Musical Dice -- How I Got Hooked On Music

     Welcome to the music section of my Musical Dice website! For you music trivia enthusiasts, and those who love to learn about the stories behind the music, you've come to the right place! I love sharing my knowledge of music trivia, so that's why I created this section.

     Today's topic is completely different from my previous articles. This time, I'm going to talk about how I got hooked on music. Maybe you'll find this interesting, maybe you, the reader, will find something in this article that you can relate to, maybe you'll better understand who I am, and where I come from. But anyway, here goes...

     In some ways, I am amazed that I got hooked on music at all. For listening to rock and roll music was not encouraged by either of my parents. Plus, as a young boy, I thought the whole thing was very silly.

     The very first rock and roll song I rememer hearing was "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles. I was only five years old at the time, but I remember thinking, how do you live in a submarine? And I knew what a beetle was. These guys were naming themselves after bugs? I thought the whole thing was very silly.

     I think it was a few months later, around Christmas, when I first heard "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms. Having already heard "Jingle Bells," I was like, what is this? I thought it was stupid.

     The truth of the matter is, I'm sure I was hearing rock and roll songs long before the "Yellow Submarine" amd "Jingle Bell Rock" incidents. But I had always tuned them out, or treated the music like mere background noise. But as the years progressed, there were occasions that the music was not treated as mere background noise, and in fact, I started liking some of these songs.

     I think I was in second grade, age 7, most likely, when I was in a mall with my mom, when I heard "Anticipation" by Carly Simon. Of course, I'd heard a snippet of the song dozens of times in the Heinz ketchup commercial. But this particular time, I heard the whole song. I thought that was weird, since I didn't think commercial jingles could be whole songs. But I did like the song.

     When I was in the third grade, there was a record player in the classroom. From time to time, there would be rock and roll songs being played on it. Among the ones that I remember, include "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce, "Smokin' In The Boys Room" by Brownsville Station, "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree" by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando, and "Energy Crisis '74" by Dickie Goodman. Something about those songs really caught my attention. I admit to liking all four of those songs. Ome other song that I remember hearing on that record player was "Get Down" by Gilbert O'Sullivan. I didn't even like the song back then, but for some reason, I was singing the outro to the song, and it nearly got me into trouble with my dad, who asked severely "What was that?!"

     Over the next several years, I would hear songs coming out of people's radios, or at school. Some of the songs that stick out in my mind during this time perios include "Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves" by Cher, "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" by John Denver, "Jet Airliner" by the Steve Miller Band, and "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder. It would still be few more years before music would be a big part of my life, however.

     During my junior high school years, most of the songs would either be in passing from class to class, listening to the school P.A. system, or in having dinner with my dad on Tuesday nights at the Wildflour pizza place in Santa Monica California, where there was a radio which played so-called easy-rock songs. From the P.A. system, songs I heard include "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John & Kiki Dee, "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione, and "Rhythm Of The Rain" by the Cascades. At the Wildflour, some of those songs I remember hearing include "Just The Way You Are," "My Life," and "Honesty" by Billy Joel, "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty, "Reminiscing" by the Little River Band, and "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman" by Dr. Hook. Although I, at the time, had no idea who did any of those songs, or what they were called in many cases, I just knew that I liked them.

     During the summer of 1979, I spent a lot of time at the Boys Club in Santa Monica, and they had a radio playing a lot of tunes that stuck out in my mind. Some of those songs include "What A Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers, "I Want Your Love" by Chic, "Bad Case Of Loving You" by Robert Palmer, "Shine A Little Love" by E.L.O., and "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart. Even then, music wasn't that important to me yet.

     For some reason, in early 1980, when Solid Gold '79 was being advertised, I made sure to watch it. I was just mesmerized by what I saw and heard. There were the same songs that I'd heard throughout the year, plus many I hadn't heard up to that point, like "Knock On Wood" by Amii Stewart, "Gold" by John Stewart, "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac, and "Shake Your Groove Thing" by Peaches & Herb. I liked those songs too. I really liked the countdown format they had the songs in, for Solid Gold '79 was a countdown of the top songs of 1979 (according to Radio & Records Magazine). That show really made me go "Hmmmm...."

     However, it wasn't until a few months later, at the end of 9th grade that I got hooked on music for good. One day, near the last day of school, some guy had come into the boys locker room, playing this rather funky catchy song on a boom box. That song was "Funkytown" by Lipps Inc. Around the same time, I started listening to the radio, and I heard this hard-driving rock and roll song with lyrics that I felt I could relate to in some strange way. That song was "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel. That did it. I was hooked for good.

     What also kept me hooked was a few weeks later, when I started listening to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. I loved those stories behind the songs and the artists who recorded the songs. I also enjoyed the long-distance dedications on the shows, and the extras, where Casey would play some oldie and mention some details about the song. I even liked the segments where he'd answer some music trivia question asked by some listener. I soaked up all of it like a sponge. My god, I believe that's why music had become such a huge part of my life.

     Another big part of it all was when I bought the Top Pop book by Joel Whitburn in 1983, which lists the singles by the artists that came out from 1955 to 1982, and states how high each one got on the chart, and how long they stayed on the chart. Although these statistocs never influenced what songs I like and which ones I don't like, I found the information to be most userful and informative, especially when I heard Casey Kasem and others make reference to the same figures.

     Well folks, that's my story on how I got hooked on music. Maybe you'll have a better understanding of where I'm coming from. At any rate, I hope you've enjoyed the article. ☺