Monday, May 04, 2009

Money for nothing?

[Suggested background music 'Walk of Life' (1985) by Dire Straits]

I can identify, with absolute clarity and as if it were yesterday, the moment I discovered my passion for music.

It was the early 1980s. I was watching television in my sitting room. TVM's 'Spotlight' came on. We did not have remote controls at the time so, having decided to go to sleep, I was making my way to the TV to switch it off when 'Walk of Life' came on and I was hooked – I must have been nine or 10 years old at the time. None of the songs that followed were as entertaining but I was officially 'into music'.

The week after I would wait patiently for the program to come on again. Another Dire Straits song, 'Sultans of Swing' (1979), airs half way through the program – add one (me) to the ranks of loyal Dire Straits followers/fans.

These were the 'pre-Internet' days so I couldn't exactly get all the gossip on the band – to this day I have never really fallen into the habit of keeping track of the personal lives of my favourite artists. And this also meant that I couldn't find/order entire catalogues of my favourite artists on line – I hadn't even heard about computers, much less a credit/debit card!

Dire Straits

What I did do was badger grandma for 10 Rufiya so I could have someone take me down to 'Soundtrack' ('Sound Track'!?!?!), the then local record/tape distributor of repute, and buy a 'The Best of Dire Straits' – in climate proof packaging no less!

To grandma's great annoyance, although she never really said as much, I would proceed to play the tape over and over again – my only source of 'my music' when 'Spotlight' wasn't on.

I would, of course, be introduced to other great bands through the program;

'Pride (In the Name of Love)' (1984) would introduce me to U2
'The One I Love' (1987) introduced me to R. E. M
and more...


AND, later on, while actually producing 'Spotlight' for TVM (somewhere 1989 – 2000) I would develop a major addiction to electronic rock and hardcore techno due to the likes of Orbital, The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers (helped along by the initial introduction to the genre by a friend who is deeply missed...).

My catalogue of favourites continue to grow – add Massive Attack, Fatboy Slim, Bob DylanDave Matthews Band, and more to the mix

Cover art – Massive Attack's Mezzanine (1998)

But... nothing takes me back to that moment of what started it all more than Knopfler on the guitar.

Note to Knopfler: 'somewhere your fingerprints remain concrete' – indeed.