Hey there, I’m Hoggy. Let me introduce myself as the old man of this operation.
So the question is; what is an old fogey like me doing hanging with cool 20-somethings? Like, shouldn’t I be listening to Dad Rock ? Aren’t my pants getting closer to my chin as each year passes? Well actually the answer is surprisingly no to the first question and well, the second: No comment. Therefore I figured it made sense to lay out my musical journey from my teenage years to the present. How did I get here; listening to exotic & esoteric world music for example? Well… let’s start at the beginning..
Living in a small Irish town in the 80s didn’t expose me to much music outside of the Top 40 UK or Irish charts. In fact, I didn’t really develop a taste of my own until we received MTV via cable. Then my whole world opened up; with access to shows like Yo! MTV Raps and 120 minutes. Admittedly though as a very young teenager I was initially attracted to the less stellar side of rap – MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. So much so, that the first album I purchased with my own money was Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em. I went all in with Hammer, at age 13 I directed my barber to shave lines into my hair. In case you are unaware of or had forgotten the beauty of that hair style, let me remind you:
The only thing missing was Hammer pants. When I cast my mind back to that hair style I still shiver with embarrassment. If I could travel back in time I’d go to the barber and say Please Barber Don’t Shave Him. As for Vanilla Ice, I didn’t even realize at the time that the sample from Ice Ice Baby was from Queen’s Under Pressure. I genuinely thought that these rap releases were all original compositions. So as well as having a shit taste in music, I was dumb as a rock. (Though I do have to come clean; I still have a soft spot for that song – my sister and I knew all the lyrics to it. She even did a recital on her wedding night!)
Thankfully this period didn’t last long – with the influence of MTV on my burgeoning teenage brain my tastes started to change quite quickly (unfortunately though I still had to wait for the MC Hammer lines to grow out of my hair). The grunge scene was starting to infiltrate MTV’s programming schedule and it certainly grabbed my attention. Many UK indie bands were also on my radar in the early 90s. Particularly The Cure and Jesus & Mary Chain. It was a rapid transformation – I basically went from colourful hip hop clothes to donning all black from head to toe. Black Doc Martins, black jeans and black sweater. I grew out my hair. Do I have pictures of this? Yes. Can you see them? Um, no. My friends and I came to the attention of the local ne’re do wells, mainly because we looked different. We were tagged with the name “Cureheads”. Sometimes the abuse became physical (although I did deserve a beating for wearing a black shawl once). But the fact remains that the music was fantastic, and I still consider The Cure’s Disintegration album as one of the greatest albums I’ve heard.
In Part 2, Britpop takes over & Hoggy becomes a raver.