My kids are at an age they begin to develop a taste in music. Sometimes they even fight about who would inherit my music collection. I watch and think about the past.
There was a time music was not at our fingertips. There was really a time before Internet and (illegal) downloading. There was a time record companies decided which records to release and how long they would stay in circulation. I remember the time, I grew up in it.
I developed my taste through reading, experimentation, and the generous help of friends, class mates, brothers of friends, uncles, friends of friends and vague acquaintances. They all opened doors for me. They introduced me to something new. They made me look behind the curtain.
I thank you all.
My father for introducing me to The Beatles. We bought Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band together.
That anonymous contact at High School who taped The Cure and Joy Division for me (and sold me booklets with their lyrics)
Temporary class mate and pen pal Tania. I loved writing and gossiping with you. That guy you had a crush on was just using you, but he had a good taste in music. Through him I learned the essence of raw Punk and romantic New Wave.
I even thank you Marcel. For a friend I hated you. Bit of a mismatch of characters I suppose. But this guy you knew, Matthew, introduced me to Nick Cave’s first album with the Bad Seeds (‘from her to eternity’) the best work of The Gun Club, and Magazine.
The warmest thank you goes out to Bert and his older brother Michael. Michael, older brother with the massive record collection. Bert and I secretly listened in your room to ‘London Calling’ (The Clash), ‘The name of this band is Talking Heads’ (Talking Heads), ‘Playing with a different sex’ (Au Pairs), ‘Big Smash’ (Wreckless Eric) and many other Ska and New Wave records. Bert, if anything you introduced me to PJ Harvey as early as 1992.
Vince. Many nights I spent with you, drinking beer and listening to music in your basement room. You gave me The Stooges, The New York Dolls, late 70’s Bowie, Frank Zappa, New Order, Bauhaus, P.I.L, Clock DVA and Cabaret Voltaire. You told (or taught) me that Bauhaus made the same music as Joy Division, just with better musicians. You introduced me to 80’s Avant Garde. You made me weird, musically.
Then there was David, sports coach. I never really liked you, but one day you decided to give away your record collection and invited me and some others to take what we wanted. That night I left your apartment with perfect copies of ‘Berlin’ (Lou Reed), ‘the B-52’s’ (by the B-52’s of course), ‘Tonight’s the night’ (Neil Young) and Inflammable material (Stiff Little Fingers) under my arm.
Finally Hank. The man with the second-hand record store. The man who would take underground over mainstream any day. I just sat and listened to everything you told me I should listen to.
You all brought me something. A love for music and a gift for sharing. I was part of your social network, at least for a while. You were my Internet; I listened, reviewed and downloaded through you. Consider this an analog like. A virtual handshake.Tweet