Saturday, November 5, 2011

'interior music'...

Like most teenagers in the 70's the radio played a significant part in forming my musical tastes...but it was more from a romantic perspective...Saturday was request night on 4MK Mackay...the small North Queensland town where I grew could write in to the radio station and request a song for family or friends...but more interestingly to your teenage sweetheart...who often was oblivious to the existence of any such relationship....the song choice had to come from the top 40 chart which was available at one of the record shops in town...your choices had to be in by 5pm Friday so part of school class time on Fridays was taken up with choosing songs and writing a cryptic note to girls who were always very good at acting as though you didn't exist...we had something of a gang thing happening even at the age of thirteen...each of our bicycles had been modified with extended forks and high handle bars...smaller wheels on the back completed the 'Easy Rider' look...we were all too young to see the movie but the poster was enough to convince us that this was the look and the moment on the streets of almost every Friday after school we would drop off our requests to the radio station... I remember finding it difficult to choose the right songs... I didn't connect with a lot of the pop songs they played on the the youngest of five my two older brothers had a significant influence on the music I would connected with ... there was a ten year gap between myself and my older brother...his acoustic guitar was the first instrument in our house... others were quickly electric guitar, a saxophone, a harmonica, a clarinet, a banjo, an organ...each of my two sisters soon taught themselves to play the guitar and organ...each of us picked some musical influence from the other... my brother joined a mail order record club that seem to supply our home with new sounds on a fortnightly basis...but the most influential time was when he would return home from his university years...from the age of nine the words and music of Dylan and Cohen were a constant presence in our home...there were other voices of course but these went deeper... like all creative influences often we are too young to fully comprehend the meaning of such experiences...but even at that age I felt as if what i was hearing was far deeper than Saturday night radio requests ...something that I could never articulate to any of my friends...playing music was a ritual in our home...often it provided a bond at extended family gatherings as a guitar would be passed around into the early morning hours...but there was also the quiet almost covert moments of a singing voice and slow guitar sound barely audible behind a bedroom door that provided a sense of ritual that transcended all exterior existence...sp


  1. beautiful recollection. mostly, i like: too young to fully comprehend the meaning of the experience (that you) could never articulate to your friends. this sounds exactly right. this is my experience, too. words couldn't get me there, maybe images. thanks for this.

  2. Dylan & Cohen raspy voices are still going strong in our house. Your memories are sweet. James Taylor was another voice I listened to in the quiet of my dark bedroom late at night.