Last night in a song break during the Wire gig in Sydney I quickly checked in on my addiction and spotted historical music information.
It immediately reminded me of what I consider my own “finding” of music 25 years ago this year. Up until mid-1986 I was listening to well…best left unsaid. With thanks to a young Dub – now well over 40 I imagine – I was introduced to Hull’s finest, the Housemartins and from there to R.E.M. and the whole “alternative” scene.
Today I reacquainted myself with London 0 Hull 4 on a couple of occasions. Even 10 years after I had likely last listened to the Album (I never got it on CD and my Vinyl and Cassette copies are unusable), I still knew the majority of the lyrics. This reminded me of how few songs we had as teenagers – certainly not the tens of thousands in my iTunes Library now – and how often we listened to the same songs and albums over and over on our Walkman until sunch time as they became part of our conciousness.
The first music (aside from my Dad’s Neil Diamond albums) I remember from home was watching the video for Walking on the Moon when it was Number 1 on Top of the Pops.
I can’t remember whether it was the Space Hardware in the Video or the massive bass line which made me become a Fan. I was 7 after all. I’ll go with the Bass, especially now the video looks so dated!
Watching Wire last night made me remember that when bands like Wire were around, I was listening to something else. I blame the Police and others, but have no regrets. Especially when the Housemartins and others made me expand my musical horizons as a teenager.
And at least I got to see Wire. I’m sure if you saw them in 1976 and again last night, you’d say it “wouldn’t be the same”. But we can only accept what is available, and make the most of it.
footnote: I’ve only just realised that one of my favourite R.E.M. covers, Strange from Document is a Wire Song. Everything makes much more sense when you are older.