I grew up on a healthy diet of Country Music & 70’s Rock’n’Roll, which was pretty strange for a kid in Newcastle. Well, not so much the 70’s rock’n’roll part, but the Country part, definitely … I was too young to know, I just loved music!
My first musical performance was in the primary school hall where I sang/yodelled Frank Ifield’s She Taught Me To Yodel in front of all my school mates … seriously …
I was waaaay too young to know!!! Ha!
My folks moved from Armidale to Newcastle in their early 20’s to find work and have a family, and they brought their record collection with them.
Despite the strong country presence in the house my first favourite song was Walk Of Life by Dire Straits. I can remember doing the “walk of life”, whatever my interpretation was at the time, around the living room at full pelt as a young kid! I had the “action”, I had the “motion” and I loved singing at the top of my lungs “Oldies Goldies” and “Be-Bop-A-Lula”, my favourite lyrics, obviously …
As the years progressed some of my fondest, and most vivid, music memories were weekend morning drives to the beach, in the ute, with music BLARING!
The tape collection was limited, but they were all favourites from Garth Brooks: The Hits; Lee Kernaghan: Three Chain Road; Led Zeppelin IV; and a greatest hits record Mum and Dad had brought back from their trip to the USA, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: 20 Years Of Dirt.
I didn’t know about genres back then but I loved the fast songs; Ain’t Goin’ Down Til The Sun Comes Up, She’s My Ute, Black Dog (air guitar central), Rock’n’Roll (air drum central), High Horse … and I loved the slower ones too; Unanswered Prayers, Stairway To Heaven, Stand A Little Rain …
Oh yeah, and my dad had a serious obsession with Rodriguez: Cold Fact, in particular the song I Wonder. My first job was in a record store and my first mission from dad was to order this album on CD!
I remember when we got a CD player. That was cool. The music sounded better and you didn’t have to rewind and fast-forward to find tracks!! It also meant that a new collection started to form from which I discovered Jim Croce: Photographs and Memories; Sam Cooke: Wonderful World; Fleetwood Mac: Rumours; and my doorway into a new musical universe, a Triple M Compilation called “Unleashed In The 70’s”.
Unleashed In The 70’s was EPIC! The Angels, Lou Reed, Meatloaf, ZZ Top, Dylan, Sabbath, JJ Cale … and heaps more.
I needed to play guitar.
To convince my folks I would be “committed” to the instrument I had to teach myself for 3 months on an old nylon string my mum had in the back of her wardrobe.
The first song I ever learned wasTake It Easy by The Eagles (from a chord book) and the first song I ever performed on guitar was The Vasectomy Song by John Williamson … again, seriously.
From there I distanced myself from my parents record collection, going on to discover Metal, Rap and Punk music. I played in bands that played all these genres. I wrote tunes, we toured, we spent time in recording studios, we independently released EPs …
Now, all these years later, I find myself releasing my first record! A record that both sonically and song wise can clearly be traced back to the very first influences in my musical memory, in the ute, on the way to the beach!
So yeah, they f**cked me up good …