Rockbrat Wonders: Why Are People Dishonest About The First Album They Ever Bought?

Toni Basil dug it - and I bet your Mum did too!

It’s become like a rite of passage hasn’t it. You know the deal, all these reality / music quiz shows aimed at the baby boomer. The same baby boomer with the fat superannuation plan and the 3 houses and the guitar hero console and the Stevie Ray Vaughan signature guitar which he can’t play but sits neatly in his house’s listening lounge. With the TV camera in front of them, they are asked the obvious yet confronting question of ‘What Was The First Album You Ever Bought?’, They inevitably lie to get a positive audience response. So you get some hipster in his 60’s who if truth be known probably bought Brotherhood Of Man’s LP, Barry Manilow, Captain and Tennille or the New Seekers LP as his first LP, but he fibs and tells everyone he bought Raw Power or the Velvet Underground or something. Cool man. In the cred stakes, you now have it spades. He’s the same guy who didn’t see all the good bands of his generation cos he wasn’t into rock, but nowadays he tells everyone that he saw Bon Scott. Like some geezer who is of the age to have gone to Vietnam but didn’t, and says he did. The long since irrelevent NME (online only I suppose) recently ran the same article, and asked today’s so called pop stars the same question. The NME staff: The Associate editor bought U2’s Achtung Baby as his first record, the Editor bought a Pet Shop Boys LP (hip AND gay) one of the writers bought an Abba CD – as a 5 year old. I guess that scores points nowadays as Abba are hip – in my era they weren’t, they had great songs but certainly weren’t hip. The Senior Sub editor’s first album was by Depeche Mode (are you also getting an idea of the type of staff who run NME nowadays?) Another writer’s first album was 2 Unlimited’s ‘No Limits’ in 1993, at the ripe old age of 7! Jesus Christ. How is all this sh*t any better than Brotherhood of Man or The New Seekers? But wait. Some of the rockers on the staff start to fess up that their first albums were by the Pixies, the Cure, Nirvana and Mudhoney. That’s believable. A ten year old so in tune that they are buying Sub-Pop singles – import. Gimme a break. But hey –when you are a big important player in the fast becoming redundant music bizz in 2011, your resume has to have the right kinda cred – yet at the end of the day – does it really matter? Of course not – but to some people who thrive on the excess of today’s infotainment (with scant regard for quality) maybe it does. So of course you are wondering about my first records bought ? Well – having three older siblings into rock n roll certainly contributed to Mr. Rockbrat and my lifelong obsession with rock – but as we flicked through their records on the K-Tel record selector – it was clear that they also had very differing musical tastes. One was into Rod circa Atlantic Crossing (yet bizarrely didn’t haves any Faces LPs from memory). She regressed to such high calibre AOR dross as Hall& Oats and Phil Collins. The two other siblings served us better. One was into the Coop, Quatro etc – the other Sweet, Lou Reed, JPY, yet also Abba (what did I say earlier about Abba having good pop songs?) I don’t get the whole Abba gay thing by the way, and why they are seen as flamboyant pin ups for the gay crowd. Be that as it may – I’m pretty sure that the first album I ever bought was Racey’s – Smash and Grab in 1979. Hey – no booing from the back! Not very hip I must admit, but I dug the songs, and it shifted half a million worldwide – so I wasn’t the only culprit. What was not to like? With the band’s hits being either written and/or produced by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. Toni Basil’s big hit ‘Mickey’? Yep, a re recording of this albums ‘Kittie’. I recall buying many singles – as people did back then as they were affordable. I remember picking up singles by Queen – ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, Kiss’ Talk To Me, and Flowers – We Can Get Together. Mr. Rockbrat gave me LP’s of Cheap Trick’s Dream Police, Adam & The Ants Kings Of The Wild Frontier, and Devo’s mini live LP. Others I forget – I can’t remember how and where the heavy rock thing started. Maybe from KISS. Let me go on record here and say that Mr. Rockbrat was always into KISS, from 1979 onwards – and right though those lean years of the early 80s, he never wavered. In 1980 I remember him picking up the single of Billy Squire’s ode to Coppen, ‘The Stroke’, as well as UK punk popsters The Vapor’s ‘Turning Japanese’, Slade’s – Sladest LP and others I now forget. So I clearly owe Mr. Rockbrat for blinkering me up to heavy rock in 1981 or so and setting me straight. A couple of years later – it was nothing but Maiden, Kiss, Ozzy etc. So there, it’s out, but you know something ? Whenever I hear Racey on the radio, I draw a knowing wry smile and chuckle to myself. Yet who are you to laugh ? You don’t have any skeletons in your cupboard? Honestly? Stay tuned for the next episode where Cowboy Col reveals that in a blind stupor in 1983 he bought a Nik Kershaw album!

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