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The metamorphosis of musical taste

Discussion in 'Words and Music' started by James, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. James

    James I've got a zappy little nappy

    I remember when I was very young I used to listen to classical music a lot and I hated pop music that the commercial stations offered. I found refuge in a non-profit radio station that played jazz and classical music. When I was very young, I don't remember how old but I could have been maybe 6 or 7. I asked my mom to buy me two cassettes of classical music. I don't have them now but I remember one was based off of Romeo and Juliet and that was the one I didn't like. The other one that I did like had piece by Maurice Ravel, called Bolero(French for marching tune).

    Ok, I found it on youtube and am listening to it now. That may have been my favorite piece on the album. Now that I am older and I have listened to a lot more music it doesn't sound so great or maybe I am just getting older and that's why, but it's still good. Perhaps I could make this the soundtrack to my life. Never become stagnated and go out with a bang. The melody seems to have very structured, repetitive but different variations each one different from the last, louder and more intense. Listening to it has a youngster gave me a sense of determination. Each time you get knocked down in life you rise up again slightly stronger because you learned of one new way of how not to get knocked down or at least you know what it is going to feel like and no need to cry over the same thing twice, just keep on keeping on. Somehow music seems to mimic life and that is what makes it so enjoyable.

    Anyway, I read somewhere(maybe Wikipedia) I think that Roy Harper Liked Jean Sibelius so I think I will give Jean Sibelius a listen. I choose “The Oceanides” I never heard it but the titled and content of the piece sounded interesting followed by some violin concertos in D minor. and I must say I must not be in the mood for it. Anyway back to my old ways I arranged a set of Roy Harper's “Heaven is Here”, “January Man” followed by Walter Giseseking playing the works of Debussy(Preludes) and a fresh cup of coffee. God I love these leisure afternoons.

    Back to the first album I bought, lets fast forward to my teenage years. I first became really interested in music when I started listening to a radio program called different roads and celtic connections. One night I heard Dougie Maclean's “Ready for the Storm”

    I also liked Dick Gaughan's son “Sail On”. So The very first albums I remember buying as a teenager were a Collection of Dougie Maclean songs, Capercaillies “Secret People” Kips Bay “Into the Light”

    I would say my taste in music has expanded over the years from the very early on I was only interested in instrumental. Later on I went through a phase of playing progressive rock music really really loud. I also thought I would never enjoy rap until I heard Beck Hansen. Some music I feel I was just born and programed to love it, because it is in my nature. While other music that I listened to seemed to be brought on by situational circumstances causing anger and fear, a dark place that I hope I won't go back to.

    So what was your musical journey like and how did you discover Roy Harper?

    What was the first album that you bought?

    And how has your taste in music changed?
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  2. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    I think classical music is best live when the whole orchestra is live on the stage with various noises emanating from the depths of the pits. Last week I was in London at a carol singing event in a church and it was incredible the acoustics and accompanying orchestra echoing round the pillars. Having been in St Stephens Chatham choir for ten years as a young boy I got to sing most stuff and some of the songs are so mellifluously harmonic there are lachrymomosely beautiful :

    I never understood why we were never taught the theory and how to read the music. It would certainly have helped when I picked up a guitar for the first time when I was eighteen in 1971. We would just sing the songs from rote and don't think my parents had any extra money after forking out for my elder sister's piano lessons. The pinnacles of my choral antics were singing a solo in front of 2000 people in Rochester Cathedral as Head Chorister; touring Europe's cathedrals as a singing holiday in a coach; and singing at Xmas concerts the whole of Handel's Messiah....for we like sheep, hallelulah etc.... I was reminded of this many years later when Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells came out which just blew me away.

    When I was 14 my sister met John Broad as a York University student [actually she could have met him in Gillingham originally] and they were well into Roy and she had sat at his feet in Hyde Park festy. They were both heavily into the 60s Chelsea scene at Worlds End with all the Hippy paraphernalia of drugs, flowers and music. So it was ISB, ELP, Donovan, Mississippi bluesmen [particularly John Fahey - which I think was my first LP on my cute little record player] , Neil Young, Crosby Nash, Joni Mitchell, Beatles, Stones, Led Zep etc etc.


    Every time Roy came to Portsmouth Odean we would sneak in the back and watch for free. We would follow him on tour London, Bristol etc. Remember when Loudon Wainwright III did his first gig in Portsmouth and we started following him as well.... Black Sabbath blew us away at Pompey Poly on their first tour we had to wring our shirts out from crazy dancing bouncing off walls.


    When the punk era came along John was the Road Manager for the Clash [having split from my sister] and got addicted to heroin and alcohol and has written a book about it 'A riot of our own' with the pseudonym Johnny Green. He's met many famous people from the music industry over the decades and you can see him being interviewed on the internet. Last time I heard from him he was writing a compendium on the Beatles.

    My first 45 record was Elton John's Your Song which I played over and over again. Loved Roy's early albums but when Stormcock and then Lifemask came out we used to just listen to them all day experimenting with certain unearthly substances. To this day even when I play the guitar it always sounds better after a spliff or three! Anyway better shut up before the police helicopter sniffs me out.

    Oh and how could I not mention the Moody Blues!!?

    Have a good'un and will continue later when I've sorted out all the Xmas traffic in Chineham carparks today...the abuse I get from frustrated drivers stuck in queues you would not believe! Women are just as a bad as men I have found and where's all this loving Yuletide spirit!?

    Andi x
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  3. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    ...the funny thing was, when I was posted to The Middle East for a few years , all my Pompey friends had gotten into Punk by the time I'd got back....and it took me quite a while to start to like it...John, my ex-bro-in-law mentioned previously, after looking after The Clash in USA, eventually became the chief drug/substance abuse officer/manager for the whole of Kent and had completely quit drinking himself! In the old days his favourite poison was 'five in one' - 5 shots of vodka , no ice, with a tiny dash of tonic in a tall glass. My mate's [Steve Maxted - why's everyone called Steve in Pompey?] punk group was called the Xspurts and it was raw stuff from the hip.

    I had fun playing Roy and Neil Young stuff at clubs and pubs in various hot countries and my life has become enriched through musical friendships. Basingstoke has a vibrant musical scene these days and it's party time most weeks. My lodger books bands for the local nightbar Sanctuary and it's heavy heavy loud rock. And we have the annual Basingstoke Live weekend festy at the end of my road. And we musn't forget Nadeen [aka Pussycat Johnson] currently touring and Jack Tanner [aka Jimmy Page] of Hats off to Led Zeppelin cover band similarly.





    Recently, apart from seeing Roy and Nick on tour, I have managed to see Neil Young etc at IOW, Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III at The Anvil. Unfortunately missed John Martyn before he died but apparently his voice was incomprehensible.. also have never seen Michael Chapman live, or Al Stewart, or Moody Blues, ELP, Donovan, Crosbys..etc etc the list goes on...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Chapman_(singer) {Roy's mentioned]

    One of my all time favourite albums is Love by the Band called Love, and Roger Water's Radio Chaos. Even though I don't particularly like the bloke with his disrespect for Roy.Usually when an album hits you between the eyes you can totally relate to that time of your life when you were going through certain endurances.

    I think two of my most senior moments was Roy asking if I was Andrew Watterson and talking to him about that poem I'd found about stormcocks, and, drinking at the same bar with Loudon Wainwright and Elton John [before he came out btw] at the Brighton Pavillion. My biggest regret was missing sitting next to Jimmy Page all night at a tribute to Roy at some London cafe gig somewhere...

    Saw loads of bands at two Knebworth festivals including Zappa, Allman Bros, Doobie Bros, ELO but have never managed the Fairport Convention Cropedy one or even Glasto. Saw Dylan from about a mile away on a stage at Blackbush Common near Basingstoke..the fence had been torn down and we just walked in.

    When the Who filmed Tommy, I watched the whole of South Parade Pier burn down from the arc lamps setting fire to the old velvet curtains and some of my friends managed to get into the Kings Theatre to watch Elton John in those big boots. We were sitting in an Indian restaurant opposite and realised we were sitting next to Bernard Bresslaw himself surrounded by a bevy of beautiful blondes. Memories...


    "In 1974, director Ken Russell filmed the Pinball Wizard sequence of the rock opera Tommy at the theatre, featuring The Who and Elton John on the stage."


    Laters peeps....hailstones here!!








    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014

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