The Formative Years Playlist

Because it’s the time of lockdown and I am looking for things to do – and because…I dunno – it’s just a way to respond to Jim’s playlists with stuff that I can choose, etc.
Anyway, here goes another playlist. The names in brackets at the end of each explanation to the song choice is the person who influenced the choice, either my mum, brothers David or Quince (or on the odd occasion both!) or my sister Cheryl.

All My Friends Are Getting Married – Silly but, even though I was only just 5 years old, I was already hankering for relationships and was obsessed with boys. And even to my tender young ears, I could hear what I mistakenly thought was nostalgia and longing to be like your friends. When in actual fact it was a lament for them. For all those silly ones who went and settled down too soon. My five year old ears didn’t quite hear it like that. This song weirdly made me long to be an adult. (Quince)

Just Being You – I found this uplifting at the time. It’s on a Sherbet album called “Life…is for living” – and it really IS an uplifting and life-affirming album. Well, I found it to be. It’s conceptual…the way it starts with a meld or urban city sounds, day to day life. I grappled with which track from the album to choose. The title track is so…kind of anthemic “fuck yeah!” affirmation is awesome. But I guess Just Being You spoke more of what could be rather than what is – and as a five year old, projecting to the future was important. “You can be whatever you want to be / now don’t be afraid / you can do whatever you want to do / so don’t waste your time away”. Oh, I wish I could have taken that advice. (David)

Light My Fire (Feliciano) – My mum loved Jose Feliciano and long before I knew of The Doors this was the version of Light My Fire I was familiar with thanks to mum. (Mum)

Stop! In The Name Of Love – She also loved Motown (is there a person on planet earth that doesn’t?). I almost chose Baby Love and I could have chosen Reflections too. I remember more so playing this Supremes “hits” album she had in my early teens – lamenting the fact I was alone and didn’t have a boyfriend. Again…that yearning is always there. Omnipresent. (Mum)

Sylvia’s Mother – one I remember really vividly sitting around having to “endure” while my mum played Dr Hook. Lol. I have a grudging like for them as a result. A “guilty pleasure” you could call it. I know FAAAAAAR too many Dr Hook songs off-by-heart. Again…a break-up song. A lament. Lol. When other young girls are into pure pop and uplifting and catchy, dancey kind of things, I’m listening to break-up songs and lamenting not having a boyfriend. Lol. What a sad fucking kid! (Mum)

Hold On Tight – If Jim ever does visit this ridiculous blog and then actually spends time reading this crap then he’ll be like “Oh, fuck no! What, woman? An ELO song?! I thought you had TASTE!” Lol. Given his little fun jibe when he did that post about that group photo taken by the mysterious photographer (and I STILL don’t know who the bloody photographer of that photo is!). Well, yeah, Jim. I like ELO – SUE ME! And this I find dizzyingly uplifting. “Hold on tight to your dream.” I try to keep my dreams in a positive light and try to be hopeful about them, rather than ending up at the inevitable point of “it’s never going to happen! Why do I bother?” Sometimes…just sometimes I try to be optimistic. And delusional. (Me)

Devil Gate Drive – This is just pure fun. Something to just sing and dance to. At four years of age, I thought Suzi Quatro was the coolest thing in the whole world. I wanted to be her. She wore leather, had this big old guitar (which is actually just a standard size bass – she’s just tiny. Lol) and she just seemed such a rock chick. Geez, how can you not love a bit of Devil Gate Drive? It still has that groove. That glam rock/rockabilly thing to it. (David)

And here I am as a 4 year old, trying to do my best Quatro stance. Lol

Jailbreak – AC/DC was always being played. They were everywhere and around our neck of the woods – the “Housing Commission” areas around Sydney’s southwest – they were like heroes. Their music was the attitude to the young guys around there. And as the girl who “wanted in” with all the boys – to be “one of the guys” – I almost forced myself to like their music to begin with. Some things came naturally to being liked, others not quite so much. I think I was just taken with the narrative of this song. (Quince/David)

Walls – I gave myself an instruction with this – make sure everything you choose for this playlist made some kind of impact on you before your 10th birthday. Well, the Icehouse album by the then named Flowers, was released three weeks before my 10th birthday on October 10th, 1980. And I’m pretty sure my brother, Quince, would have bought it upon release. I know I played it A LOT when he wasn’t around to chastise me for raiding his record collection. Walls has been and always will remain an absolute favourite from the Icehouse canon. It’ll be that bass drum that does it around (heartbeat replication) the 25 second mark. (Quince)

African Reggae – I don’t know HOW ON EARTH I decided to listen to this. Lol. Perhaps intrigued by the cover art? Being taken with the visual look of Nina Hagen? I’m not sure. I have this vivid, indelible image imprinted in my mind of me sitting in my brother’s bedroom, sitting by his big Technics hifi system. His room was very dark and there was this naff trend for having different coloured light bulbs – like traditional bayonet light bulbs in blue, red, green, black…like, just odd colours. I would love sitting in his room under one of these coloured lights and just listen to stuff he had in his record collection. I remember playing this and just … loving it. Lol. What other nine year old girl in the western suburbs of Sydney is sitting around listening to a female German avant garde punk artist? Lol. It’s bloody nuts!

Far away eyes – There were a few tracks I could have chosen for The Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, Angie, Respectable, She’s So Cold – and I very nearly chose Emotional Rescue (upon reflection I could have chosen it for my “sexy songs” playlist for, even though Mick Jagger does absolutely NOTHING for me – never has… the way he delivers the lines “I will be your knight in shining armour, coming to your emotional rescue – you will be mine, you will be mine – all mine” was absolutely goddamn sexy for this near 10 year old!) – but Far Away Eyes has this country twang I normally wouldn’t like in music. It’s kind of kitschy and tongue-in-cheek but there’s a kind of message too. I suppose I loved that poking fun at the church kind of thing that goes on in it. There’s a bit of melancholy in it too. I feel sorry for that “far away eyes” girl. (Quince)

Looking Out My Back Door – Mum was such a big CCR fan. I’m not even sure how it happened. Maybe it was from the man otherwise known as my father (aka, the Sperm Donor) – although he supposedly liked the Beach Boys? Anyway – in later years, before I upped sticks and moved to the UK, when I stayed home on weekends with mum, we’d have a drink, play board games and listen to music. These…rather stupidly, are my fondest memories I have being with mum. Us just being friends, drinking, playing games, listening to music. Staying up til all hours, getting drunk and acting silly. Back to the formative years though – I had NO IDEA what this song was about. No real idea what John Fogarty was singing but it’s just catchy and fun. It’s down to the music that I like this one, I guess. (Mum)

Chiquitita – I used to tease my sister something chronic when it came to her music taste (or lack thereof as I would think back then. Lol). Her very favourites were…the Bay City Rollers and Abba. I teased her more over the Rollers than Abba to be fair – as even I knew that as much as I ribbed her for liking them…secretly…Abba were fucking class! (But I would never admit that to her….not for a loooong time!) This choice could have very easily slotted into my “tears” playlist – as Chiquitita makes me openly sob like a fucking baby. I am not ashamed to admit it. So, poor Cheryl, she influenced me on one single musical act – but what an act, eh?


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