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

Western Morning News - - Past Times -

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.’


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).

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