Sunday, October 14, 2007

Josies Interview Part 1 - The Many Faces of Loz

Josie from Picking up the pieces partook in a an interview meme and threw out a challenge to people to allow her to interview them. The links to each of those interviews are here -
I am one amongst many and here is the answer to the first of five questions she has asked me.

1. I love the "Musical Monday" feature on your blog. I'm hearing lots of old favorites and finding some new ones. If you were to associate one song with each decade of your life, which song would it be, and why?

Musical Monday came about from laziness. I didn’t have the time to post and wanted something quick that would reveal a bit more about me. Thanks to youtube I found some videos of songs that have meant something to me over the years.

Narrowing a choice down to one song for a decade is not an easy task but I’ll give it a crack and try and explain why I have chosen the songs I have. In some cases I’ll repeat some of what I said in a meme I called Musical Memories early on in my blogging life. Music has always had a lot of power for me. I grew up listening to top 40 radio and well remember Casey Kasems American Top 40 countdown which I listened to on a crystal set that used to fade in and out before I was given my first transistor when I was about 8 years old one Christmas.

My Mum says I took my first steps towards Mickey Mouse on an old 22” TV when I heard the Mickey Mouse Club song, but my first memories of music were of “The Ballad of Davey Crockett” which Mum and Dad had on a 78 record which I used to ask her to lay over and over again on the black bakelite record player and radio that we had. I keep going to describe these things as old but at the time they probably weren’t. I must have been around three or four at the time which would have made it the early 60’s.

I’ll have to mention a few things in my teens because for me, like most of us, that was when my musical taste truly formed and I can’t in all honesty just choose one particular song from that decade.

Around 1969 I was given my first record by Father Christmas. Actually there were three in my Christmas stocking – Elvis Presley’s Edge of Reality and Suspicious Minds and an EP by Jim Nabors which from memory had Strangers in the Night on it. The latter I think was more a reflection of Mum and Dad’s taste than mine, although I was a fan of Gomer Pyle and Nabor’s voice on the record was so different to Gomer’s that I did find it amazing.

But the song that defines my teen years is Desperado by The Eagles. I first heard it one rainy school day when an American exchange teacher played it for us one lunch time and I was hooked. A concept album where there was a theme across the entire LP, magnificent harmonies and songs that told a story. That album singularly coloured what I listened to forever which was outside what was being played on Top 40 radio at the time although the Eagles subsequently became huge. I had the great pleasure to see them live for the first time at their Farewell Tour Number 1 a few years ago here in Melbourne, which incidentally is available on DVD.

I wrote recently about a mate of mine called Fog and how he also opened my eyes to many great artists who remain favourites to this day - Phil Collins and Genesis, Supertramp, and Stevie Wonder to name a few - but there are a couple of songs that actually stick in my mind and whenever I hear them trigger memories of past lives.

Oddly enough the first is Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band. I clearly remember driving to the beach in my mate Ian's Morris Minor with that song blasting out on high rotation on the ghetto blaster we'd taken with us. Two things stand out from that day, the first was when Ian turned down the wrong side of a median strip into the oncoming traffic and the second where driving slowly up a hill we had a wheel bounce past us which had obviously dropped off a car travelling behind us. We could never travel anywhere quickly in that car, in fact in the picture here on my first bush walk we actually had to get out and push it up a couple of hills.

The second song is Toto's Africa which again was on high rotation the first year I was out of the police academy. Over the Christmas holidays I was stationed at the small town of Port Campbell on the west coast of Victoria for six weeks. That was 1983/84 and I was often out on patrol alone with not a lot to do other than explore some of the tourist attractions along the coast. I remember driving down one dirt track and seeing more tiger snakes slithering across the road than I thought could possibly exist in any one place. Needless to say I didn't get out of the car on that road. The song coincided with my discovery of Wilbur Smith and his stories of Africa which have also become great favourites over the years.

In my 30's pay TV came to Australia and with it CMT which opened up a whole new world to me. I was then and still am now a sucker for songs that tell a story and country music therefore struck an immediate chord with me. None of what was played on that TV channel made it to radio here, unless you happened to be travelling through the bush and managed to pick up some regional radio stations before they became clones of city radio. If I had to pick one song out of that time it would be "The Road" by Sawyer Brown.

In my 40's I discovered post-grunge, Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms etc. We had the advantage of being able to download music and I could sample stuff I'd not only never heard of before but that I probably would have glanced over in the CD racks at the record stores. If I was to choose one song here that is characteristic of that genre it would be Champagne High by Sister Hazel. I could have chosen any one of dozens of songs from this period. I pulled together a lot of compilation CD's during that time which I tongue-in-cheek labelled lozmetal 1 and lozalt 1 and so on. My kids always gave me a hard time about the metal songs not being real metal but still for the most part liked my choices.

I'm only now a couple of months into my 50's so I'll reserve judgement on trying to anticipate where my musical tastes will roam over the next ten years. One thing I will predict is that I will continue to return to many of the songs that I have enjoyed over the years - excluding the Ballad of Davey Crockett and any Jim Nabor's songs of course.

This one has been fun Josie and a perfect intro for me into some of the tougher questions to come.


Pen and the Sword said...

What a wonderful musical journey through your life, Loz. That was fun :o) And very education in the way of Loz!

Josie Two Shoes said...

This was a delightful read, Loz - complete with pictures no less! I am smiling as I remember some of those songs as well, including Davey Crocket and Jim Neighbors! What a cool way to view your life thru the music that helped shape it. I truly loved this post, and can't wait for what is yet to come!

Loz said...

Pen - Music does so many things - triggers memories, defines moments, can make you laugh and cry, can educate and criticise, paint pictures and draw conclusions. I really liked this question from Josie and I throw the challenge at you to write a similar post. As I will to anyone who actually gets to the end of this one. ;)

Loz said...

Josie - thanks for that as the first question. I thought the photos might put a bit of context around the story.

Gypsy said...

What a fantastic post and I loved the pics, they really helped to travel the journey with you. Btw, may I say how handsome you look in your police uniform :) I loved all your song choices but I must confess I didn't recognise any from your 40's decade.

Can't wait to read the rest Loz and congratulations for being brave enough to take on Josie with her innate curiosity. I thoroughly enjoyed doing my interview with Barbara Walters I must admit and hope you enjoy the experience too.

terri said...

I really enjoyed this post. Music is one of those things that sort of permeates my life as well. I have a tendency to read into the lyrics and attach certain songs to particular events or periods of time in my life too. I found myself nodding in agreement, particularly when you mentioned the Eagles, Asia, Gin Blossoms.... many of your favorites.

Jod{i} said...

ooooooooooooo Sawyer Brown! I knew I liked you!
Great post!

Catherine said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! It was very nice to meet you.

Your blog is very nice and I can't wait to visit again! :)

Loz said...

Gypsy - thank you. I came across most of those artists by browsing on CDNOW and following the "people who liked this artist also liked" links. Everyone should be a fan of post grunge ;)

Loz said...

Terri - take the challenge and write a post on your favourites for us

Loz said...

Jodi - I love sawyer brown. I hope people who read this post are listening to the words of that song.

Loz said...

Catherine - thanks for the visit and I've added you to the old technorati favourites blogroll too.