You know how everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor? I think I have bad taste and a good sense of humor about the music I like. As the youngest of three (my sister and brother are 12 and 13 years older, respectively), I had no control over what was on the stereo. We listened to Tavares, the Commodores and the Jackson 5, among others. Not bad, right? My father loved music and listened to the radio from the minute he got up until he went to bed, so I got plenty of exposure to Celia Cruz, Johnny Ventura and other Latin musicians. My sister later turned me on to the Who and Van Halen. Eventually, my siblings left home and I started to develop my own tastes, no thanks to the influence of 80's pop radio. The first album I bought with my own money? Rick Springfield, Working Class Dog. My record collection included some Whitney Houston (pre-Bobby), Rick Astley (did you think he was big black dude, too?) and Duran Duran (the hair! the clothes! the makeup!). There was some good stuff in there too, INXS and the Police come to mind. But to be truthful, if it was a cheesy eighties song that I could sing along with and dance to, then I was all over it. And forget about the ballads. It does not get any more craptacular than Tiffany singing "Could've Been." Remember Air Supply? Yeah, loaded onto my ipod.
I had banner week at the office, musically speaking. A sampling: Andy Gibb's "I Just Want to be Your Everything", Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes" and Scritti Politti's "Perfect Way" (you're asking yourself "what the hell is a Scritti Politti?" I know you are, and I don't care). The boss walked into my office yesterday afternoon and caught me listening to Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart". He didn't bat an eye. He knows how it is with me. The heart wants it wants, and yesterday my heart wanted musical cheese.
My boyfriend is a musician. My best friend is a sound designer and loves music, to put it mildly. They love me in spite of my penchant for Justin Timberlake and have made valiant efforts to teach me about other kinds of music. Actually, I think they're in cahoots and trying to reprogram me. It's working, a little. Not only do I now know that AC/DC has had more than one lead singer, I have a preference (Bon Scott, in case you're wondering). I've been known to identify Rush when they come on the radio (TOM SAWYER!!!). I can tell the difference between Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd for crying out loud. But sometimes the "crap" that's out there gets in and sticks (Is it bad that I love Kelly Clarkson and Mariah Carey?) And, of course, all the crap I listened to as a kid can never be erased. I'm not embarrassed. Life's too short not to dance, so I'll just turn it up and sing a little louder to drown out your snickering. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've gotta cut loose...Footloose.