My musical roots, or What I listen to (and what I wish I did)

My parents aren’t exactly hippies, but they were sort of stuck 30 years in the past, musically.  We listened to the oldies station constantly, and that’s all I knew.  In Renton, that meant 97.3 KBSG, I can still sing their dumb little jingle.  That’s all I knew as a child, the only radio station that got played.  At home, in the car, it didn’t matter.  If the radio was on, we were listening to oldies. That’s where I first learned to love the Beatles, a love that has continued to this day and pretty much defined me in high school.  I was ‘that kid’, the one who loved John Lennon.

I grew up thinking that oldies was the only ‘good’ music, not quality good, but morally good. It was the only music my parents approved of, thought was appropriate.  I remember when I wanted to be a little rebellious in my teenage years, when I wanted to do things my parents didn’t do, I started listening to the Classic Rock station, playing songs from the 70’s and 80’s.  Still oldies, I know, but it was music my parents didn’t listen to. I felt like I was doing something dangerous!  That’s when I fell in love with the awesome guitar work of Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Styx, and Journey.

I high school I got involved with theatre, I really took to the stage.  I love everything about theatre from acting to tech work, to directing and writing.  Hanging out with so many drama geeks, I naturally started enjoying Musicals.  Some of my favorite soundtracks are Wicked, American Idiot, Into the Woods, and Sweeney Todd.

As I’ve studied Germany, and lived in country, I tried to find good German music that I could listen to, to keep up with my language skills.  I love Die Prinzen, and what high school German student hasn’t sung along with Millionär? I love Silbermond, and Die Ärzte.  Of course, I also found some amazing German Musicals, such as Tanz der Vampire, Die Schöne und das Biest (Beauty and the Beast), and Wicked – die Hexen von Oz.

I have always loved music, I listen to the radio and my music all the time, and my biggest regret in life so far is that I didn’t take band in school and learn an instrument.  I just have no personal musical ability, unfortunately, though I love music so much.

As I mature, and get exposed to more kinds of music, I find that I wish I knew more.  I wish I had more refined tastes.  I do enjoy classical music, but since I wasn’t in band like my friends, I wasn’t as exposed to it as they were.  I am unfamiliar with many composers and works.  I feel like the yokel when I talk to these friends and they are extolling the virtues of Tchaikovsky and Schubert, and all I know is Lennon/McCartney.  I enjoy classical music, when I hear it, and I want to listen to more of it, but I just get overwhelmed with how much music there is out there.

So, what do you think?  What do you listen to?  Any suggestions for me?

5 thoughts on “My musical roots, or What I listen to (and what I wish I did)

  1. David, your musical taste is fine. I realize that I listen to some very similar stuff, at least the stuff in English, because my musical upbringing was similar. At least you’re open-minded about it. Classical is daunting. I lived with 5 music majors last year and I was blown away by how little I actually knew. And I’m a music minor. I listen to a lot of jazz and blues. If you want some artist suggestions, just let me know. I can suggest composers and/or classical pieces too I guess. I know the big names, but that’s about it.

  2. Ninety-seven point three! Kay Bee Es Geeeeeeee!

    Oh man, I think that radio station is gone. I miss it.

    I grew up in similar positions as you as far as musical background goes, except I did listen to a lot more orchestrated music. I don’t know anything really past the super-famous ones, but I do enjoy it a lot.

    Interestingly, a really, really huge influence in my life musically was…video game music. I LOVE it, especially the old 8-bit and 16-bit stuff. In fact, the past week I have been extolling their virtues to my wife, who has patiently put up with my rantings.

    1. Yeah, that station ceased to be. It is now playing 710 KIRO, simultaneously with the AM station. That’s just what we need, an AM talk radio station playing on FM.

  3. Truly tragic, the lost of 97.3. A few years ago I was back in town and went to go listen to some oldies… but the disc jockey just talked sports! I listened for an hour, hoping the whole thing was an extended commercial break. But alas, it was not to be.

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