Saturday, January 14, 2017

Early Music that Influenced Me

I saw this “ten albums that have stayed with me or influenced me as a young person” thing going around facebook. It’s interesting . My situation growing up seems a little different from most. The only music in our house was some country & western and the music on Lawrence Welk. My father did not approve of rock and roll. He called it “Duck Quacking” music. The first time I ever heard a rock song was on the radio in the truck while my brother was driving.  It was Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells. It was a revelation.

We also didn’t own a record player while I was growing up so the idea of personally owning music was completely foreign to me. I didn’t have a turntable until I went to college. My brother-in-law had one and I did hear him play “Light my Fire” by the Doors once.  I liked it a lot. The first music I actually bought was as a Junior or Senior in high school when I had an 8-track tape player in my car.  It was Deep Purple, “Shades of Deep Purple.” I loved “Hush.” I played the tape 4 or 5 times before the machine ate it.

This means that most of the albums that really affected me didn’t come into my hands until college. But here they are, generally in the order of influence. And by influence I mean those that have remained with me over the years and have influenced my writing and all future musical interests.

1. We Sold Our Souls for Rock and Roll, Black Sabbath, double album.
2. Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin
3. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.
4. Tres Hombres, Z. Z. Top
5. Rocks, Aerosmith
6. Boston, Boston
7. Leftoverture, Kansas
8. Welcome to My Nightmare, Alice Cooper
9. Straight Shooter, Bad Company
10. Stormbringer, Deep Purple


Cloudia said...

A worthy list, Man.
Thanks for sharing more of your back story, Charles

sage said...

I am finding myself wondering about my own list--Led Zeppelin 1 would be on it as well as Pink Floyd's "Wishing You Were Here." There'd be at least an album by Yes, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, the Beatles (all which came out before I was a teenager but I felt the influence later)

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, that's a fine list of albums that influenced you. Frankly, I never thought of music influencing writing but now I can see it, like verse influencing prose, maybe. I listened to songs more than entire albums.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Boston was definitely an early influence for me. So was Kansas. Both early prog bands.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We share somethings but novels and music is not one of them. This looks like my brother's list though.

Rick Robinson said...

Patti Abbot did a thing on her blog about albums we loved at 16, so for me the list was very different, as all of yours came along much later. I had first albums by the Stones and Beatles, some Motown, Beach Boys, some jazz, which I was already listening to in high school. The heavier stuff was much later, like Hendrix, Cream, Bad Company, Black Sabbath, etc.

Oscar Case said...

Can't say that music has influenced my writing, but what do I know. Leftoverture, Kansas, sounds pretty ominous.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, you should do this

Sage, other than hearing Light my fire when my brother in law played it, I had very little exposure to the Doors until much later. I liked them but they weren't so influential on me.

Prashant, Black Sabbath would be the biggest influence on my writing. Some of these also just influenced my outlook on life, I guess.

Alex, Boston's Smokin' was a favorite song of one my high school girlfriends so that probably helped me appreciate it.

Patti, I seem to have an ear for the heavy stuff. I always liked that the best.

Richard, I bet my tastes would have been similar if I'd heard any of that stuff as a kid. By the time I actually got to hear rock and roll, zz top and aerosmith were already there.

Oscar, some of it was. It had some really beautiful music on it.

the walking man said...

Charles your youth is showing. My influences started a wee bit earlier. In no specific order.

The Who--
The Beatles--
The Doors--
Janis Joplin--
Bach--not BTO
Woody Guthrie--
Joni Mitchel--first 5 albums
A raft of Delta Bluesmen--
Pete Seeger

There are a mess more. Listening to music was the great escape and I rarely didn't have something playing while not in school.

Jenny Baranick said...

Duck quacking! That's so funny. Thank god for college.

G. B. Miller said...

Great list.

I would love to say that I have a bunch of rock albums that influenced me, but sadly, what I'd listened to while growing up would make your skin crawl and run away in fear. So what really influenced me was more genre related than individual related, and even that really didn't take root until I was well into my 30's.

Erik Donald France said...

Ja! Every one of these is burned inside my skull.

Boston is a funny one: when I worked at a carnival briefly one summer, the speaker across from my booth played it over . . . and over . . . and over . . . so that one is doubly seared inside of my skull.

I have two older sisters and they also played the Doors. I raided their stuff mercilessly.

Snowbrush said...

I enjoyed this post, Charles, but I take from it that music was more important to you than it was to me because while I greatly enjoyed a lot of songs, I wouldn’t say that they influenced my life the way they did yours. I got my first record player when I was maybe four or five. When the lid was down, it looked a bit like a small suitcase. It had come with several brightly colored forty-fives (the only one I can remember was “Old Dan Tucker”), and I don’t know that I ever added to the inventory. Later, I used my mother’s record player (my father never had any interest in music so far as I know, and my mother never had any great interest in music). Most of the records she had were old seventy-eights, and I got a kick out of how fast they would spin. One day when I was around eleven or so, I went to Woolworths and selected an album that had mountains on the cover. The clerk said that the record wasn't what I thought it was (she assumed I thought it was cowboy songs), but she was wrong because while I knew nothing about the music on the album, I knew it was classical, and I wanted to find out what classical sounded like.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. "My father did not approve of rock and roll. He called it “Duck Quacking” music."

I remember a lot of preachers saying in complete seriousness that it was inspired by Satan as was the way people danced to it. By the way, I have memories of watching Lawrence Welk with my mother. She never missed it, and I liked it well enough, but the pretty girls were its strongest selling point for me, but I have no thought that she would have realized it.