I don’t listen to music much anymore. Occasionally, when I’m on a D.I.Y. binge, you might hear the sounds of old school rock reverberating around the house. This is usually intermixed with anything from punk, to classical, to indie. A little country creeps in from time to time too. The volume of iTunes is generally turned way up in an effort to drown out the inevitable D.I.Y. induced profanity. But on the whole I really don’t listen to music for pleasure.
It wasn’t always like that. From the age of about ten, I guess, I started to pick up on the tunes that my brother bought home. He was six years older than me (he still is actually) and was in a position to be able to buy his own records. I used to sit near the foot of the stairs, listening at the closed front room door as he played Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon or David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. And while he was out I’d secretly play them. Although in some instances, not so secretly as unfortunately the Stereo needle sometimes had a habit of skipping across the record and completely ruining it. The repercussions of these actions were not particularly pleasant. But this did not deter me and I continued to be swayed by my Brothers musical tastes and purchases.
Until one day in 1974. The Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz was released in September of ‘73 although I probably didn’t buy the record until after Christmas. My pocket money didn’t stretch to the price of a ‘single’ so I’m guessing that my Christmas gift money must have come into play. Money that I remember handing to the Woolworth’s assistant after asking for “the Sweet’s latest single” as I couldn’t recall it’s title.
That was the start of my own musical evolution. I remember badgering my Dad a short while later on a shopping trip to Boots, in the days when they sold records. I used to browse through the album covers while which ever parent I was with did their thing. I had no idea who T-Rex were but this album showed the picture of a guy riding a tiger. You couldn’t get much more rock and roll than that. And it was a compilation; a greatest hits. A would be a perfect introduction to the band. Eventually the badgering paid off and Dad stumped up the money, probably more in an effort to shut me up than anything else.
So those were my first single and first album acquisitions. The gateway drugs to a thirty year musical obsession.
Fast forward to my Fortieth. Lucky fella that I am, my other half had bought me an iPod (3rd gen). Within days this was filled with most of my CD collection. And for a few months I was spoilt for choice by having all this music at my fingertips. Thanks to iTunes I was downloading more music than I could listen to. This quickly turned into an overload situation and I think that I simply became burnt out. Too much of a good thing, as they say.
That iPod is now dead and gone, superseded by a 32GB 3GS iPhone. This contains hardly and music. iTunes on my computer is still choc-a-bloc with tracks but my iPhone doesn’t know this. I still have my ear buds in on the journeys too and from the day job but I’ve now become a podcast junky.
It seems that I’d rather hear other people talking about music than actually hearing the music itself.