Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

My Musical Roots

This post actually comes from a few different directions. One was a post from plushlover a week ago where he posted some of his earliest record purchases. Another was a conversation I was having with a co-worker the other day about pop music. I had told him that I saw a comic strip that made fun of Justin Bieber, and I actually had to go on Wikipedia to find out who the hell he was. *lol* We lamented that we're finally at that age where we have totally disconnected with pop music. I'm sure if I looked at the Billboard Hot 100 I wouldn't recognize any of the names of the artists. I like to think that I hate pop music, leaning more towards obscure alt rock bands, but in fact I have been a fan of pop music for most of my life. I decided to trace my history of music back as far as I could. Armed with my copy of "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits" I set off to find the period of my life when I first became aware of music.

I think it's fair to say that I first became aware of the radio when I was about 10. That means we're talking about 1975. This was a time when transistor radios were still a big thing. Most of the music I listened to was on AM. In Chicago that meant WLS and WCFL. I have fond memories of sitting in front of our large console stereo with my dad's tape recorder trying to record songs off of the air. It was then that I developed my hatred towards dj's that would talk thru the entire beginning of the song. I think I developed my love of the radio from the need to be cool at school. Everyone was talking about the new song and I had to listen to the radio to fit in. When I wasn't in the living room listening to the stereo I was in the bedroom with my little portable transistor. It was a great day when my dad gave me that thing! It was even a better day when he gave me one that picked up FM. Ooooooo! A whole new world opened up then! But first, back to the early days.

One of the earliest songs I can remember that I really liked was Steely Dan's "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." It came out in 1974 which was the same time that my cousin Ricky was visiting from California. That's probably the only reason why I remember that song at that time. Heck, I wouldn't really know about Steely Dan for another 4 years when I fell in love with "Deacon Blues," and my sister bought me the album "Aja" for Christmas. Speaking of my sister, she had a pretty big influence on my music choices. She was 8 years older than me so I got a taste of what high school kids were listening to. I frequently borrowed her copy of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery." I loved synth music! Right about this time the Bee Gee's "Jive Talkin" was hitting the airwaves. I was mesmerized by the synth riff.

In terms of owning my own records, the first album I remember was the "Rocky" soundtrack which my dad bought me. "Gonna Fly Now" hit the charts in early '77, so it must have been around that time. My first "real" album was "Chicago's Greatest Hits" which I got free from the local supermarket (Dominick's) by collecting $500 worth of register receipts. Somewhere around that time I also acquired Billy Joel's "The Stranger." I actually won tickets to see Billy Joel at the Chicago Auditorium, but my mom wouldn't let me go. It was a pretty ghetto venue. My first 45 was "Convoy" by CW McCall. This was when the CB craze was taking over the nation! That must have been early 1976. That would make sense because I also bought the Bay City Roller's "Saturday Night" which also came out around the same time. I bought these singles from a small neighborhood record shop. It's hard to believe that at one time there was such a thing. I remember the blimp hanging from the ceiling promoting some band called "Led Zeppelin." *lol* It would be a few more years before I knew who they were.

I guess that was one thing my co-worker and I were discussing. There was so much great music during that time, but we were too young to really appreciate it. Only a few kids were listening to Queen, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Black Sabbath. They were usually the "bad boys." It's amazing to think back that we actually had "stoners" and "burnouts" in 7th and 8th grade! I came close to liking Queen when I bought a copy of "Bohemian Rhapsody." It took awhile to figure out what the name of the song was since it's never mentioned in the song and dj's frequently never mentioned the title.

I unfortunately fell into the disco trap of the late 70's. I traded in a Christmas gift of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "One More From the Road" for K-Tel's "Disco Dynamite." I still think it was a fair exchange. *LOL* It still resides in my record collection! I listened to disco mainly from peer pressure. I thought it was kinda lame, but I wanted to fit in. I still have fond memories, however, of the infamous "Disco Demolition Night" at Comisky Park. I was just about to enter high school that year, and I thought the mayhem was just about the coolest thing I had ever seen. Once I got into high school everything changed. But that's for another story.

The tl:dr is "Sabot talks about the music of the late 70's." Maybe I'll do a post about the 80's and 90's at another time. *shrugs* The main point was just trying to remember those earliest memories. You do a lot of that when you get old. *snerk*
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