Home Forums Robert Wyatt Shipbuilding What was your introduction to music?

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    Dad’s radio, a Pye shortwave valve affair circa 1956. Stuck unceremoniously atop the Leonard refrigerator, it delivered the soundtrack to my New Zealand childhood. Flushed, I heard for the first time ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Jean Genie’, ‘American Woman’ and ‘Glamour Boy’. Here was a hedonist’s world light-years away from my Presbyterian household.

    But this radio also delivered despair every weekend, when Sid Tonks and Reon Murtha called the races and Dad would crumple his betting slips, stare at the formica table, then pour another Bavarian Bitter. Bitter indeed. Come Monday morning he would be at the factory again.

    In the mid ‘seventies, with Dad still at the factory, the valves gave up. Replaced by a brash transistor, the Pye was laid to rest in the wardrobe of my impossibly popular sister’s bedroom. It was surrounded by crimpolene trouser suits and polka dot blouses.

    I found it there in 2003, after Dad’s death, and carefully carried it home – where it sat, a reminder of magical days with a magical man. Then, last year, I took it to a valve technician; he repaired the damage of decades within days. Now it sounds out every morning and I hear my Old Man walking up the hallway, whistling.



    like you max, the radio was my first introduction to music. ours was a



    At the age of 4 my grandfather passed on his wind up gramophone and a pile of 78s. I remember watching my toy farm animals going round and round on the turntable. My absolute favourite singer at that age was






    im the youngest of seven so i used to hear a lot of my older siblings record collections (mostly rubbish). I remember being particularly fond of Honey by Bobby Goldsboro and Enola Gay by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.

    my first big musical heroes (that i discovered for myself as opposed to hearing from the others at home) were eddy grant and a-ha. i still listen to them from time to time. a-ha’s “scoundrel days” album is criminally undervalued.



    surely i heard the first sounds through the air. but i think my real introduction was the tv. there was a programme called ‘hitparade’ and a german ‘schlager’- singer sang a german version of doug sahm’s ‘mendocino’. it was 1969 and since that time i’ve been hooked by music.



    when i was about 8 or 9 the knob on the t.v broke, thats when i started listening to the radio,
    i remember sitting there listening to the united states of america singing bout peaches, the music was terrible but i was hooked on triplej for the next 5 or so years until the internet came and found my own way around music, listening to noise records, merzbow, otomo yoshide, einsturzende neubauten, then getting more into musiqe concrete, the first time i heard robert wyatt was on the ircam compilation, with francois bayle, the second time was a cover of strange fruit i downloaded, then i heard his cover of biko and was hooked, i have been searchig for robert wyatt records ever since. that wasnt so long ago though, so its hard to continue the general nostalgia



    The pirate stations in the 60s: Radio Caroline & Radio London. My parents were tuned into these, which led to my interest in music.

    On a related note, my first gig was the Hyde Park concert featured on the Kevin Ayers & The Whole World CD – Hyde Park Free Concert 1970, which features Robert Wyatt on drums.



    No Sleep, welcome to the forum; most of us only visit intermittently, with long summer holidays stretching out silently between posts. Feel free to introduce new topics, discuss your preferences, and share discoveries.

    To pirates: In New Zealand we had Radio Hauraki, which broadcast from a ship in order to circumvent the draconian regulations of the time. I didn’t hear the station until I was eleven, when it had ‘My Sweet Lord’ on high rotation. So the airwaves weren’t harbingers of revolution. I doubt that a bar of Kevin Ayers ever went to air. Nor was Charlie Parker to be heard. The governmental YA network was playing Mantovani, and official ZB hipdom was exemplified by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap: ‘…get out of my mind…’ Indeed.

    The only youthful concert I can recall was the New Zealand Army Brass Band playing the hits of Glenn Miller. Then, finally, an international star: Val Doonican!

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