Musical Influences

It can be said that most people’s musical taste is formed in their childhood. And parents take a large part of the blame or praise for that. Then, as you grow, you become exposed to more and begin to develop your own direction. Unfortunately, this is where people go wrong and get mixed up in RnB nonsense, but they can be rescued.

My dad in his Freddie Mercury phase!

But this isn’t about them, this is about me and my influences. I can put my musical education down to five people and here they are:
1) My dad! As a youngster, all those car journeys that were accompanied by the likes of Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and the like have instilled a liking of the 50’s era. Add to that the occasional flicks through his record collection revealing delights as The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, Elvis Presley and of course Monty Python’s Life of Brian!

2) My mum. Along with my dad, my mum has her own influence. Not her current music tastes, granted, but the likes of Marvin Gaye and the first two Beatles albums (although my dad lays claim to one of them). To be fair, even Tina Turner and Cliff Richard have left their mark on my steamy windows!!

3) My mate Doug (and probably his parents too!). Growing up together at the time of the British music boom in the early to mid-nineties, he was probably one step ahead of the game thanks to avid readership of NME. From there he ensured I got to appreciate the likes of Oasis, Supergrass, Kula Shaker, Cast and many more. Thankfully we both managed to skip the drabness of Coldplay. And he also helped me make the first connection with Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and probably most joyously of all Nick Harper.
4) My lovely lady Marisa. I was already pretty advanced by the time she came into my life, and had written off the majority of ‘new’ music. She still managed to get me hooked on the Fleet Foxes and Mando Diao, whilst embedding Led Zeppelin further into my consciousness.

James, possibly pointing the way to music nirvana

5) My brother James. Easily the greatest influence on my musical education. Whilst I was playing my Subbuteo and Game Gear in my room, he was next door with his ‘music centre’ (radio, twin cassette AND turntable) blasting out the likes of De La Soul, Beastie Boys, The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. He also did his Ibiza phase which I just don’t get. It didn’t stop there, he embedded the Beatles in my head forever (although it took me a while to officially give in), The Beautiful South (and the Housemartins by association), and House of Pain.

So, those five people can stand up and take a bow and congratulate themselves on creating a musical connoisseur (or snob, take it as you will).

Anyway, I’m off to listen to a bit of Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band… (just kidding, it’s The Sopranos soundtrack)


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