For the record ... who was your first?
Can you remember the first record you owned? MARION McMULLEN checks out the early purchases of top music stars
TURNING back the turntable to yesteryear is one of the delights of new book, The First Time, by BBC Radio 6 presenter Matt Everitt. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in the music business over the years and his book is packed with everything from their accounts of first concerts to musical influences.
Here are some of our favourites:
THE first single I ever bought with my own money was Jim Dandy by LaVern Baker and the first album I ever bought was All Summer Long by The Beach Boys. I was about 14, 15, I’d cut somebody’s lawn, I’d get two dollars, and I’d go buy an album.
Then, I’m painting a house in Phoenix one summer morning and I hear this song called She Loves You by the band called The Beatles. I stopped painting and I went “What was that?” Because it was something totally new. I never saw what they looked like, it didn’t matter, it was the song that got me. Then I saw a picture of The Beatles and I was hooked.
THE first 45 I owned was At The Hop by Danny and the Juniors and Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson. Music has been my companion since I was three years old. In times of joy and in times of solace, I’ve always listened to new stuff. I’ve always bought records. I’m an anorak. I’m a fan.
DAMON ALBARN (Blur and Gorillaz singer-songwriter)
THE first record I definitely fell under the spell of was Seasons In The Sun by Terry Jacks – a great record, which actually has a much grander tradition in the sense that it comes from Jacques Brel and that whole era. Then, I’d like to say it was Combat Rock (The Clash) but I think the week before that I bought Kings Of The Wild Frontiers by Adam And The Ants.
FLORENCE WELCH (Florence + The Machine singer)
THE first single I remember buying on CD was Eminem, My Name Is. I must have been about 11. Before that I had The Corrs on tape, I loved them. And I had the Spice Girls on tape. I had a Coca-Cola CD player – I was really little.
THE first one I actually bought was Chuck Berry On Stage, live at Tivoli Theater. There was something about vinyl. It’s precious, isn’t it. It’s like an extension of your body, almost.
(Foo Fighters frontman)
MY first record was a compilation by K-Tel. My mother was a public school teacher and so we didn’t have a record player in the house, but on weekends she would bring the cr***y public school turntables home. I bought this record – the K-Tel compilations – and it had Fly Robin Fly (Silver Convention) and That’s The Way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I Like It by KC and The Sunshine Band, but it also had Edgar Winter’s Frankenstein on it, and it totally changed my life. It was like, ‘Oh my god.’
NORMAN COOK, AKA FATBOY SLIM
THE first record I owned was Devil Gate Drive by Suzi Quatro. For me, in those days, she was the cutting-edge, leather-clad rock chick personified. She was the wilder side of life. She didn’t take no s**t from no-one and she rocked out on Devil Gate Drive. And she played bass as well.
CHARLIE WATTS (Rolling Stones drummer)
THE first record that I fell in love with, apart from Billy Eckstine and Johnnie Ray-type things, was called Flamingo by a saxophone player called Earl Bostic. Soon after I bought Walking Shoes by Gerry Mulligan’s Quartet. Earl Bostic was a sort of R&B jazz player and Gerry Mulligan was out and out jazz.
I REMEMBER getting hold of a copy of Cool For Cats by Squeeze. I don’t think I would have bought it new, it must have been a few years old, even then. My mother threw it away, because it was seen as a bad influence.
I CAN remember where I was standing when I saw the first
Beatles record in this big discount house where my parents used to shop. I Want
To Hold Your Hand
– that might have been one of the first ones. But before that, I bought a song by Freddy Cannon called Palisades Park, sort of a fairground-sounding thing, and The Orlons, South Street.
MY grandmother took my two sisters and me to Mr Pemberton’s record store. We bought an Elvis Presley album from the film Double Trouble, and a Disney film called The Parent Trap starring Hayley Mills. Among the singles was Tammy Wynette’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E and I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles.
I LOVED Elvis very much. I didn’t like his later period, but I loved Heartbreak Hotel and I liked Chuck Berry. I bought some stupid s**t too. I bought Venus In Blue Jeans by Jimmy Clanton. I loved The Everly Brothers, Cathy’s Clown, and I loved Buddy Holly.
The Beatles drew many people into pop music, but Matt Everitt’s new book details who else influenced the stars
Suzi Quatro had Fatboy Slim rockin’ along with the rest of us in the 70s
The First Time: Stories & Songs From Music Icons by Matt Everitt (Laurence King Publishing, priced £19.99).