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sparquelito

How much of it is in the music?

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…and how much of it involves the time and the place where we experienced that music?

Author's note:
This is a lengthy thread.
Skip to some other thread if you have a short attention-span.
Thanks.


Okay.
I’m a big music fan.
I’m a musician.
I love making music.
I appreciate good music.

But I have to stop and think, every now and then, about that music which appeals to this person over here versus that which appeals to that person over there.

And I’m not talking about whether somebody appreciates Classic Country music but hates Rap and Hip-Hop. Or why millions of people love Classic Rock, but can’t stand Classical music.
There are cultural and sociological implications there that I can’t even begin to get into.

I wish to focus the discussion on that music that was important to us during our formative years (age 13 thru 19) and how that later informs that which we prefer now and to this day.

And lets set aside the formulamatic, computer-programmed crap that is on pop music radio and pop country music radio today. It’s shiit, and not worthy of discussion.

Look, rather, to the music that your peers and contemporaries love and enjoy to this day, and compare it to that which you love and enjoy.

Many guys and gals you grew up with, and went to school with, absolutely love Marvin Gaye, Leo Sayer, and Crystal Gayle, but don’t have any use for anything by Yes, King Crimson, or Jethro Tull.

Some contemporaries of yours, legitimate guitar players, love the music of Steve Vai, but can’t stand the recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The question I’m asking is, “does that music which we experienced during our teen years color our tastes and preferences many years later?”

I myself grew up on the music radio of early 1960’s classic country and mid-1970’s classic rock.
And to this day, I find myself enjoying listening to many, many recordings from those days, and finding some palatable and enjoyable, and others completely unlistenable. Those bands and acts that I grew up listening to that is.

And I wonder, “If it went by me back then, and I wasn’t into it back in those days, is it automatically out of the pool now?”

Examples;

Nobody I ever knew, at any point in my life, listened to or got into The Grateful Dead.
I was aware of them, of course.
But I couldn’t name a single Grateful Dead song if you held a gun against my head.
And I still can’t.
I just never experienced their music, back in the day.

And to this day, try as I might, I can’t get into The Grateful Dead.
And I have listened to many, many hours of them on youTube and other internet sites.
I just find the music bland, uninspiring, and utterly without any hook.

And that’s not fair.

KISS.
In my teen years, and when I was in a garage band in the mid-1970’s, those outrageous assholes were really important to me and my band-mates. They were like comic-book heroes. We played Strutter on the opening song of my very first live gig, and 45+ years later, my current band still plays that song at least once per gig.

I understand how much schlock and show-biz and nonsense went into their early recording efforts, and how much politics and personalities and drugs & alcohol played in their eventual demise and reformations.

But they just made music.
And I should listen to ‘unreleased rough tracks’ of both KISS and The Grateful Dead with equal interest, right?

But I don’t, and that’s not fair.

Does the fact that I was an impressionable teenager at a time when good-smelling girls were hanging around and listening to me and my friends when we played KISS and Bad Company and Peter Frampton in Danny’s father’s garage figure into the equation?

And I never experienced smoking dope while driving around with friends while listening to The Grateful Dead, and getting laid with awesome, nubile, hippie-chick Dead-Head girls. That never, ever happened for me.

If I did experience such a thing, would I be a fan of The Dead to this day?

Your thoughts, please, and please also refrain from specific criticism of/or adulation showered on either KISS or The Grateful Dead. Those were just the most visceral examples from which I might draw for this discussion. They don’t really matter.

How was it for you, and how is it for you to this day?

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful consideration to the questions at hand.

😐


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Edited by sparquelito
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time and place definitely made an impression.  I was a big ACDC fan, but in my +50 yrs don't find myself wanting to put them on, but I have found myself trying to acoustify some of there stuff.  i could ramble on, but will leave it at that.  Well maybe a little more -   George Thouroghgood reminds me of good times back in the day, and I love riffing out to 'bad to the bone'.  But that's not the only stuff i listen to and try and do, but it is the stuff that makes me smile with memories, but there's lots of stuff i did not listen to then and love now,  ramble

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Teen years?  Coitanly it does.

Back then it was Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Beatles, Stones, Johnny Winter, T. Rex, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Blue Oyster Cult, Frank Zappa, all sorts of stuff that I still listen to.

I'm with you on the Dead and had a couple of Deadhead girlfriends.  They just noodle away and it doesn't go anywhere that I could see but each to their own.

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Yes and no...

Im a teen of the 80s so  when I did get in to rock it was AC/DC (thunderstruck), Metallica and Guns N Roses... Those bands I still listen to selectively. Metallica only the Black album and before and AC/DC I generally listen to the Bon Scott era more than anything (Powerage is still awesome) .. GnR is something I listen to very occasionally but thats always mainly been about Slash and Izzy for me...

BUT at that time I was also listening to Skid Row, Motley Crew etc..  Never listen to that any more.. My first ever gig was Skid Row  🙂  I guess at the time I was young and probably angry at something and wanted music that mirrored my moods or whatever..  and there was plenty of it back then.

There probably were a few more generic hair bands but I cant really think of them now.. Ohhh W.A.S.P.  anyone know or remember them?

It was only a few years after I got into the 60s/70s stuff and Blues etc..  Which is my favourite, But I still like the odd mosh out now and then  😄

Edited by Rabs
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At 13 to 20 it was the Ventures, Black Oak Arkansas, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, the Animals, Bread. Mostly the Ventures though.  In my 60's it's been,  Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Eagles,  Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, Santana, Guess Who, Beatles, and more. Still Love the Ventures. Willie Nelson's stuff is the only country music I play. 

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I think I was 9 when I built a crystal radio and started listening to whatever I could find on it through an earphone all night long. I started banging on an upright piano a few years before that. I was able to read music before I got my first guitar at 12. Listening to every thing in the 60's played on KFWB like, surf, rock, r&b and pop. When I started playing with friends we played very simple songs leaning towards rock. At 14 I joined a band playing bass and eventually playing Stones, Animals, McCoys, Seeds, Turtles, Yardbirds and so on.. Living in Laurel Canyon at 16 I joined a blues band playing bass then switched to rhythm guitar. Went into the Army a year later and learned to play lead from some southern boys. later after absorbing Cream, Hendrix and Led Zeppelin my foundation was formed to play progressive rock fusion and throw in some ZZ Top once in a while.. Having evolved to prefer improv and anything I can remember how to play, or learn by accident..

Edited by mihcmac
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I'd say quite a bit, but only to an extent.

My first and greatest love (at the risk of repetition - go Rabs and Fester!) was AC/DC, especially TNT to Powerage but up to Flick of the Switch....so to me Rock was Guitar/Bass/Drums/Vocals with pentatonic based solos and overdriven guitars and big rhythm section. so....that meant some other bands I generally liked (Motorhead, early Iron Maiden, Skynyrd and many Aussie pub/hard rock bands), others it depended more on the album (Led Zep, GnR, Metallica, Neil Young, ZZ Top, KISS, Floyd, Sabbath, TRex...) and some almost depended on the song (Doors, Rainbow, Nick Cave, Thorogood, Jimi, Beefheart, Ted and many others)...but all in some basic relation to AC/DC'ness.

Then grunge came along and that also hit the spot, probably more at the album song level but definitely in live concert - interesting take on hard rock - love it! 

Nowadays, I mainly listen to live recordings of the above, and many more, rather than albums - I think that's much more so since I started playing live myself starting at 43 yo. But I also listen to heaps of classical, jazz and middle eastern/Maghreb/West Asian instrumental stuff - mainly as background music rather than caring about who composed it or how it is played - its nice to listen passively.

The songs I write would be maybe be considered grunge'ish...definitely influenced by Dinosaur Jr, Pearl Jam and so on, but they still have just a hint of AC/DC about them and lend themselves to our lead stunt guitarist often delving into the pentatonic despite his shredding leanings and capability  😁...so the inner 12 year old dies hard I guess.

Edited by 'Scales
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Great subject; but its wide & deep.

Yes, I constantly measure my taste in music now against what it was when I was 16. Some of it has not changed. Most of it has.

For example. I recall as a teenager asking to listen to Dr. Johns Gris-Gris album in a record store. I heard side one in a booth there. I was just curious about it. But I didn’t get it or like it. I couldn’t take the voice or the girlie choir arrangements. 50 years later I have all Dr. John’s albums.

At 16 (1970) my favourite bands were King Crimson & Pink Floyd. I loved Ummagumma, Saucerful of Secrets, Court of the Crimson King and Lizard. I managed to get to see both Crimson & Floyd live back then too. I don’t listen to Floyd or Crimson anymore.

I was trying to learn guitar too, so guitar focused rock was becoming important. I already liked Jethro Tull, but I also was getting into Taste, Blodwyn Pig and Spirit. I don’t listen to Tull anymore. I rarely listen to Rory (Taste) or Mick (Blodwyn). But I still love Spirit.

TODAY: My favourite artists are Los Lobos, Ry Cooder, Widespread Panic & God Street Wine. I know without doubt that at 16 I would have not much liked these and would have certainly hated Ry. It took me many years to fully appreciate Ry Cooder. I liked little bits and pieces of what he did, but a vast part of his output eluded me. That’s an important thing. I have now caught up.

Back to being 16. I listened to music actively. If I didn’t understand any music, I saw it as a challenge. Somehow I just knew there was value in certain music that I just ‘didn’t get’. I would deliberately expose myself to more or that music and try to be open to it.

That’s how I got into Ry, That’s how I got into Bert Jansch, Miles Davis, JS Bach, Grateful Dead and Mothers of Invention. I had to work at it to appreciate it. It was  not only worth it, but looking back, essential.

There was other music I investigated that were dead ends. I bought albums and went to shows but ultimately dropped like hot bricks and never looked back. These were Black Sabbath, Iron Butterfly, T2, Elton John, BOC, Camel and Curved Air.

Later, certain artists I would take one listen to, and think, ok I get it but… no thanks. These would include most ‘theatrical’ artists and many heavy bands. So I have zero interest in Metalica, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, KISS or Aerosmith. Heard it all before.

The music that has remained constant from then until now is JS Bach, Dvorak, John Coltrane, Bert Jansch, Grateful Dead, Spirit, Charles Mingus and a few more.

The pleasure I used to have looking forward to a new LP by Pink Floyd, Rory Gallagher, Hendrix, Pentangle or Traffic is still something I miss. They were exciting times.

BTW, I know many here are great fans or some artists I have dismissed. Its not intended as a challenge. Its merely a difference in taste, and there’s no accounting for that.

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I got into bands harder between 12-25 or so. Every now and then I'll stumble onto something I really get into nowadays, but nowhere near as often. Part of it is formative years and part of it is I just don't have as much free time as a supposed adult.

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I have to confess,  I only read half-way through the OP.   I've felt most people, myself included,  developed their appreciation (love if your lucky) for music in their 'formative years.   You start out with basic simple nursery rhyme types. Then old, traditional ballads like 'You Are My Sunshine".   But the epiphany occurs in your teens when you are exposed to 'popular music'.  And whatever is current - molds your taste.  Frank Sinatra,  Elvis,  Beatles,  etc.    I shudder to think there are millions of people who think Rap is music.  

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Well I certainly think the time and the environment shape what you like, and that things we found appealing in our early years tend to stick with us.  I started out playing clarinet in the 4th grade so I guess I was about 10.  Of course I wasn't very accomplished at it, but listened to Benny Goodman and some other big band stuff.  It was considered jazz I think, but it was arrangements of songs - not free form experimental stuff.  It always had a hook.  The first record I ever bought was about '61 or so and it was a pop hit from Elvis.

In '62 my Dad was transferred to Bruxelles and I listened to the BBC.  Every Saturday morning they would play the top 50 hits so I heard a lot of Beatles, Stones, Cliff Richards and The Shadows, and the Mersey Beat bands - again short pop tunes with a hook.  That's when I bought my first guitar and started trying to learn to play.  One note leads from the Ventures and Shadows were something I could play by ear.  Moved back to the US in '65 and of course the Beatles were all the rage, but I had sort of already "been there done that" so wasn't that interested.  Due to my limited guitar skills I played some folk music (bought my first 12 string) Dylan, Byrds versions etc.  It wasn't that I loved that music so much, but I enjoyed playing something people could recognize.  Also got into Beach Boys and Glen Campbell.  Vocals and harmony became very important to me.

By '68 I was starting college and got more into blues based rock (Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, Alvin Lee) and a little heavier stuff (pop was not cool at that time).  But I recognized that a lot of that music was based on things that were from a lot older music.

So yes I believe we are heavily influenced by what we enjoyed in our early years.  And while there is no accounting for what one person may like and another not enjoy I have found that audiences generally will appreciate anything that is well performed.  It has to be tight, organized, balanced, hopefully have some vocal harmony and not be more than about 3 to 3.5 minutes long.  If you get too far off those tracks they will loose interest quickly.

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3 hours ago, Karloff said:

Alex+lifesons+acceptance+speech+alex+lifeson+of+rush+makes+the_efb2b0_4920268.jpg

Sounds just like my wife before the new Hearing Aids, Lol.

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Your tastes change and you learn what's good and what isn't.

What hasn't really changed for me is what I am looking for in all the music I listen to. 

And I can't put that into words.

 

But God bless Jimi Hendrix who changed my life and who died 50 years ago today.

 

Edited by jdgm
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6 hours ago, jdgm said:

Your tastes change and you learn what's good and what isn't.

What hasn't really changed for me is what I am looking for in all the music I listen to. 

And I can't put that into words.

 

But God bless Jimi Hendrix who changed my life and who died 50 years ago today.

 

He was very young when he went.  Wish I could play his Star Spangled Banner. 

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On 9/18/2020 at 5:36 PM, Retired said:

He was very young when he went.  Wish I could play his Star Spangled Banner. 

I don't think he would mind if you tried..

 

This raw unpolished version from Woodstock has always been my favorite.

Edited by mihcmac

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5 hours ago, mihcmac said:

I don't think he would mind if you tried..

 

This raw unpolished version from Woodstock has always been my favorite.

Yeah, I don't think he even rehearsed that? Didn't he just play it at the spur of the moment all doped up?  I heard a video  of a guy playing it way back a decade ago or more and although he was good, he wasn't as good as Jimi. 

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The Grateful Dead were an in the moment band. The live show was the event. Their albums are just things that had to do due to having a contract with WB, then their own label and Arista.  They only have a few studio albums I listen to and usually when I am listening to them its live stuff.  I found a few shows I was at on YT.

This was the second to last show on Saturday night I saw before I joined The Navy. I went the next night too, and the first night. This was probably my 10th show.

 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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15 hours ago, Retired said:

Yeah, I don't think he even rehearsed that? Didn't he just play it at the spur of the moment all doped up?  I heard a video  of a guy playing it way back a decade ago or more and although he was good, he wasn't as good as Jimi. 

Yep, probably something that pieces appeared  while he was jamming on the sofa smoking a fat one.

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14 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

The Grateful Dead were an in the moment band. The live show was the event. Their albums are just things that had to do due to having a contract with WB, then their own label and Arista.  They only have a few studio albums I listen to and usually when I am listening to them its live stuff.  I found a few shows I was at on YT.

This was the second to last show on Saturday night I saw before I joined The Navy. I went the next night too, and the first night. This was probably my 10th show.

 

 

I'll watch this fully later. Thanks.

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On 9/21/2020 at 3:12 AM, Retired said:

Yeah, I don't think he even rehearsed that? Didn't he just play it at the spur of the moment all doped up?  I heard a video  of a guy playing it way back a decade ago or more and although he was good, he wasn't as good as Jimi. 

 

He played it at gigs during 1969;  there are a few live versions and a studio one (first released on "Rainbow Bridge")  recorded in March 1969.   Woodstock is by far the best version.

When he played the Isle of Wight festival at the end of August 1970 he started with a very rough version of "God Save The Queen" (same tune as "My Country 'Tis Of Thee").  The original video shows him asking someone how it goes, immediately before he walks on stage!

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14 hours ago, jdgm said:

 

He played it at gigs during 1969;  there are a few live versions and a studio one (first released on "Rainbow Bridge")  recorded in March 1969.   Woodstock is by far the best version.

When he played the Isle of Wight festival at the end of August 1970 he started with a very rough version of "God Save The Queen" (same tune as "My Country 'Tis Of Thee").  The original video shows him asking someone how it goes, immediately before he walks on stage!

Thanks, Yeah, I didn't know all that. The Wood Stock one is the only one I heard him do. 

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There's no rhyme or reason with me. Some songs or artists that I might have considered my favorite as a young kid or teenager, but I don't actively listen to now. If I happen to hear it playing somewhere I still enjoy it for the nostalgia. That's why I love hearing almost any pop music from the 70s. It might not be music I would call my favorite, but it just reminds me of being a young kid and hearing these songs while riding in the car, radio at home, playing in public etc.  As I became a teen in the 80s, I ignored a lot the music that was popular. But again, now I kind of enjoy hearing those cheesy MTV era songs.  

There are some bands/artists I didn't care for when I was a teen, I've grown to appreciate later. The Beatles, The Police and Steely Dan would be a few examples of that.

So to try and answer the OP,  I don't think the music I listened to in my formative years totally informs my taste today. It's mostly just a nostalgia thing.    

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, saturn said:

 

So to try and answer the OP,  I don't think the music I listened to in my formative years totally informs my taste today. It's mostly just a nostalgia thing.    

 

 

 

 

That pretty much goes for me too. I'm older than you, so for me its the 60's.

Having said that, we often overlook that there was still a lot of dire music amongst all the great stuff at that time. Eg: Adam Faith, Russ Conway, Pat Boone etc. that stuff still makes me shiver

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