Other than being inexplicably drawn to the sound (there will be a music & lyrics post in my future) just like I was inexplicably drawn to classic horror movies at an early age, the best I can figure is that it all started with this man here:
Wolfman Jack (singing "My Girl")
For those of you who don't know, Wolfman Jack was a popular radio DJ in the 60s and 70s, but I knew him as the host of the The Midnight Special, which my Dad would wake me up to watch after Mom went to bed :) If you look at all the musical guests at the wiki page, you'll see that he had a very wide variety of musical genres showcased. But the only one I remember is this one - my introduction to:
Alice Cooper (not even listed on the list of musicians on the wiki page) This is the first of several videos someone obviously youtubed probably from digital recordings of old vhs recordings. But you still get a sense of the theatrics.
I've already established that the babysitter's kid introduced me to Kiss (who also appeared on the Midnight Special), and I liked the rock music my parents turned me on to (The Doors, Journey, Joan Jett, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, Rush, Creedence Clearwater Revival, etc.), but this? Like Kiss before him, Alice Cooper grabbed my attention in a visceral way. And this was not even someone I ever had a crush on (like, say, Joey Ramone, Nikki Sixx, and countless others). I just knew this was different. He scared me, and I knew he scared others. I loved it. And that is pretty much that.
It didn't help that, besides The Eagles, who I liked, the stuff my Mom would play in the car on trips included this:
Leo Sayer (is this not Richard Simmons?? Seriously? Have you ever seen them both at the same time? No? It is probably because they are one and the same!)
I remember once Mom and I went to Memphis (about a 1.5 hour drive) and Mom played whatever 8 track tape this was on -up there AND back. I was scarred for life, and probably then made the completely subconscious decision to stay away from easy listening for the rest of my life. (disclaimer: I now own two Amos Lee albums. "Easy listening" back then was what "adult alternative" is now. Make of that what you will.)
....and I can't resist throwing in some Dr. Hook. I heard "When You're In Love With a Beautiful Woman" so many times I don't think I will ever un-burn it from my brain. But I *do* like "Cover of the Rolling Stone" so here it is....
(I found the songs I liked best from these artists. Points for trying, right?)
For what it's worth, Mom did have great taste in music. It's just that when she picked something I hated (like Leo Sayer), it seemed like I heard it all. the. time.
And then I became a teenager. And liked a bit of everything, as usual....till they turned our local rock station into yet another pop station. The pop stations did play some hair metal, but you no longer heard stuff like Dio, Maiden, Zeppelin, etc. I couldn't turn the radio on without having my ears assailed constantly by the worst music to come out of the 80s (except for Prince, Falco, Simple Minds, and OMD, who I did really like). The internet and satellite radio did not exist, so I couldn't just pick an out-of-town station to listen to. It was a dark time in my life, and I filled it by buying hair band and metal albums and subscribing to Hit Parader and Circus magazines. And plastering my bedroom walls with posters of long haired men in makeup. It got me through my teenage years.
My love of strange, scary people and loud, aggressive and/or scary music just never died; I think it only got stronger as I got older.
Head over to XMas Dolly's to play along with Monday's Music Moves Me, and have a look around!