Very First Kid On My Block

May 7, 2005 at 7:36 pm (Uncategorized)

So a couple of days ago, while setting up an outline for this blog, I found the first two rock and roll songs I ever bought and listened to in my entire life. Big whoop, right?

Well, maybe. Yet I “bought” these two songs on a 45 rpm single that required me to send in cereal boxtops to General Mills or something, along with fifty cents for postage and handling. It was 1969. I was three years old. You can thus imagine my surprise at finding both songs mp3 blogged elsewhere. After some file encoding and cleaning up magic, maybe I’ll share them with you.

The two songs were “recorded” by a fictional band of guys in big dog costumes called The Banana Splits.

It was a Hanna-Barbera kid’s show, both a live-action thingy and a cartoon for a while. I find it to be yet again more evidence that in my most formative years, I was doomed to a life of music geekdom. Check out the guitar in that picture. That sure looks like a Vox headstock. I’m just sayin’.

Toddlers today listen to utter crap for music. The Wiggles? Whatever, man. Barney? Seriously. At the risk of sounding like the grumpy ol’ geezer on the porch, back in my day, us toddlers listened to some great freaking music, dude! No really!

Check out these two songs. They’re silly and bubblegum and dorky as hell. It’s music for children though.

First up is “The Very First Kid On My Block”. I list it first because the sound quality is better, although these were recorded from scratchy vinyl, so that quality isn’t exactly sterling. This isn’t much of a song, but it does have a cool singalong chorus, and uses a phase on the vocal to nice effect. Compared to anything on “The Wiggles” though, this is “Gimme Shelter”.

Next up is a better song, with a horrible name and a worse recording. “I Enjoy Being A Boy” has a song title that sounds like it oughta be on a Culture Club retrospective, but what can you do? It’s a swell song, with all kinds of phase and delay and various studio gimcrackery, and it works in spades. Again, compared to “Barney”, this is “A Day In The Life”.

Listening to these long-forgotten tracks today, there’s little wonder in my own mind that I headed down a path to hopeless pop music geekdom. (Looking at the picture above, it could’ve been worse; I could’ve been The Very First Kid On My Block to have a furry fetish.) When the melody on both songs switches to the minor key in the chorus, there’s little doubt in my mind that these records pointed me irreversably down a path towards naming a Flashing Lights album as the best thing recorded in the last 5 years.

You want kids to stop buying lowest-common-denominator mall-trash music like Mudvayne and Nickleback? Hey, get ’em started in their formative years with cool music, not Barney.

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