Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whew; thanks for the picture capabilities, o Blogger gods. Blogger giveth; Blogger taketh away.

Topic: A Brief History of Mags' Pop Culture Obsession
Tonight: The Origins

In my early years, I was generally ignorant of the musical tastes of the world around me. My parents were older - both 38 when I was born; how HORRIFYINGLY OLD! - and were not ones to have any interest whatsoever in popular music.

My family, steered by my older sister, did watch the great TV shows of the day - All In the Family, Maude, The Carol Burnett Show, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, etc., and we did go see some great movies (my earliest moviegoing memory is seeing Young Frankenstein, which scared me in the beginning where the corpse in the coffin grabs the book).

Musically, though, up until about the age of eight, I was beholden either to my parents (whose records I listened to for a rather embarassingly long time; these included Spike Jones, Mitch Miller, and Patti Page) or my sister. My sister, who is seven years older than I, brought the first pop records into my life. I vividly remember listening to her 45's of "Silly Love Songs" (I loved that chorus..."I....loooove....yooooou") "Seasons in the Sun" and "I Think I Love You." Vicious, edgy pre-punk rebels, we were not.

The first music I can really remember picking on my own was, predictably, that of Mr. Shaun Cassidy. I don't remember what was the impetus - maybe my sister's love for David Cassidy? - but I remember my heterosexuality asserting itself rather suddenly and violently when I first saw him, 'round about the end of third grade.

Oh, lord, I loved him. I loved those big doe eyes, those white teeth, and that swoony voice. He was sixteen, and sick of school, and didn't know what he wanted to do. He bought a guitar, he got the fever, and THAT, my friends, was ROCK-N-ROLL.

Thus began my downfall. If it was screamy, and teen-y, I was THERE. I agitated to go to the grocery store with my mother every week to see if the new issue of Tiger Beat (or its inferior imitator, Teen Beat) was on the shelves. When I got a new one, I cut out pictures of Shaun in little heart shapes and glued them to my dresser (sidebar: If OG did that now, I would cut out her lungs). My walls were plastered with his centerfolds. Screw those pale, flaccid wannabes Leif Garrett and Willie Aames. Shaun was my darling, my life, my everything.

Somewhere in the 4th grade, I heard on the radio - which I, by this point, NEVER turned off - that there was going to be a BIG CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT. I knew - I just knew - it had to be him. When they announced that it was, I cried. I begged my mother to drive across town to buy tickets for several of my friends - I actually had friends by this point, which was a step up - and she did. (Another sidebar: I just realized how fucking cool that was.)

So, there you have it, friends; my first big concert was in 4th grade, and it was Shaun Cassidy. He came onstage by breaking out of a big, white paper circle, sillhouetted in smoke. I died, right then and there. My heart felt like it was literally going to burst out of my chest. (My mother, concerned, ended up taking me to a cardiologist after that. Word.) We didn't know then, but it was absolute joy that was making my heart explode.

And, somehow, after that, it was...kind of over for me. But, the radio stayed on, and I got older.

Next up: The Dry Period, Duran Duran, and How Valley Girl Saved My Life


Badger said...

Oh you did NOT just dis my 7th grade boyfriend Leif. I don't CARE if he's now toothless and homeless and covered in scabies -- back then, he was hott. He could have kicked Shaun's ass and YOU KNOW IT.

Anonymous said...

Ha - Young Frankenstein was the first movie I saw too - and in the Drive In, no less. My parents wanted to go to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but they wouldn't tlet them in with me. :)

Also - Serenity & Firefly RULE!

I dug Shaun too, but not to this extent - the cardiologist story is hysterical. Your poor mom.