A while back I read an interview in which Richard Armitage was asked to comment on what music he liked to listen to. In his response he enthusiastically named bands like Coldplay, Radiohead and Keane. I’d heard of Coldplay but wasn’t very familiar, so like a well besotted fangurl I trotted over to YouTube to investigate. I listened to a few songs of each and realized that I’d heard them before, on Top 40 radio when my kids commandeer control in the car. Huh? Curious…doesn’t do much for me. “It’s OK,” I told myself. “It doesn’t make me less of a fan if I don’t get his musical tastes.” Myself was not wholly convinced however.
I have recently discovered the wonder of Pandora.
Sorry, not that Pandora, rather Pandora Internet Radio. Today while I undertook the Herculean task of cleaning my kitchen, including the refrigerator (E gads!) I decided to give Coldplay and their genre a more comprehensive listen to make sure I hadn’t judged them too harshly the first time. I started a new Coldplay station which proceeded to play a mix of songs by them and other artists with a similar sound. I lasted about forty five minutes before I was in dire need of an auditory intervention in the form of a station change. As the iconic opening guitar riff of Guns and Roses Sweet Child of Mine whined through my ear buds, I reached for a can of Aqua Net and my black motorcycle jacket and sighed contentedly.
Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the musical quality of bands like Coldplay and their ilk. They remind me a lot of artists like OMD, Tears for Fears and Simple Minds who were among the many bands making up the “Second British Invasion” of the American music scene when I was a teenager. I listened to them all, but their characteristically synthesized sound eventually paled for me. I was converted by the soaring guitars, thumping bass and pounding drums of bands like Guns and Roses, Metallica and eventually Nirvana and Pearl Jam along with a multitude of others who themselves owed much to the sounds pioneered by the artists of the original “British Invasion”.
My tastes have mellowed a bit with time and exposure to a variety of new genres. My playlists are pretty eclectic these days, but I can still break out a mean hair whip when I hear Metallica’s powerful antiwar opus, One. When I look back, my conversion to hard rock music was probably inevitable….destined even. As a young man, my Dad looked a whole lot like rock legend Buddy Holly. Even better, when I was a little girl my babysitter (his name was Doozer and he drove a van…what was wrong with my parents?) would sing me to sleep with Kiss’ ballad Beth and color all the Alices in my Alice in Wonderland coloring book to look like Alice Cooper. As the Greeks expound again and again, there is no escaping your fate.
This time, instead of being alarmed at my distaste for my crush’s favorite tunes, I am immensely relieved. I have watched and squeed. I have ogled, objectified, questioned and commented. I set up an array of monitors in my office that rivaled NASA mission control to watch the Wellington premiere of The Hobbit. I have started writing fan fiction, and now a blog. All this is in relation to Richard Armitage. I had begun to wonder what the limits of my uncharacteristic activities might be. While I have done all of the above and more, it turns out that I won’t be changing my musical tastes in light of my crush, and it doesn’t make me less of a fan. Variety is the spice of life and individual listening devices are plentiful, so Mr. Armitage, rock on! Errh, well, whatever it is that you do when listening to your faves.