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When you were growing up where did you come across your fave stuff for the first time?


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Yesterday, flipping through several Festive 50 lists from the 80s- mid 90s I see that were it not for John Peel's show I'd have a much smaller CD collection, probably limited to what I saw on TOTP and Tiswas. So, out of vague interest, did you get most of your heads-up from JP, Tommy Vance, Tony Blackburn shows, the inkies or parents/siblings/mates?

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None of the above. I think my first exposure to the bands I liked all came from copied cassettes from friends. 

 

I never listened to the radio or watched TOTP. Most of the music they played did nothing for me. 

 

I'd say early MTV was the closest to a broadcast I could relate to, specifically Headbangers ball and Aerosmith on heavy rotation. 

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Way ahead the record shop in Derby for me. We used to spend an age in there and as they got to know you they would play you stuff that had come in that week. And rifling through the bargain bin brought up some obscure classics as well. The NME was also useful back in those days.

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Being a child of the 60s, I used to get Sounds and NME weekly.  Sounds became my go-to weekly and you kind of knew that if Geoff Barton wrote that it was decent, that was kind of OK with me.  That matter that most of the actual (demo/promo) copies he listened to or reviewed, ended up in a little bargain box at Record Scene in Staines, was neither here nor there.  You could say with pretty much 100% certainty that if it was in Sounds by the next week it would be in the bargain bin.  I never really felt that radio delivered enough of what I liked.

 

It was different times back then, probably more exciting to be honest (this isn't an old man shouts at cloud thing), the not knowing thing was 99% of the fun, rather than having everything delivered to you on a plate as it is now.  I would latch on to the smallest bits of editorial and that would be enough to ignite the spark.  Whereas in the mid-late 70s it was all about UK punk and what passed for north-American metal (Kiss/ Rush/Starz/Styx/Angel/Cheap Trick), just seeing a little paragraph about Jane's Addiction was enough for me to schlep up to London and get the Triple-X live album, same goes NIN, Living Colour etc..  I used to go to a great record shop about 100m from Hammersmith Odeon (Broadway Records?) that used to do loads of Japanese and US imports...you'd just go up there and browse.  

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Definitely John Peel but also shows like The Tube on C4 and then reading NME and Melody Maker, taking a punt, buying records based on reviews, regretting some and loving others. MTV was before my time 😉

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My mum's record collection gave me a decent start with Rainbow, Whitesnake, Saxon and Meat Loaf being firm favourites, then my uncool mates at school added the likes of Guns n' Roses, Skid Row, Metallica and Megadeth, and CDs on the front of magazines filled in stuff like Dokken, Helloween, Nightwish and Hammerfall.

 

We had a CD shop just down the road with a massive second hand section where I'd spend a lot of time flipping through the CD cases, filling in gaps in collections and picking up random stuff with cool covers. That added a fair bit to the mix but then everything started to head towards cheap CDs on Amazon and eventually streaming.

 

Radio didn't serve me very well at all, we never had satellite/cable TV, and the cool kids at school were obsessed with Foo Fighters, Green Day, Muse and Aerosmith (none of which I ever connected with) at the point where I was getting interested in playing guitar, so if it was left to those avenues of discovery who knows what I'd be listening to.

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Everywhere, I think. The kind of music I liked was hard to find on radio or TV, though I did stay up every Friday night until 4am to see Power Hour/Raw Power/Noisy Muthas, or whatever it ended up being called, with a finger hovering over the record button on the video in case anything good came on. Interviews, band names on t-shirts worn by bands I liked, thanks lists in album inlays, all good sources. I did buy some albums on the strength of the artwork and the label it was on, too. Then, of course, mates and copied tapes went a long way back in the day.

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I first discovered music-that-moved-me by watching films like Rock around the clock, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole as a kid... Quite liked a bit of glam rock, but didn't really get keen on music till punk; then I'd sit up at night with my finger over the record button on my mum's music centre, waiting for Peel to play something epic.

And after quite a short while, as punk grew more formulaic, I'd get much more excited by other esoterica that Peel played such as Monochrome Set, Gang of Four, Comsat Angels... As a result i used to save m dinner money from school and schhlepp up to Penny Lane records at lunchtime to buy the latest bizarre 7". And I'd sit watching TOTP with bated breath, just in case something interesting came on - which it very occasionally did!

Then I stumbled into funk and reggae; there was no radio or show that catered for that, so (having moved to Leeds) I spent hours sorting through the imports in Jumbo Records - that's how I found Trouble Funk, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and the Jonzun Crew (whose "Pack Jam" original Tommy Boy 12" single set me back over £6, when an LP was normally £3.49) - and passed many a night at either the Cosmo Club or 99 Blues to get into reggae...

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I am the youngest of 3 boys. My brothers were 9 & 10 years older than me.

I became aware and interested in what they were listening to when I was about 9-10 years old in about 1970-71. 
So I was influenced by their record collection and excited when they brought something new into the house. One was into rock and the other into choral music and lighter vocal pop.

So my introduction into music ranged from Cream, The Who, Hendrix, Free through to Bach, Manhattan Transfer, Helen Reddy & early Elton John. 
I still love all of the above.

After that, it was mates purchases as I didn’t listen to radio and only occasionally watched TOTPs (although Bowie performing Star Man had a huge impact on my musical and stylistic sensibilities). 
 

Watching Slade in Flame also massively influenced me and a mate to start a band.

Edited by oldslapper
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Top of The Pops, radio, newspaper’s and Smash Hits mainly, plus the inevitable loaning & swapping that groups of teenagers used to do.

Edited by Lozz196
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"Sounds" newspaper was where we found out about bands back in school but I think it was me going up to my mates house and hearing him play his big brothers Kiss records that turned me onto rock and metal. My tastes have developed over the years but I am always rocker at heart.

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When I was about 11 it was through my older brother's friends, who were into 70s/80s metal - which in turn led us to the Friday Rock Show, Kerrang! and the local record librarym where we'd swoon over the cool pictures in gatefold sleeves of live double albums.

 

Beyond that it was a case of hoping to catch odd snippets of singles from bands like Alice Cooper, Whitesnake or Kiss on things like America's Top 10, and a little later on came taping specialist rock and metal programmes like Raw Power.

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Early 70’s , NME and Melody Maker, listening to John Peel.

 

My best mates brothers were 5 and 10 years older, we got to listen to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack and John Mayalls Bluesbreakers.

 

My first album purchase was Jeff Beck - Truth.

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I didn't grow up in a house with music because my parents never played any. I do remember the first time that music got me though. My friend's older sister was blasting The Police in her room,  and eventually gave me her tape because I nagged her so much to play them every time I would visit! I was 8.

After that it was TOTP, then the music rags in my teens, record shops, followed by friend's tapes of the greats of the 60s and 70s while out getting stoned in cars.

Later on, Jazz found me when I had my guard down 😄

Edited by miles'tone
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Peel 

NME/Sounds

Who my friends were mentioning.

Got a lot of punk, post-punk and new wave that way.

 

Later moved on to checking out bands who my favorite bands mentioned, or who writers mentioned in context of favorites bands.... digging back I guess you could call it.

For example Velvet Underground, Beefheart.

 

It was only after I had finished growing up that I got into some stuff I 'hated' whilst growing up...... Folk, Soul, Blues, experimental and so on. 

 

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Mostly my friend Rich, who had the internet, and would download stuff onto compilation cds, and bring them round to mine. 😁

 

We were going to gigs most weeks in those days too, so you got to know loads of bands that way.

 

There were also the alternative clubs.

 

I didn't have the internet or even MTV until my 20s, and I didn't really figure out how narrow my tastes accordingly were until I discovered streaming much later in life.

 

Gen Z is growing up with access to basically all of the world's music whenever they want for free (or at least for very little if they don't want to break the law), which is amazing in a way, but also scary to people for whom discovering cool bands was like a badge of honour.

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My cousin Stuart. I was 12 and he was 16. I went round to his place one day and he put a record on their state of the art Hi Fi. He said 'Never mind The Monkees, this is what you shoul be listening to'.

 

I heard this amazing, heavy sound. I'd never heard anything like it before. I thought 'Yes! This is my music!'. 

 

It was Whole Lotta Love by Led Zep. 

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Surprised that I haven’t seen any mention yet of The Old Grey Whistle Test? This was crucial for me in the early / mid 70’s to discover a lot of the music that didn’t get much radio play. Also other things on TV like ‘In Concert’, The Tube and ‘The Geordie Scene’ which I always tried to watch. Most of these featured live bands ( although some of the early OGWT were part mimed) and made me realise who could do it and who couldn’t! 

Radio wise it was mainly Radio 1 for chart stuff, and before that some of the pirate stations - Radio Caroline and Radio 270 which was moored off the east coast not far from here.

 

As mentioned by others, the music press was very important for me too, mainly Melody Maker and NME ( before it got a bit daft anyway). Melody Maker had the added bonus of the brilliant classifieds section with pages of of music shop adverts as well as all the ‘musicians wanted’ columns. Sounds was okay but I gave up when it went too rawk.

When I was 18 I got a job in a large record store, and that widened my musical tastes beyond belief. The manager was very knowledgeable about soul music in particular, and through him I got into a whole new world of stuff. It was also around the time of the birth of punk and I learned so much about that too. We also got tickets to see gigs for hundreds of gigs, so I took advantage and went to see anyone who remotely interested me. Great times.

Edited by casapete
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