This morning something triggered some of my childhood memories about how I used to cope and escape into my own world. I think I have talked about it before but I can’t remember, I used to listen to music all the time. I had a portable record player that I brought with me wherever I could locate a plug. I would carry as many 45s as I could. My mom had a huge album collection, she still has at least half of it and she had a huge 45 collection. Many of them are still at my grandma’s house. Whenever I was alone at any of my family’s house you could guarantee that I snuck into the music collection and had it playing as loud as possibly while singing and dancing.
My grandparents had an awesome stereo, something like the picture but bigger and fancier.
Somehow when I was about 10, I ended up with my mom’s stereo like this in my room. I got to keep her collection and my collection of albums and tapes in my room and I always had music on. I spent hours, literally hours playing all kinds of music, singing, and creating dance routines.
I would move furniture out of the way and have an entire dance floor in the living room.
I would have to watch the time to make sure I had put all of the furniture back and my piles of changed clothes put back in the closet before anyone got home. If my mom would have seen that, OH BOY! My mom had some pretty awesome clothes and shoes so I would dress up in hers and pretend I was Diana Ross AND The Supremes, yes I sang all parts. As I got older I had my own strange mix of clothing so I would pull together some pretty rockin’ outfits for my stage presence.
I have always loved boots.
I remember one Christmas, I was 8 years old, I saw a pair of burgundy knee high boots. I begged for them, I said that was all I wanted if I could get those boots I would be happy. I got the boots and have continued to have a boot fetish. Why do I tell you this? Because, a lot of my “stage appearances” in my living room or in our family room in the back of the house had me with the vacuum cleaner as my microphone, some cool shades perhaps, an awesome outfit and some even more awesome BOOTS! I did wear boots and made up dances to “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”. My mom likes Nancy Sinatra and had two of her albums. She has a very eclectic taste in music. We are not limited to any sort of style and have never been.
When I was younger and it was just me and my mom, we used to listen to music and dance all the time.
When MTV came along it opened up a new world to me and added visuals to my songs. It was great, sometimes when they would play a whole mix of different music. I remember the night MTV aired, I was with my aunts, they were babysitting and we all gathered around the tv while the little kid slept. There was my two aunts and my step-aunt and me, we were so excited and squealed when the video came on. We actually woke up the little kid and had to get him back to sleep, well my aunts did. I was younger and didn’t have to worry about it. OMG! I just realized that I was 8 yrs. old, my oldest aunt was 13 yrs old. The thought of my guys being up watching MTV in a few years is kind of….strange. I don’t know how I feel about that.
I really didn’t have a true understanding of what MTV was at the time though.
It was exciting and we ended up getting it when I was much older and we were able to afford cable. I digress, as I have been thinking of all of these floods of memories they make me smile. I never felt lonely with my music and I was quite entertained with myself being so silly. I can laugh at myself and I do often. I have a habit of mimicking people when they dance. Whether they are good or bad, I can pick up the dance usually and I just do it. I do this with people’s walks also. I have a load of fun being a complete goofball doing extreme Hip Hop moves with a silly face. I used to mimic the girls on MTV videos because it was so funny watching them act seductive but it seemed contrived. I know, I know that’s not nice but it was funny. Ok, it is funny and I still do this sometimes. I can’t help it!
I make myself laugh doing those things.
I also make myself laugh if I try to sing seriously. I will end up making it into an operatic voice or sing like the old gospel singers and for some reason I think that it is funny. As I have been writing this I have had several songs pop into my head that I would be goofy to, or made up dances for, or acted out whole scenes to the point of setting up a little cafe to these songs “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”. For some reason I had pictured these in a French cafe and I was a dancer in the cafe. Silly. I also would listen to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton and pretend I was on Hee Haw! I am a goof! My grandparents had to watch that show every Sunday night before The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. I usually played while waiting for Fantasy Island, I liked that show.
My mom was obsessed with The Monkees as a girl and she had all of their albums.
The Monkees, Herman Hermits, and the Grassroots reunion tour was actually my first concert I went to (out of the womb), I was 11 or 12 I believe. There were many other musical influences in the house such as Fats Domino, Bing Crosby, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and many other “oldies or classics”. Then there was the other array of music like ABBA, Meatloaf, The Who, Grand Funk Railroad, Cream, Cher onto different music like Culture Club, Huey Lewis and the News and others that I let trail off because I started adopting my own style of music and went into more heavy metal and new wave music. I recorded hours of Head Bangers Ball and 120 Minutes on MTV. I was usually up most of the night anyway and spent my time watching these, listening to music or reading. During my teenage years my mom had a boyfriend who lived with us, after her divorce, he had a monstrous stereo system with a cd player!
He also had so many cds I can’t even remember how many.
He had two sides of the entertainment center full of them. There were three rows going horizontal, I can’t even remember how many shelves going down but it was a lot. I loved it when I was able to have the house to myself with his collection of music. It was awesome! He had a whole eclectic mess of music too. I memorized many of the albums that I listened to and even now when I listen to songs, I will remember the words and it brings back such happy times. When I found new music I would read all of the lyrics and listen to it over and over again if I really liked it. I still do this. I really felt at peace being silly with myself and pretending that I was on stage being various artists. It was great to feel and see the music and just be free to enjoy and laugh at myself when I discovered things like “Secret Asian Man” was actually Secret Agent Man. Or when I would try to do a flip or spin and would fall over my feet. I could laugh at my silliness and get up and try again.
Anyway here are some of the songs that I played as a youngster. (I know I have a lot of links, I tried to stop myself.)
1910 Fruitgum Co. “Goody Goody Gumdrops” Watch the tambourine guy! Oh, yeah I am SO doing that dance.
Hank Williams “Hey Good Lookin'” This was one of the songs my mom and I would be silly together with all the time. We would sing it out and about in stores or just riding in the car. It made us laugh.
The Supremes “Someday We’ll Be Together” I still remember my hand motions and facial expressions as I sang this song into my microphone. (vacuum)
Meatloaf “You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth” Yes, I have a dance to this too but I liked to sing it more often than dance all over the place.
Jesus Christ Superstar “Everything’s Alright” I would sing this song when I felt nervous or scared when out and about. I would actually play this entire album and act out the whole thing.
ABBA “Dancing Queen” My mom and I danced to this all the time too. She loved ABBA, I dig them, I admit.
Those are only a few, I have to stop myself because I have a lot more that I want to put up here!!