|Music from the dawn of my time|
Records that were in the house when I was a little
tacker were mainly brought in by my mother. It was a small three bed roomed
house with two adults and six kids in it. If you put a record on, everybody
had to listen to it. The record player was a small portable job that looked
like a cute, tan small suit case. The Kingston trios' "Tom Dooley"
was a regular, as was "Maria Elena" by a couple of Indians from
South America called "Los Indios Tabajaras". (The liner notes
told of how these two primitive s had found a couple of guitars in the
forest and learned how to play them). There was a couple of Roy Orbison
albums, a Buddy Holly as well as some Elvis Presley. ("Blue Hawaii"
was the one I remember most). There was also the soundtrack to the movie
"Bye Bye Birdie" .
By far the scariest and most evocative record in
the collection I can remember from that time was "Tell Laura I love
her!" , the singer's name escapes me. It was a two sided concept
LP , a man and a woman. The woman's name was Skeeter Davis. The song was
a big ballad and involved a car crash a la the Shangri Las. The story
was told from the two perspectives. I think hers was "tell Johnny,
I miss him". This ,coupled with the very Catholic nature of my extended
family with all the stories of death, guilt, self sacrifice, saints, sinners
and persecution, must have given me a lot to think about.
|Every January Uncle Pat would come to stay for a couple of weeks from Adelaide. He was a very quiet man ( in the process of going deaf, time would reveal) who worked as a carpenter. He smoked a pipe and wore a watch with a brown leather casing over the face . He could knock up things as well as fix them which seemed quite impressive. He also brought a guitar with him and would play a few songs if nagged long enough. He fingerpicked a nylon string folk guitar and sang in a gentle voice like Pete Seeger.|
Later on the record collection grew as it was added
to by my brothers and sisters. A double EP of the Beatles "Magical
Mystery tour" was very impressive, especially when the "Paul
is dead" story was broken on the radio and all there records were
seen to have secret messages alluding to the fact that Paul had popped
his cork at some stage and the hoax was on us all. ("Fool on the
hill" was the one that cracked the mystery on this EP). When "Abbey
Road" Came out, LPs were about $5.00 and my brother Phil and a few
mates went shares in a copy as none could afford it outright. My cousin
Gary and his brother Mussy came over holding a record by the Who one day.
Gary and Muss were surfers and wore cool casual clothes. The Who seemed
to be wearing the same sort of gear on their record cover. (It was a pre
Tommy and "who's next record). They were all going off to listen
to it and I tagged along for a while but they told me to stay home.
pic tony mahony
|Around this time a "head"
fashion shop opened in the main street. It was called "Cumquat"
(influenced by the Beatles "Apple" I guess). The people who worked
in there looked very glamorous and freaky. They had a small stack of records
in there and I would stop and look at them every once in a while. Lots of
Frank Zappa discs, the Woodstock album , Led Zeppelin, Cream and the Quicksilver
Messenger Service. The only other place to buy records from was a small
shop that mainly sold electrical goods.
My sister had a particularly evil picture of Led Zeppelin from their first album period on her bedroom wall.
I guess after this period I started to get a hang on things myelf but you take a lot in when you're a kid. Music was always a bit of a mystery to me and I was drawn to all the dark glamour of it.