I was raised on LPs and singles, 33s and 45s. The Beatles, Dusty Springfield, Sandy Posey, Tom Paxton, Abba. That scritchy sound when a needle drops and a record starts. Reading the lyrics of an album cover.
Later we got into cassettes. Rock Follies, The Abba Movie soundtrack. Trying to fix up cassette tangles, snipping them with nail scissors and splicing them back together will sellotape. A walkman. Mixtapes, with voice breaks of us going ads read from Seventeen magazine, or singing Barry Manilow’s Mandy.
My record collection proper begins in 1979 when I won 10 LPs in a competition from The Truth newspaper.
- Blondie – Parallel Lines
- The Cars – Candy-O
- Bad Girls – Donna Summer
- The Little River Band – It’s a long way there – Greatest Hits
- Wings – Greatest
- Cheap Trick – Dream Police
- Racey – Smash and Grab
- Communique – Dire Straits
- The soundtrack of Grease
- Breakfast in America – Supertramp
I used to ring up Radio Hokonui, and won records off them too – Avalon – Roxy Music.
The first record I buy myself is The Lexicon of Love – ABC. Spangled pop at its finest.
My first big concert was The The in the Christchurch Town Hall
University – an A0 poster of The The Beaten Generation on my wall, playing the tapes of Tango in the Night by Fleetwood Mac and Violent Femmes. Buying the Carmen movie soundtrack on LP.
Then in the 90s – a move to CDs, the first one I got was a compilation of Irish music, and the Triple J compilation with Denis Leary’s Asshole on it.
I occasionally use the dread CD walkman, but it’s probably the most useless bit of music kit ever.
My biggest music passions kicked off in the 90s, coinciding with Britpop – CDs and CD singles of Oasis, Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Suede. I buy NME, Select, and Q mags.
In the 2000s, I merge LPs with my lover, we both have:
- Parallel Lines – Blondie
- Candy O – The Cars
- Avalon – Roxy Music
Concerts – the magic few days in 2010 when we see Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright in concert. In the front row dancing, at Peter Hook and the Light.
These days I walk and commute with headphones and a 4GB MP3 player and choons.
Spotify, love the Spotify. Listen to the new Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Aldous Harding, on the day it comes out.
Occasional new vinyl. Always out there at Galaxy and Penny Lane for Record Store Day. Set up record player in the bedroom. Print out for lyrics for my 8 year old. Her current favourite songs are Ridin’ dirty by Chamillionaire and History by One Direction.
Now, making mixes for the radio with my friend.
If you asked me at uni, I would have said I am the Walrus – The Beatles.
After that, for a very long time, it has been Brompton Oratory by Nick Cave, off the sublime The Boatman’s Call album.
Now I’d say Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.