary Glitter for example but I never went full KISS make up or anything like that.
How has your choice of music changed over the years? What is your genre of choice at this phase of your life?
I have a greater appreciation for classical music now that I’m older I find it relaxing. I enjoy listening to symphonies but not opera. I enjoy jazz, soul and the blues sometimes. I still like what is now called classic rock including some prog rock like Yes. I don’t care for rap, hip hop or modern pop music. I pretty much stopped listening to Top 40 after the mid 90s. I still don’t like country or western.
Bonus Question: What band or group posters did you have hanging in your room? Extra extra bonus points if you can share a copy of it or a link to it.
I had those photos from inside The White Album in my room.
EXTRA EXTRA BONUS: Care to share a playlist from Spotify?
I do have a Spotify account although I haven’t used it in a long time because I don’t have speakers in the living room. Naomi likes to play music a lot so I don’t usually bother. I only have a free account and haven’t made a playlist in ages but here are some songs that Spotify thought I would like based on previous listening.