He’s got a tattoo on his arm that say ‘baby,’ he’s got another one that just say ‘hey,’

who was your favourite band or singer when you were young?

We are often asked to recall the earliest memories we can associate with particular subjects and media. I tend to have an uncanny ability to recall quite obscure facts from personal experience and historical cache.

The earliest memory I have of music is of trying to record tracks from cassette tape on my parents now archaic tape deck and walkman. It was the tail end of the era that made this practice essential, but from that point on I was enamoured.

My more recent memory is of scanning countless piles of music on CD or vinyl to look for gems, treasures, and classics.

We sift, search, sought, and comb.

Curiosity was a fervent player in my developing life. Especially as a youngster. One of the places I loved to spend time was sprawled on the carpet floor of our suburban home, nose buried in a Columbia House catalog. That was where I first crossed paths with my musical identity.

I should clarify. Music and I met a short while ahead of my regular catalog scouring and meticulous duplicating. A tiny version of myself played piano from a rather early age. It paid to be the son of a dedicated musician and music teacher. Then I picked up on the tape thing.

My parents weren’t exposing every artist and genre imaginable, but enough to spark a relationship between the stereo and I. With Columbia House, it was my first experience with the culture music created. It was where I encountered the physical format of music on my own. It kick started one of the only collections that I will continue to add to.

In all of this mess, and because my parents were listening to songs, it’s hard to pin down favourites. I could say the punk and alt rock I got into when my money was paying for CDs was my favourite. The Billy Talent’s and Good Charlotte’s of the world. But perhaps they were not favourites, just elements of importance.

My favourite bands growing up were the ones I can point to and know for certain they were played as I grew. Photographs and Memories by Jim Croce will forever be near my heart. He was really my introduction to good songwriting. I’d press on to include both James Taylor and John Denver on my list. Not for any particular reason, just because they were what I remember being on during my early youth.

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