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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Howe

MY OBSESSION WITH ROCK MUSIC...

I thought perhaps you might like to hear about my love of all types of music, because really I do have some quite unexpected musical tastes. I'm into so many types of music. Basically I'll listen to anything if it's good music...


Up until the age of 18 I was almost entirely into classical music. My brother says that I was, apparently, a very boring person because I just sat in my room listening to Ralph Vaughan Williams 24/7. There is definitely some truth is what he says. But to be fair to me, it's not entirely true. Every Sunday evening I'd listen to the Top40 on my radio/cassette player, recording my favourite tracks as they played. I remember distinctly listening over and over again to Kate Bush singing 'The Man with the Child in his Eyes'.



Having gone to the Royal College of Music a classical music nerd, I came home for my first Christmas holiday and my brother decided it was high time I listened to something else. So he took it upon himself to educate me in the ways of rock music. He played me Bryan Adams, The Police, Foreigner, Dire Straits, Whitesnake, Van Halen, Rush, Bon Jovi...you name it, he played it to me. I went back to London, armed with a Walkman and a bag full of cassettes. I began to listen to all this stuff and after a few weeks I became obsessed with it. I couldn't get enough of it. I would walk to my viola lesson at the Royal College of Music with my Walkman blaring 'Whitesnake' into my ears. By the time I got to my lesson I would be completely deaf. But did I care...


Over the following couple of years I went to some great rock gigs at Wembley arena: Sting, Heart, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Rush... A little later I saw Prince live, which was awesome.


During my last year at music college, the band 'Guns and Roses' released their album 'Appetite for Destruction'. That changed everything for me. It had to be louder, and I entered a faze of major music rebellion. I loved the singer Pat Benatar and I started wishing I could be like her, to play the guitar, to run around on stage yelling into a microphone, to be in a band. My poor long suffering flatmate was so fed up with me moaning about it that one day she gave me an envelope of cash and told me to go and buy myself an electric guitar! She pleaded with me to go get one, practice it, sort my life out one way or another!! I did get one. It had this Perspex unscrew-able cover on it so you could decorate it with pics. I had it covered in pictures of bands. Today it just has weirdy bits of paisley paper on it. I must sort that out!


But my friend wasn't that fed up with me because she was also in a state of rebellion. She loved most of the music too... not quite as much as me, but she couldn't get enough of 'Guns and Roses' either. And she came with me to some great live gigs. The following year, having left college, I was lost. I didn't know what to do with myself. I'd spent five years at music college and now I was out on my own. I started driving lessons. My instructor was a very cool guy, and he was also a metalhead, obsessed with heavy metal, and in particular, the band Metallica. He played me some of their tracks in a lesson once... Now I had a new obsession...but that's a story for next time...



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