I don’t remember much of the music played when I was a kid, before my parents got divorced. I’m not sure if that’s because not much was played, or I just don’t remember it. My mom used to listen to a record (yeah, records) when she cleaned the house, and that’s the only thing I really remember from then. It was usually Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton, or another, which I’m thinking was Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
That was mom’s music. Dad’s was more classic rock/rock n roll. He listened to WEBN, which was the local rock station. We have a few now including WEBN, but back then that was it. And they only had great stuff to play because up until then, the mid ’80s, rock was doing pretty well.
One of my dad’s favorite things to do was drive around, and he’d almost always take me with him. We would drive way out into the country, all over, for hours, just listening to music, and it was always rock with him. That’s when I learned who Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and all the other greats were. The first song I ever learned the lyrics to was when I was out driving around with dad, and it was a Doors song.
Because I had to drive around with mom a lot, I had to also listen to country, usually B-105, one of the local country stations. I didn’t mind it, because country back then was pretty good too. As I got older I drifted more away from country and towards rock, and that had to do with my parents divorcing and me living with my dad.
He was a garbage man and always brought home things that were still awesome, like big screen TVs and such. He usually picked up in nice neighborhoods where they would get rid of stuff if it were just slightly new because they got a brand new one.
One day he came home with a cassette of AC/DC’s High Voltage album and was listening to it loudly out of a little radio/cassette player while he cut the back yard. I went back there for whatever reason, started listening to that album, and that was the moment I became hooked on AC/DC. I’m not sure what age I was, or what song was playing, but that was the moment I fell in love with the greatest rock band ever.
At that time I had 3 step-sisters and they pretty much all listened to whatever Teen Beat told them to. New Kids On The Block and Def Leppard are the two I remember, so I heard a lot of that. They also listened to a lot of Motown, so I listened to a lot of that as well. And their favorite movie was Dirty Dancing, so I had to see that all the time as well, while falling in love with it and the soundtrack.
As they got older they started listening to rap, so I had to listen to that too, and enjoyed some of it. Basically, I was introduced to a lot of different kinds of music, and I grew up in a time when music was at its best for every genre. The late 80s and into the 90s were an amazing time to be a fan of music.
It wasn’t until I became a teen when I started listening to other stuff that my parents hadn’t introduced me to, but of course I think that most of the stuff I started listening to on my own was heavily influenced by what my parents listened to.