Thursday, 20 December 2007


Mark Mikel. “I don’t remember a time when music wasn’t important to me. I remember my favourite toy, which wasn’t really a toy at all, was my little portable record player. The first song I can remember hearing was Louis Armstrong doing Hello Dolly. My mother was a singer and a big music fan so I was lucky to have access to her collection, which was mostly big band stuff. Harry Belafonte was another early favourite of mine

My parents would buy me kiddie records like Disney and Yogi Bear type stuff. I loved those too. I’m talking about when I was four years old. I think I was aware of newer style of music called “rock and roll” but my grandfather, who I very close to, always made fun of it. He would say it was nothing but (mock sing-shout) “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Oh Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” I’d laugh and agree with him though I really didn’t have a clue.

Then one day my friend across the street, who had a few older brothers, invited me over to listen that he liked and he played me an album by this band called The Monkees. The first I heard was She and by the time I got to the third song Mary Mary I was completely hooked. He told me the band had their own TV show and it was on that night. I couldn’t wait, I sat by the TV until it was on and enjoyed a few minutes of the coolest, zaniest comedy I’d ever seen, until my mom made me turn it off and come to dinner. I couldn’t make her understand how heartbreaking it was to press that off knob and go and eat.

I think I started making up my own songs around that age but they were not very original. Just stupid kid lyrics set to an already famous melody. The first actual song I wrote that was any good at all was called Georgia Apple Wine. I was twelve years old. I never recorded it. The first actual reel to reel recording was on my 17th birthday (9-2-1979). It's called I'm Laughing. Other previous recordings done on cassette or 8-track cartridges are pretty much assumed MIA."

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