Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How It All Began

My love affair with music began at a very early age – 5 years old to be exact. It’s because of my parents that I love music as much as I do. My father amassed a vinyl record collection of more than 1500 albums and my mother played the radio constantly. She also had her favorite bands and performers and she exposed me to one in particular very early on – Bob Seger.

Mom owned a copy of Night Moves on 8-track and she had played it for me once or twice while we sat around listening, making dinner, or doing whatever. When I first heard this delicious melodic folk rock, I fell in love. Rock and Roll Never Forgets was an awesome rocker, and as a kid, I could run around “dancing” and being silly and it was enjoyed by everyone.

There was something about these songs, something about the band, the singer, and the music. The way everything blended creating a feeling of euphoria was an amazing experience, especially to an impressionable young boy.

Night Moves became my new addiction. At first, I would ask Mom to play it if we were out in the car, or if we were home in the evening with no one watching television. Then I would ask her to play it in the afternoon before I went to school (afternoon kindergarten for me). Then I would ask her to play it in the morning when she woke up. Eventually, I would knock on her door and ask to play it myself (I already knew how to use the 8-track player from watching Mom put it in so many times). When she requested I watch Sesame Street, I scoffed at her notions, opting to hear some good ol rock and roll. I would persist that I wanted to listen to Bob Seger, not watch Big Bird. Mom would usually lament (there’s something to be said for bothering your parents at 6 in the morning) and I would pop Night Moves into the old 8-track stereo and let her rip.

Eventually, my mother grew tired of listening to Bob Seger’s Night Moves. I think that after hearing it so much, she wanted to hear it no more. I have no proof of what happened next, but I have a good idea, now that I am much older, what the real deal was back then.

We brought Bob on a road trip to my grandparents one weekend (we were bringing Bob everywhere at that point) and I was dropped off along with my sister to stay for a couple of days. Well, somehow, Bob got left on the back seat of the car in the hot, hot sun. Now, I’m not saying it was intentional, but I know that Mom was beyond sick of hearing that album day after day after day. Little kids are so obsessive, aren’t they?

Anyway, when I got into the car that Sunday for the ride home, I asked for Bob once again, only to be told that the 8-track was warped. Warped? How did this happen? Overexposure to the sun. How could this be allowed? Where was my Bob? Needless to say, Mom didn’t offer getting a replacement, and I didn’t ask, not being well versed in the availability of music at the store where my mother worked.

Thus ended my intensive affair with Night Moves. It would only be a matter of time before my new obsession would strike, which ended up being Billy Joel’s The Stranger, but for that moment on that Sunday evening, I was in mourning. Night Moves had been laid to rest.

I now own my own copy of Night Moves, on CD no less, and yes, I listen to it often. I actually own quite a bit of Bob Seger, and I enjoy his music immensely. I think my mother still cringes when she hears the opening notes to Rock and Roll Never Forgets, but she won’t admit that anything’s wrong.
Most importantly is the impact that the exposure to rock music had on me at such a young age. Had I not been exposed to Bob Seger, and Billy Joel after him, would I be as in love with music as I am today? It’s hard to say for sure, but I know that the early life experiences certainly didn’t hurt in shaping my deep passion for the rock world.

What about you? How did your love affair with music begin? What was the first band or performer that you were heavily exposed to?

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