My parent’s musical influences on me and my sibs were Elvis, Beach Boys, 1950’s Rock and Roll (via Sha-Na-Na), Motown and Neil Diamond. There was many a Sunday afternoon listening to records of these artists. As we got older of course each of us developed our own taste in music. We all pretty much had the same taste; we all liked the same music.
I remember when Pink Floyd’s The Wall made it into our house. My mom had to put up with all us singing, “Mother do you think they are trying to break my balls.” over and over again. We listened to Neil Young and Crazy Horse, singing Powder Finger at the top of our lungs. “Look out Momma there’s a white boat coming up the river”. Notice the mother theme in these songs. We were just serenading my Mom.
There, of course, were arguments over who was the bigger fan: who knew the words to every song. Kevin and Sharon would argue over lyrics to AC/DC’s Back in Black. Who was Little Nemo from Genesis’ “Then There Were Three”? Why did Peter Gabriel Leave? Silly squabbles over music.
My first record album that I bought with my own money was Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits.
Why Barry Manilow? Because all of the other decent bands and singers were taken. I am the sixth of nine children. My older siblings already had cornered the market on Pink Floyd, Abba, Genesis, Neil Young, Beach Boys, The Who, BeeGees as well as anyone else. As an individual each of tried to stand out from the others. Dan liked Cheap Trick. Sharon liked Peter Frampton. Kevin liked Genesis.
So when it came to music I tried to stand out. Break out from being the middle child. Maybe get noticed for my musical tastes. Barry Manilow was a way to do that. The Lawn Whisperer, the other middle child, chose Andy Gibb.
We argued over who was better.
According to the readers of Poop and Boogies Lawn Whisperer Won. He is very happy.
Now should I be embarrassed about being a Barry Manilow fan? Should Lawnwhisperer be ashamed of Andy Gibb? Or is it even more embarrassing to admit that we know all the words to the songs in Grease 2. (That would be my mom’s influence)
“Who’s that guy? On the motorcycle. What would they say if the knew it was Michael?”