Posts Tagged ‘War Pigs’

I don’t remember when exactly I was formally introduced to music. But I remember pretty well that I grew up listening to a staple of good 60s music — oldies but goldies — which my parents, uncles and aunts put alternately on their repective audio cassette tape players. My Aunt Azon preferred listening mostly to The Platters and The Beatles. She listened to other 60s stuff, I guess, but she preferred those two groups over the others. I wonder why she didn’t listen to The Monkees and The Zombies. Beats me.

My mother had the biggest influence on my tastes in music early on. At first, I just preferred listening to whatever she played. She had a huge collection of albums. I remember listening to the likes of Timi Yuro, Jim Reeves, Engelbert Humperdinck, Connie Francis, Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, Eddie Peregrina, among many others. Then there came a time when my mother allowed me to play whatever I wanted to listen to. However, all we had in the house were those I mentioned. So I had to make do with what we had. I had fun listening to Stupid Cupid by Connie Francis, Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis, and It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones.

My father listened to almost everything that was available in the early 80s. Although he had this strange liking for Scorpions.

In the sixth grade, Uncle Pidiong, the erstwhile janitor in the office where my mom worked dropped by at the house one fateful day sometime in 1985. He caught me listening to Tom Jones or to Jim Reeves. I can’t remember, though. He was laughing at me. He told me that I was wasting my time listening to 60s music. I took offense, albeit silently. But then he promised to lend me some of his cassette tapes, and in order for me, according to him, to improve my taste in music. A few days after, I grew tired waiting for him to drop by. He reneged on his promise. I decided to visit him one weekend. He made lame excuses for reneging on his promise. But I got what I wanted. He lent me the albums of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Rainbow, Foreigner, AC/DC, Styx and Pink Floyd. I was blown away by Paranoid from Black Sabbath. I was blown away even more by War Pigs and Sweet Leaf.

I realized that there was indeed after all other available music for my listening pleasure aside from my mother’s 60s collection. Oh well, I still listened to my mom’s tapes. But I grew increasingly partial to 70s music. At twelve years old, I already had an arsenal of diverse music and heroes. It was pure bliss listening to Black Dog and Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, Dirty White Boy by Foreigner, You Shook Me All Night Long and Whole Lotta Rosie by AC/DC, Man On The Silver Mountain by Rainbow, Babe and The Best Of Times by Styx, and, Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

When I returned the tapes to Uncle Pidiong after a few weeks, he lent me other rock albums from Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Uriah Heep, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Santana, Boston, Kansas, among countless others.

In my first year in high school, mushy stuff dominated the airwaves, next only to dance music. Everybody was into disco and sad love songs. It seemed like everybody was into emo long before emo permeated the music scene. Back when emo as a state of mind was cool. Everybody was listening to the hordes of 80s acts ranging from Menudo, Shakatak, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, to Laura Branigan.

As a freshman, I adored dance music. I learned how to breakdance, do the strut and execute a clean headspin. I dreamed of being a dancer at the time, instead of being a rockstar. Discovering the music of the Beastie Boys was the highlight of my ephemeral dance delusions. But up to now, the songs of the Beastie Boys dominate my Windows Media Player playlist. Their songs are saved in the Beastie Boys playlist and in the Favorites playlist.

Everything was dance, break beats, and disco for me. Until –

In my junior year, a cousin of mine who spent long summer vacations in Manila came back home around mid-June and made me listen to recordings he made. Actually, these were bootlegs that he recorded from other cassette tapes and from radio stations (NU 107 and XB 102) that played new music called new wave. However short-lived it was for these brave stations to play music that really mattered back in the day, according to him, he captured almost everything of the remnants of the new wave phenomenon that swept Manila through the tapes he brought home with him. I was stoked. I thought only Menudo and Madonna could create good music at the time. I was hooked to new wave instantly. I was listening nonstop to Bolshoi, The Adventures, The Alarm, Aztec Camera, Big Country, The Human League, Icicle Works, Icehouse, Information Society, Joy Division, The Lotus Eaters, Madness, Men Without Hats, New Order, Tears for Fears, Violent Femmes, The Wild Swans, etc.

It was in my junior year that I discovered that in the 70s, there was another wave of musicians who were playing really cool music. I discovered The Clash, Sex Pistols, and those other punk bands. I came to understand that all the hip music that I may have adored early on came to these shores kind of late. It was a pity that I never listened to music as the scene was just getting hot and noticed. In hindsight, it didn’t matter anymore, though. I was getting loads and loads of beautiful and intelligent music at such a young age.

From my senior year in high school up to college, I was already devouring all genres of music. I discovered the music of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Eraserheads, The Stone Roses, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, The Wonderstuff, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, The Youth, Queensryche, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Chevelle, Rage Against The Machine, Deftones, Korn, among many others. I also rediscovered music I missed out on, ranging from the 60s to the present.

I don’t know how well I have survived were it not for music. Whatever feeling I was experiencing then, I had music to see me through. Playing in the background during the best times of my life were music from either The Clash or Enya. Lately, I discovered Suzanne Ciani’s music. I was dumbfounded when I discovered that Ciani has been making sound effects since the 70s and new age music since the 80s.

I have already listened maybe to all types of music, or genres, or whatever one may call it. But I will never get tired looking for other sounds I may have failed to listen to. But rock and roll, in its generic sense, will always be at the top of my list. I will listen to rock and roll forever.