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Thursday 16 May 2024

Tell Us About Musical Influences


Is This Mutton on the moment in July 1972 that changed her life (for the better)

Dear friends. A fabulous prompt for this month's Tell Us About challenge, courtesy of Suzy from Suzy Turner, our Portugal-based Yorkshire lass. 

Music plays a huge role in my life so apologies if it's a long post.  You might want to get a coffee or a schooner of sherry, depending on what time of the day it is.  


My elder brother was 6 years older than me so I inherited his mono Alba record player, Sid, and many of his records, including some Beatles LPs.  With our younger brother, we were forever bartering records.  Certain unloved records would change hands quite often.

The first single I ever bought was Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John.  The first album was David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. It cost £2.10 from my mum's Freemans catalogue, and I paid 10 pence for it over a number of months with my pocket money.


Ah, David Bowie.  In July 1972 I was watching Top of the Pops, which was required viewing in those days, when this gorgeous boy with red spiky hair came on, flanked by his outrageous musicians.  The song was Starman, and it changed many peoples' lives, including mine.  I was 11 and from then I was smitten.

David Bowie's eponymous appearance on Top of the Pops in July 1972 performing Starman, as recorded by Is This Mutton

He chimed with a part of my personality that resists the ordinary, or going with the herd. At this time most of my school friends were mad on Donny Osmond or David Cassidy, and later the Bay City Rollers, but they did nothing for me.  David Bowie was pure talent, constantly evolving and being different. 

I saw him 3 times in concert, including the Serious Moonlight Tour at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 1983. I had only just passed my driving test.  I had a massive print out of directions from the AA because this was pre-Google and sat nav.  I'm amazed now that I drove there on my own, from Plymouth, aged 22.  The support acts were Madonna and Ice House. I was gutted that the balloon I'd proudly captured was taken away from me at the exit! 


In 1977 my heart was beating loudly for one of Bowie's mates, Iggy Pop.  I'd seen in my weekly read, New Musical Express, about Iggy's new album The Idiot.  I pre-ordered it via mail order without having heard him at all, convinced he would be wonderful.  Of course, he was, and I saw him twice in concert and adored the subsequent albums Lust for Life and New Values  (the others, not so much). I also collected what was available from The Stooges. They were way ahead of their time. 

Punk rock was pounding our shores and I was a big fan, not that you would know with my permed hair.  I did have straight leg jeans and a pair of razor blade earrings.

The punks would sit outside the Virgin record store in Plymouth on Saturdays, looking very exotic. I would loved to have joined them but was too conventional to dress that way. 

However, I did go to Plymouth's new wave venues, The Metro, Clones and occasionally the Polytechnic, and saw bands including X Ray Spex, The Be Stiff Tour, 1978,  Wreckless Eric, The Buzzcocks and The Ramones.  (This sounds like my husband's idea of hell). 

At school we had a Friday lunchtime record club for the sixth form and we would take in records for Mr Glynn to play.  Ninety nine per cent of my cohort were what we called "Boring Old Farts" who liked prog rock: bands like Yes, Led Zeppelin, Rush.  My friends Dave and Sue would endure ridicule when Mr Glynn occasionally played our records: Devo, Throbbing Gristle, Talking Heads, Television and the Psychedelic Furs. Class! 


David Bowie stayed with me and I have every album, some of them in multiple form factors (vinyl, cassette, CD, streamed - we Boomers were stiffed!). 

In the 90s I was keen on (and still am) Radiohead, Elbow and the Manic Street Preachers. Plus anything that Tom Verlaine (ex Television) wanted to throw out there.

Coming up-to-date:  I'm a sucker for nostalgia so I adore seeing 70s bands I never actually cared for much Back in the Day  (Madness, Squeeze, 10cc.....).  I enjoy an Abba tribute band, and loved the Voyage Abba-tar experience. 

I listen to Boom Radio and Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70s.  And I've also become a devotee of classical music.  


Suzy from Suzy Turner, who came up with this prompt, has had musical influences ranging from pop to rock, shaping her journey through diverse genres. From Madonna's catchy tunes to the soulful rhythms of Motown, music has been a constant companion, inspiring her creativity and enriching her life.

Marsha from Marsha in the Middle grew up when AM radio reigned supreme.  Elvis would be crooning in the background along with Tom Jones and even a little Frank Sinatra.  As music changed from the crooners to rock to heavy metal to hip hop, Marsha’s tastes changed, too.  Or did they?  You’ll have to read her post to discover the answer!

Debbie from Deb's World goes back in time to her teenage self, rediscovers some favourites from watching Countdown on TV and realises she was very naive when it comes to song lyrics!

Jill from Grownup Glamour takes a look at the music she has enjoyed. 

Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper recalls how pop music was very much part of her life as a teenager and tells us about her musical influences, which were mostly on television. But she reveals that music does not really feature in her life now. 

How about you?  Did you have similar musical influences or were yours totally different?  It's a fascinating subject, do share in the comments.


There's plenty of time to write about your musical influences, or interpret the prompt in a different way. The link-up is open until 24 May.

Next month's prompt, courtesy of Marsha from Marsha in the Middle, is Beauty.  Posts go live on 20 June.  How would you interpret Beauty? 


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1 comment

  1. very interesting, first time to know about David and cool you know a lot about this singer. I will check his albums.


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