Music and Weather
I came of age in the 1970s and 80s. When it came to music, I lived in classic rock heaven, so I did not really know any better. I had a few crumbs that would shape my tastes and lead me to learn that there was so much more interesting music out there.
My favorites, as a teenager, were The Beatles, Duran Duran, The GoGos (not The Bangles), The Police, Men at Work (yes, really), Billy Joel, The Doors, Simon & Garfunkel, CSNY, James Taylor, John Cougar (pre-Mellencamp).
I loved to listen to “Saturday Night Oldies,” on my local radio station (that is a comment on how exciting my Saturday nights were). It provided a great musical education of 1950s and 60s rock and roll. I think that helped sustain me through the wasteland of hair and heavy metal and future classic rock greats. Thanks to that radio show, I can sing along with Leslie Gore, the Kinks, Sonny & Cher, Gene Chandler’s “The Duke of Earl,” Gene Vincent’s “Be-bop-a-lula,” and Johnny Horton’s “The Battle of New Orleans.”
On the cusp of the 80s, I heard the heralds of New Wave collection, K-Tel “Rock 80,” and thankfully, it stuck with me: Blondie, M, Gary Numan, Joe Jackson. Unfortunately, I did not have the drive to search for more. I even had a pen pal from Liverpool, but that was short-lived. How different things could have been if I had traveled to England, New York City, even Boston?
So, what did I miss out on? If I had to do it again, who would have appeared on my formative soundtrack? Here is a respectable, but by no means comprehensive, list:
Echo & the Bunnymen
Julian Cope/Teardrop Explodes
New York Dolls
Siouxie and the Banshees
Sisters of Mercy
Pet Shop Boys