My parents always listened to country music when I was growing up. In fact, my younger years are completely filled with memories of the Oak Ridge Boys, Eddie Rabbitt, and Kenny Rogers. As I got a little bit older, my tastes began to change.
The first experience with rock’n’roll happened at a campground in the late 70’s. My parents had friends whose son made me a cassette that had KISS Platinum on one side and Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell on the other. Needless to say, this opened up a whole new world for me.
It was sometime in 1983 or 1984, and I was sitting in the back seat of the car as my parents were driving through town. We were listening to the local AM radio station (at a time when AM radio meant ALL genres of music were played…there were no “formats”) when “Mama” by Genesis came on.
It’s weird…I can even remember the exact street location where we were when my mom turned around and asked me this question:
“Do you actually like this song?”
My answer was a resounding “YES!” I thought it was melodic and creepy and catchy and about a dozen shades of awesome. My mother was a little taken aback, because both her and my dad thought the song was terrible and “a little dark”.
My tastes in music quickly turned into a more “rock” nature. My KISS “Lick it up” cassette was quickly followed by my Quiet Riot “Metal Health” cassette, which was then followed by my Twisted Sister “Stay Hungry” cassette. I never got into any of the REAL heavy stuff of the day, but it was about as far away from country music as you can imagine.
So whenever I hear that song, it reminds me of a time not only when I had a brief conversation with my own mom, but it helped to launch me on a musical journey that still influences me to this day.