The first singles I ever bought were "Return to Sender" by Elvis Presley and "Scarlett O'Hara" by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan. My very first album - shared with my brothers - was "With The Beatles" (1963). We listened to it over and over again and I can still sing all the songs it included... from "It Won't Be Long" to "Money (What I Want)".
But as I advanced through my teenage years my tastes veered towards singer songwriters. I discovered Bob Dylan and later Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Donovan, Gordon Lightfoot and Joan Baez. I played their records on a new record player that I paid for with the proceeds of a holiday job - working on a local turkey farm. That's also how I bought my first guitar.
The songs were poetic - with the accompanying music there just to lift the song - to give it a setting. The lyrics were everything. But I was open-minded and I continued to enjoy progressive rock music.
At fifteen I was attending concerts - either in Hull or the Yorkshire coastal resorts of Bridlington and Hornsea. I saw Jethro Tull, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, The Who, The Strawbs, Pink Floyd, The Nice, Yes, Ten Years After, Wishbone Ash and many more but in my memory and in my heart there was one rock band that stood out from all the rest and I must have seen them a dozen times. They were called Free.
There was a raw, bluesy simplicity about that band. On drums there was Simon Kirke, on bass Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff was the lead guitarist and the singer was a Yorkshire lad - Paul Rodgers. They were jigsaw pieces that came together perfectly.
They weren't really about singles, they were about live performances and albums but they had a big hit single in 1970 - "All Right Now" which they played at The Isle of Wight Festival that year. It is still aired regularly on several British radio stations.
Tragically Paul Kossoff died at the age of twenty five. He just couldn't drag himself away from drugs. Andy Fraser died from natural causes in California four years ago but Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke are still alive and well in their seventieth years. Rock and roll survivors. Free.
I look back on my teenage years and the mad passion I had for music back then and I often wish I could recapture that all-consuming fervent interest but as life has proceeded the music has skulked away. Sad to say it doesn't thrill me like it used to so maybe it's not "all right now"...
I remember listening to Radio Luxembourg on my transistor radio when I lived in Germany from the age of 10-14. My family often went camping in places like Spain and Italy and teens from many countries would gather in the evening to listen to the RL music on someones radio. Many good memories. Funnily enough, I saw Gordon Lightfoot a couple of years ago at Royal Albert Hall when I was over for a visit. Still the laid-back musician. Still puts on a good show. You might enjoy this recent article: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/gordon-lightfoot-interview-80-years-strong-tour-844868/ReplyDelete
Thanks for the link Mary. I will check it out later as I am just about to go off to work.Delete
Music was a backdrop to my history but never that important a one.....ReplyDelete
I guess film is the medium I most associate with
I thought that you would have been a Bay City Rollers fan - complete with a tartan scarf.Delete
Music made my life bearable and at some points, actually saved me. We were lucky to grow up in a time when the music was so amazing.ReplyDelete
Some of those music makers , they seemed to know exactly what was inside me. The late sixties and the early seventies were the best of times for music but perhaps I am biased.Delete
Music was almost all that mattered to me for years, too, during my teens mainly. It can still do a lot for my mood, and there are songs I loved back then and still love, songs I can not resist to sing along with or get up and dance, and there are songs that never fail moving me to tears.ReplyDelete
Between my sister and our two best friends (also sisters) who lived next door, we put together all our pocket money for records and music magazines. Smash Hits, Melody Maker and Sound Express were our bibles - we did not only know the bands and their songs, we would even know who handed out the cheese sandwich to the guest base player at the the recording studio for a certain track!
Then, attention shifted to other things, especially when school ended and life in the working world began in earnest. That is a natural process, I suppose, for most of us.
Live in concert I saw The Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, The Stray Cats, Fad Gadget (terrible!) and a handful of others. Never the huge shows as the money simply wasn't there.
Thanks for revealing this about yourself Meike. I would never have guessed that you were also heavily into music when you were young.Delete
Get out your guitar and join an ensemble.ReplyDelete
You can play the bongos.Delete
Interesting reflections, YP. I remember that song well. Our son used to listen to the radio and keep track of the top hits on paper as well. But his interest has broadened and refined since then and is a huge part of his life. I did the same as a child but in the 80s and 90s with growing children and terrible music (don't anyone who loved that music shoot me, please!,) I lost interest. The 70s music is still my favourite, although sometimes I laugh at how naive I was about the lyrics to some songs. There is some very good music being made today by young artists, in my opinion.ReplyDelete
I am sure your last point is right but can we be bothered to seek it out and listen to it?...Does your son work in the music industry?Delete
No, he is what I've heard called "an appreciator" :) But a serious one.Delete
I will always love the music from the 60's and 70's. I have been fortunate to attend many concerts in my life but now in our 60's we rarely go to more than one a year. My husband is an audiophile and big prog rock fan. He managed a record store for many years and has a huge vinyl collection. I enjoy some of the new artists but my heart will always be with the traditional rock and folk as well. Very enjoyable post.ReplyDelete
I am glad that this post resonated with you Bonnie.Delete
I know that song! I'm not sure I ever knew who sang it -- it's just one of those things I heard on the radio countless times as I was growing up.ReplyDelete
My first album was the disco soundtrack from the movie Star Wars, by MECO. What can I say? It was the late '70s and I was a nerd. A discoing nerd.
A discoing nerd? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?Delete
I really think that no REAL music has been written or sung or played since the 70s. IMO, of course. Loved, loved Free and Gordon Lightfoot. Once again, it's you and me, kid.ReplyDelete
I was worried about you Donna. You disappeared. Thank heavens you are back. Everything is "all right now"!Delete
Nice to see that four of the singer song writers you listed are Canadians. I've recently started listening to music on you tube. Some of the stuff I really liked in the 50's suddenly doesn't sound that great.ReplyDelete
Are you a singer songwriter too Red? I imagine you strumming your guitar performing love songs about The Micro Manager.Delete
I remember the first album I ever bought was Fire and Water. Had to order it from Mrs Rogers in the local record shop :)ReplyDelete
Mrs Rogers? Was she Paul Rodgers's mum? I guess they couldn't spell.Delete
Was there anyone in The Sixties who didn't listen to Radio Luxembourg? Of course being a Liverpudlian I was immersed in the pop culture of the day and the Cavern scene. However my musical tastes were always wider and my early love of trad jaz came via Miles Davis originally. My constant companion all my remembered life has, however, been what is loosely referred to as 'classical music' but from the classical and romantic eras to the present day. Nothing turns me off more than baroque music (or Karlheinz Stockhausen). I do envy you your ability to play though. I was never good enough even to perform for myself.ReplyDelete
It must have been fascinating to grow up in Liverpool at the same time as The Beatles, Gerry Marsden and the rest. Just think, if you had had a set of drums you could have replaced Pete Best - not Ringo.Delete
Ah yes...Radio Luxembourg on the tranny ! I loved Dylan and Cohen. I have Leonard Cohen's " Greatest Hits" album on vinyl, cassette and CD !! Joan Baez was a favourite too......did she do a song about a prisoner? " Show me the prisoner" is in my head! Great times for music.ReplyDelete
Show me the prisonDelete
show me the jail
show me the prisoner whose life has gone stale
and I'll show you, young man,
with so many reasons why,
there but for fortune go you or I.
I see that those of us who lived through the 60s have gone through the same names, still love Leonard Cohen and can always remember dancing to 'I can't get no Satisfaction' by The Stones, in a dance hall on Eel Pie Island. The music thudding through the building, noise at a premium.ReplyDelete
Now I imagine you strutting like Jagger, pouting like a duck!Delete
Radio Luxembourg - there's a name to conjure up teenage music memories ! Listening on a portable radio with the whistling background, and the music fading just at the moment when your very favourite tune was played !ReplyDelete
I have recaptured my favourites with the videos on You Tube, and it's interesting to read the comments. It seems we're not the only ones who think that the very best music was 60's, 70's and part of the 80's.
I'd forgotten so much of the music by the names mentioned, but can still remember
"All Right Now" !
Of course, living on your Spanish "costa" you are definitely "all right now" CG!Delete
Very sad - I'm around the same age as you, and music is as important to me as ever (though I have spent too much money it over the years as a result).ReplyDelete
It's the one art form that can move me emotionally.
I knew I'd never grow up!
I've a catholic taste in music. I love music; music has played a huge role in my life from when I was a small child.ReplyDelete
Last weekend I watched a bio-documentary via Netflix..."Nat King Cole...Afraid of the Dark".
Music stirs myriad emotions...
It is well-worth watching, in my opinion. Cole's music played a huge part in our household throughout my childhood, and beyond. He was a naturally brilliant jazz pianist, too...having only had two piano lessons in his life. He started his career as a jazz pianist, not as a singer.
My mother, each time she played our piano, which, in most instances, was daily, always included Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" in her vast and varied repertoire. I guess, in one way, that beautiful melody was the theme music to my childhood...the foremost one of a few, anyway. And, of course, Nat King Cole's version of "Stardust" was part of our record collection.