For Fucks Sake, Don’t Lose The Magic

I have a love/hell fire hate relationship with the modern music world. Of course, it’s fucking fantastic to be able to hunt and listen to new sounds, without having to leave the comfort of your bed nest, but I think that many of us are losing our individual connections to music. We start listening to something even before the track is finished we’re on Facebook shouting ‘Oi, you lot, listen to this NOW!’ I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. Sometimes I find myself thinking, ‘Katie, what the actual fuck are you doing? STOP IT! Just enjoy the music and keep it for yourself.’

Back in the olden days, before we were all caught up in this slippery net, music was, well, at least for me, a significantly more personal – sometimes to the point of spiritual – experience. Unless my sister happened to be in the room when I had my CD/Tape player blasting, or I was in the car with my Ma, it was an experience which was mine and mine only. And I sort of miss that. Though I have to be honest, if I had the chance to go back to how things were in the ‘before time’ I’m not sure I’d take it. Sure, when I was 14 waiting for two weeks or a month for a CD to come over from the US (for the record it was Mortiis: The Stargate) was a ball ache, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Now however, I find myself getting infuriated when I can’t listen to something right now. I don’t feel proud of it. Not one bit. How I think of it though is that life is pretty short…and I want to squeeze the most out of it that I can.

I spend more time alone nowadays then I ever have done, but my musical choices and listens have never been so public. What I love though, is that I have my memories. My memories of where I was, and what I was doing, and who I was with when I heard certain things back in the ‘before time.’ I’m going to let you have a taste of some of my memories because I’d like to encourage people to hold onto theirs and celebrate their musical past.

I don’t know where music is going to go from here. I’m still years behind in terms of pretty much everything…for example, I’ve never owned an iPod, (Do they still make those even?) or a smart phone, and have a an MP3 player from 2010 which serves as my portable music player. Ask me what the latest music streaming site is and you’ll get a blank stare. Laugh, I don’t care. I’m old school – in some respects – and proud (mostly).

One of my earliest memories is hearing this song. My Ma used to play it regularly. Nowadays when I listen to it, I’m transported back to when I didn’t hold onto worry or stress, when I was just a kid being happy.

I spent a lot of my childhood with my Big Nanna (we called her Big Nanna because she was tall) at her house in North Yorkshire. She would always have the tape player going. I remember baking rock cakes and playing Polly Pocket while listening to Irish folk music for hours on end. My Nanna would always sing along. 

When I was 7 we had a VHS with a selection of music videos on it. My favourites were REM:Losing my Religion and Queen:Bohemian Rhapsody. I played that VHS to death.

My parents had a gigantic stereo system back in the day (well, everything was humongous in those days) and remember going through my parents record collection and putting on records, trying my very best not to scratch them. This Edison Lighthouse track was one of my favourites…primarily because my Ma’s name is Rosemary and it used to give me this fizzy feeling whenever I’d put it on.

My parents were bikers and my Dad especially had impeccable taste in music. I’d spend hours carefully leafing through his record collection. I was especially enamored with his Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf and ACDC records. The imagery made a lasting impression on me.

When I was in my early teens, we had to have our family dog put to sleep. Sally had been there since before I was born and the loss was tremendous. My Mum turned on the radio when she came out from having her put down, and this was the song playing. 

My Ma was an enormous Cranberries fan, and had all of their albums on tape. We used to listen to them whenever we were in the car, but some of my fondest memories were driving to and from Whitby during the long summer holidays. Zombie was on most frequently.

I think I was 12 when family friends from ‘down south’ came to visit us in the north. My friend bought along his new discman. I remember being on the village green (that was where we hung out) and him passing me one headphone. He was like ‘listen to this!’ It was Metallica:Master of Puppets. I promptly saved up my pocket money and paid £15.99 for my first ever CD.

Cradle of Filth were another band my friend introduced to me at the same time as Metallica. Again, he passed me over one headphone and instructed me to listen. Her Ghost in the Fog took my heart and gave it over to Black Metal.