Thursday, December 16, 2010

My First CDs

My first cd.  The first cd I bought.  Both gotten when I was in 6th grade and both, despite many purges of my cd collection, still in my possession.  Back in the day when music didn’t magically appear at your finger tips, getting your first album was a big deal, a special occasion to remember.

The First CD I Owned

I got my first cd before we even had a cd player.  It came free with a subscription to this newsletter my mom had gotten me and I got to choose “Compact Disc or Cassette.”  Even though we didn’t have a way to play it, I chose the CD.  I knew cassettes were on their way out and figured sooner or later we’d have a cd-player.  I guess I was, in the words of Mr. Trizzle, future-proofing.

The newsletter was called How on Earth, self-abbreviated to HOE.  It was a very Berkeley-esque publication about saving animals, preventing animal cruelty, not wearing fur, not eating or using animal products.  All that environmental stuff that was really in for awhile in the early-90s.  I wasn’t that into most of the stuff in the articles, but I saw the subscription as a nice gesture on the part of my mother to show that she supported me in my newly-declared vegetarianism.  Even if she thought it was just a fad.  That meant a lot to me.

So this CD came with it, Tame Yourself, a crazy collection of anti-fur, pro-animal, pro-vegetarian songs by some of the eras best genderless save-the-world-singers, and some random artists like the B-52s.  It was played a lot when we finally did get a cd player, for awhile being the only disc we owned.  (I still remember how exciting it was the first time we could fill up our 5-disc changer.)

Of course, my sister and I had a favorite song on the album, which we played over and over and over again – a task made so easy by that new “repeat” button!  My poor mother.  Our favorite song was called “Don’t Kill the Animals,”  and it was our favorite pretty much only because it had this really obnoxious part in the chorus that went “ee-ee-eeeee” in a very high pitched squeal.  And I just happened to find a video for it so you can hear it yourself!

The First CD I Bought

As if I were designing my cd collection solely for the purpose of torturing my mother, the first cd I ever bought, and thus the second cd I actually owned myself, was The Village People’s Greatest Hits.  Yeah.   What sixth grader actually buys that as their first album?  One who’s too young to know any better.

You see, what happened was Alfred and I were watching some tv show that was showing old clips of The Muppet Show and there were all these Viking muppets in a ship and they were singing, you guessed it, “In the Navy.”  And we loved it, and we loved the song.  And we made our own ship out of the back of the couch and sang “In the Navy” as we rowed through the family room.  We liked it so much, we put our tape recorder next to the tv speaker to tape it so we could listen to it and sing along.  It was probably the only moment in our life when we liked any vikings.

At some point while steering our giant couch and recruiting pillows, Timmy Bear and Daddy Bunny to join our navy, Mommy walked in and went, “oh, no, disco!?” And nicely informed us that the song that so delighted us was originally by the Village People.  That was all I needed to know.  Pretty soon we were running around the house singing not just “In the Navy” but also “Macho Man,” “Hot Cop” and, of course, “YMCA.”  The dream of every parent that had survived the 70s. ;)


It’s kind of funny, those two cds seem to predict my ending up in San Francisco more than anything else in my life.  I wonder if today’s kids will remember their first mp3.

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

"The dream of every parent that had survived the 70s." - I'm sure you meant that sarcastically, otherwise it shoud be "The nightmare of every parent..." ;)