Tripping over bloggings left, right and centre as I have found myself, I have stumbled on a corker called Popfessions. It is a lovely, irreverant forum where you can post a little tirade about your own personal musical journey or just chuckle at everyone else’s.
I began scribbling my own submission…. and quickly realised (mostly because I’m quite self indulgent) that it’s a very long story so far! But, it does seem to have natural chapters. So, here is Part Un of my Popfession, which I have duly sent over to the bloggers in question- they haven’t published it yet, but that’s ok, that’s why I have my own blog! Do pop (haha) over there, though- it’s nice to know you’re in good company: http://popfessions.tumblr.com/
If you like it, maybe I’ll tell you the rest of the story (if you don’t, I’ll probably tell it anyway- like I said, very self-indulgent)
I was not cool as a child. My musical taste was dictated entirely by what my parents listened to. As far as I was concerned, all the cool kids were listening to Huey Lewis and the News (actually, these days, I think they all are), ZZ Top and Fairport Convention. Oblivious to Madonna, I was merrily Rockin’ all Over the World- my sister famously fell asleep atop a speaker stack blaring Status Quo (interesting place to leave an 8 month year old but, as my dad points out- it worked!)
As I got a little bit older and realised (as every 8 year old does) that I was definitely destined for pop stardom, I did not- like all the other little girls in the playground- pretend to be Mariah Carey. I learned ALL the words to every song on Celine Dion’s masterpiece ‘The Colour of My Love’. At a push I could probably still bang out a near verbatim rendition of ‘Think Twice’. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the same if I couldn’t do it standing on a chair in my mum’s dining room wearing teddy-bear print crop-top, believing for all the world that my wailings were worthy of the Canadian songbird. The soundtrack to our annual camping trip to France, for about four straight years, was almost exclusively provided by Roxette and Bryan Adams.
Though this weird musical gumbo still holds a very special place in my heart (I can’t listen to ‘Everything I do, I do it for you’ without feeling car sick), it did not equip me well to interact with my peers, I had no idea about the ‘hot news bands’ the presenters of Live and Kicking were banging on about and could not discuss them with my friends at lunchtime, eating out of lunch boxes bearing the faces of anonymous, shiny boys with- in my opinion- ridiculous hair, but what did I know? I draw your attention once again to ZZ Top.
They say that good friends like you for who you are, and that is true. However, maybe better friends see where you are lacking and gently coax you to the level of coolness you are capable of.
Thank goodness for Catherine Worboys. We met in Year 5 when we were 9. She was very pretty, clever, popular and had the neatest handwriting I had ever seen. We became best friends, she lent me Now 26 and Ultimate Dance and I promptly grew out my terrible straggly fringe and dutifully started watching Top of the Pops and buying Smash Hits for the posters with lyrics. Poor Celine was bumped for Eternal, SWV, Coolio and later No Doubt, Spice Girls and East 17 (I was too late for Take That and anyway, the boys from Walthamstow were much edgier.) My transformation wasn’t entirely without its mistakes; when asked the age-old question ‘What was the first single you ever bought?’ I unfortunately have to admit: ‘All that she wants’ by Ace of Base. I don’t think either of us is proud of that.
My near-stalking admiration of Catherine also saw me joining the dancing school where she took lessons and we teamed up to nag our teacher to ditch her syllabised choreography for funky routines to Backstreet Boys and Destiny’s Child. I have a lot to thank Catherine for; she had a lot to do with who I am today. My contribution to her life is that I decided ‘Catherine’ was too long. I would call her Cat and that is what all her close friends have called her since. You’re welcome, babes!
ZZ Top: Sharp Lookin’ Lads
Ahhh, Celine! What a woman.
Gosh, those boys were bad!