Archive for June 17th, 2013

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The “Weird Kid” Speaks

2013/06/17

When I say I was a weird kid…I’m really not exaggerating. Reading Shakespeare Sonnets and WWII Socio-Political history books in 4th Grade was just portion of what set me apart from my “peers.” Music also had a huge impact on how difficult it was for me to relate to a lot of people my own age.

My uncle introduced me to the Southern & Album Rock of the 70s, my grandfather’s hi-fi set was my entry into the world of Jazz and Big Band, my mother’s 45s were the source of my fascination with 50s Hit Parade and Rockabilly, and my little “Solid State” transistor radio only seemed capable of picking up one station, no matter where I put it, and one grounded afternoon in my bedroom at the age of 8 started me down the Country road. Add to this my fascination with movie scores, John Phillip Sousa, and the symphony shows at the Kennedy Center…and you arrive at a very strange 12/13 year old girl at the slumber parties. The only Jacksons I had listened to by 1983 were the Jackson 5 singing “Rockin’ Robin” & “ABC.”

Thankfully for me, I had some awesome friends, and a new radio. Shawn introduced me to KISS when we were kids out in the Boondocks, so it wasn’t hard to get into the Hair Bands of the 80s. One of the guys in the drum corps got me totally hooked on the sound of the synthesizer, so the Wave of the 80s was a natural step. My friend Joiey introduced me to two things, better radio in Colorado (KPKE & KBCO), and her boyfriend’s band. The hours we spent exploring ALL that music had to offer put me in a MUCH better spot by the time I got to high school (and made me a frequent visitor to Wax Trax back in the day).

But don’t get me wrong, I was still a weird kid. I was just a more well-rounded weird by the time I hit high school. It was nothing for me to talk Whitesnake & RATT with folks who really should not have been in the smoking area with the volume of Aqua-Net on their heads, or Sex Pistols and The Clash with someone whose hair was taller than I am, even if they were 6 inches shorter. And I could follow the conversation when caught in a gaggle of cheerleaders gushing about the latest Duran Duran video, and who was going to camp out to get tickets if their tour came through Denver. I could also tell when our Maria in “The Sound of Music” was so off-key she was messing with the strong section’s ability to accompany her for “The Hills Are Alive…” And I took my brothers and sister to a Nylons concert at the Paramount, because 50s Hit Parade was still dear to my heart.

While being a weird kid did have some difficult social implications (you are not supposed to get along with Jocks, Theatre Geeks, Brainiacs, and Stoners…all at the same time – it makes everyone nervous, apparently), I think it gave me a better view of the 80s than the average person. It certainly gives me a FANTASTIC soundtrack for my adolescent years. 😀

 

NOTE: And we didn’t even touch on my weirder tastes in music… Yeah, at 43, I’m still a weird kid. LOL Yeah, I’m also trying to get back to my blog again, so hopefully this won’t be the last one.

 

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