I guess if I'm gonna be writing in this space, I should give everyone a clear understanding of where I'm coming from. I was born in 1980 and raised in Marion, about an hour south of Fort Wayne. When I was young I didn't listen to manufactured kid's music. No Raffi for me. My parents raised me, from a very young age, on the music they loved. I was weaned on Simon & Garfunkel, The Mamas & The Papas, Peter, Paul & Mary, Herman's Hermits, and of course, The Beatles (their early stuff only, of course, for the little one.) From birth I was familiar with the simple harmonies and sweet subtleties of the 60's.
By the time I was old enough to have my very own tape player, I was beginning to grow out of that music. I viewed Tommy James & The Shondells as kid's music. At 7 or 8, I was ready for more adult fare. The first three tapes I ever owned (bought with weeks of saved up allowance) were Janet Jackson's Control, Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl, and MC Hammer's Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em. What can I say? I liked pretty girls and parachute pants.
I stuck in that goofy pop mode only briefly. Late in 1990 my parents somehow got hooked into country music. In short order I learned every Garth Brooks, Alabama, and Alan Jackson song I could get my hands on.
Thankfully, in 1994 I began playing football. The locker room exposed me to all sorts of music I'd never paid attention to before. White Zombie. Metallica. Soundgarden. These bands became the soundtrack to my high school years. In '96 I attended my first concert. Metallica. Incredible. Changed my life. I knew from that day on that I wanted to be on that stage.
That's it for Part 1. Tune in next week for Part 2 (subtitled: The Not-Really-All-That-Thrilling Conclusion)