First record: “Wipe Out” by The Surfaris. Lifted it from Dad’s collection of 45s and really didn’t appreciate what a gem I’d adopted. Funny that this first track was an instrumental. Forty years later I remain as impatient as ever with poorly penned lyrics.
First record shopping experience: Ended in frustration. Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” landed and I couldn’t get enough. Problem was he sang so fast I couldn’t make out the words and so didn’t know what record to ask for at the local Sam The Record Man. Mom and Dad were of little help.
First LP: Destroyer by KISS. That was the one with “Beth” on it. You know: “Beth I hear you calling; But I can’t come home right now; Me and the boys are playing; And we just can’t find the sound.” Totally spoke to me. At 11. (That’s a reference to my age by the way, not the volume.)
First experience with music criticism: I asked my Dad what jazz is and he almost literally sneered. “It’s when a bunch of musicians play whatever they want, all at the same time.” At 12, this struck me as impossibly cool.
First concert: Rush. Nov. 16, 1982 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Don’t even have to look it up. I’ve never forgotten that date. The Payolas opened.
First concert I’d admit to later in life: A year later, the above-noted night out was more than a little embarrassing for a budding new waver. Seeing The Cure at The Concert Hall in 1984 was a chance to be reborn.
First time behind the wheels of steel: North Park Secondary School cafeteria in Brampton, Ontario. I DJed the lunch hour once a week. Played a lot of Visage and The Smiths, which made a good 12 per cent of the school happy. My English teacher was an early supporter.
First job in a record store: Mister Sound, upstairs at The Bramalea City Centre. Still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. When they switched it to an HMV, I helped put the sign up at the front of the store. RIP.
First time on the radio: September 1985 on 88.1 ckln fm, at the invitation of the lovely Marva Jackson. Hosted a variety of shows there until 1996.
First time in print: Fellow ckln host Ian Danzig launched Exclaim! magazine in April 1992. Wrote a monthly column for him for four years.
First time I ever interviewed someone people actually knew: Yoko Ono in 1996. After 10 minutes I was absolutely smitten. She told me she hadn’t accomplished much in her career, which got picked up by one or two fan sites around the world. Early internet days.
First music blog: That would be this one. My goal is to fill you in on a variety of music, with as much focus on independent releases as possible. Want me to review your new whatever? Love to.