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First Love

05 October 2012, 08:27

“Music was my first love, and it will be my last..”

I remember doing the leopard crawl just to have a glimpse of The Sweet on Dutch T.V. in my very early years. “Blockbuster” was on the late night music show and it being way past my bed time, I was not allowed to watch nor hear it. There the seed was planted which set me on a journey of finding my own style of music.

While I have never played in a band, I was quite useful on the drums and even had a set to irritate the neighbours who weren’t working while I was studying.

I guess the real “bang” came in 1979 when AC/DC released the brilliant live LP “If you want blood...” I had just been given a turntable and two little speakers for my birthday and the record buying only just started. I only bought records from the money I made doing garden work in the neighbourhood – any other expenses were dealt with by my pocket money allocation. After 3 months the local copy of said LP was so worn through from playing that I had to get a new copy, imported by Universitas nogal!

From those days it has been a long, precious and satisfying journey – without an end in sight! Sure, I love Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep but the best of all was to love a band’s music enough to research them, watch their every move, find out their history and move along with them as they progress or falter. Such was the case with Led Zepplin, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Bad Company, Journey, and still - Collective Soul, Pearl Jam, Rammstein, Eric Clapton, JJ Cale – the list is endless.

Upon connecting with Led Zepplin I found my little fold of belonging. I found Blues rock and I have never been able to shed that particular style. Even AC/DC is simply rock n’ roll with a touch of blues. All you need is a solid drum beat, a raw, driving rhythm guitar, a booming bass, harmonising and electrifying lead guitar and a lead vocalist with band defining octaves. There just is nothing that comes close to a solid rock riff – at any time of the day.

During my journey of music I built up a collection of over 300 LP’s and 500 CD’s. The best (or worst) of it was the switch from LP to CD. I still have my Pioneer turntable (with specially imported needle) and a Kenwood double tape deck, both of which I don’t know how to let go of.

These days I load 100+ songs on a USB drive for a get together, plug it in the DVD player and press play. I still use the six CD changer but there really is no need for it any longer. The sadness is that music these days, is very much taken for granted. I don’t see boys (nor girls) of young age, really playing air guitar or air head banging in front of the Hi Fi like we used to do. Maybe I am ignorant or I just don’t have contact with younger people that do that.  I used to pack my LP’s in a rug sack, get on my “dikwiel” and off to my buddy for the afternoon to listen to some music.

My children range from early 20’s to late teens and they know my music very well. In their world, they probably have bands they find awesome and cool – but they always have music with them that is older than what they are.

My point is there is just no “boom!” anymore. It seems the bewildering excitement of expectation of a new album no longer exists. Are we now saturated? Have we come to the musical stalemate that we so dreaded in the 80’s? Maybe it is just that music, movies, books – basically information, is too easy to get. We are bombarded daily with news, views, stories, photos, music and advertisements which hardly leave a lasting impression. Yes, I have embraced the information age and I guess it is still the choice of the recipient to take notice or discard, but the pure bulk of it is astonishing.

Sure there will be comments about some flickering light of a band which bombed someone’s mind, but rolling the masses? I doubt it.

(Thanks to Charles Dumbwin and Rhyno – you put me on this trip!)
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