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Life On An Eversilver Plate

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rock, Hard Rock and Me

I envy anyone who knows their pop from their rock from their jazz. I positively glow with jealousy whenever I hear someone say how they grew up listening to Joan Baez or Bob Dylan. Me, I have not a chance in hell when it comes to English music of any genre. I wouldn't know Bob Dylan if he fell on me and broke my neck (that I wouldn't be alive to recognise him as such is immaterial here). When I was young, only the seriously hip and the ones who had sold their soul to the devil listened to English music.

For a long time, the only pop musician I knew was Michael Jackson. Though I wasn't sure if he really sang in English as I could barely follow what little I heard of his songs. The husband recently told me that there were heated debates in his school over Jacko's gender. With over half of his class convinced that he was a woman!

Back then one of my uncles used to have LPs of Osibisa, ABBA and Boney M and he would play them on his record player and we would dance around feeling utterly cool. But once he got married and moved out, he took his player with him and we went back to listening to Sharon Prabhakar on Pop Time on Doordarshan. Some years later, we managed to get a few VHS tapes of Top of Pop shows recorded in Dubai. And I must have played until I knew every syllable by heart. During that time I felt, albeit briefly, invincible and absolutely on top of the charts.

Until one day a second cousin I had never met before landed from Delhi. My father, anxious to show off, told his niece that I listened to a lot of English music and encouraged her to talk to me about it. So, began this girl who couldn't have been more a than a couple of years my senior, what sort of music do you like? Pop? Rock? Metal? My jaw dropped. There were so many varieties of English music? How come no one ever told me about it? I decided to play it safe and told her instead that I listened to "just plain English songs". Fair to say that we didn't have much to say to each other the rest of the afternoon.

(more later)


Anonymous said...

Can't wait for more.... yeh dil maange more...after all it is our national bird.. :D

L'Etranger said...

So refreshingly honest! So familiar! Glad I saw this post in the middle of a not-so-good day! Thanks! :)

Kalthoon tilakji said...

What about Whitney houston and we trying to dance for 'Oh... I wanna dance with somebaaaaady' and daddy-gaaru wondering what 'saaambaaaady' meant?

+ Pl to write about Boyz II Men that we practised to sing for our respective pon-paakaals which never happened!

austere said...

same pinch.
There was this video tape of "Abba the movie" I must have watched a million times.

MADHAV said...

nice post. very well written and a good sense of humor.


Shyam said...

I tried for a while to understand the various genres of pop/rock/blues/whatever etc and tell them apart... but not even under the husband's expert tutelage have I been able to manage that. So I've gone back to classifying English music as "stuff I like" and "stuff I dont like". :)

Priya said...

Comerade! Come to my arms!

Deepa said...

You are utterly cute. Loved this post so much. Can't wait for you to finish it.

My sister and I on the other hand had to suffer a mom who was more uptodate on her angrezi music then we could possibly bear. As teenagers we suffered through early morning blasts of Jon Bon Jovi while shovelling toast down out throats:-)

SUR NOTES said...

tagged you. on mommy mush. but you get to go around the world. And you WILL surely have a thing or two ( five to be precise) to say that will make the ride fun.

nimbupani said...

LOL! You express it the best. I am going to point here if anyone asks me about "English music". I have always been fuddled about the classification of non-bollywood music.

Mama - Mia said...

hopped over from Art's blog roll and am loving it! loved all your posts, but this one touched a chord and had me nodding along and grinning all the way!!!! :)

great stuff! Sharon Prabhakar on Pop Show, I had forgotten!

my memories are of Alisha singing Papa dont preach ka desi version! ;)