the victoria street air band

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I was blog-hopping this morning and came across "Nanny In New York." I don't have kids, but I have worked with them - and well, she is in New York - so I figured there'd probably be a couple of good stories in there. There was one post titled, "The Power of Music," where she recounts listening to music with her little charges, and how their resounding favourite track that they all uproariously responded to was, "Hey Ya" by Outkast. She comments that when was young, she enjoyed the music her father had listened to, and it got me to thinking back to the music that was most often played in my household when I was young...

My dad's dad, Norm, was passionate about music, and I have vivid memories of him planted in front of his state-of-the-art Marantz stereo with several speakers (almost as tall as I was) blaring The Beatles, The Platters, or his all-time-party-faves, Boney M. I fondly recall our last Christmas together when to Boney M, Norm and I busted our best Kossack dance moves to "Rasputin," with the whole family looking on. When he passed in '79, my dad inherited that amazing stereo, and Norm's copious record collection.

Just like his dad before him, my dad could also often be found sitting in front of that same stereo, singing along to those same records, as well as with some of his own favourites: Elvis, The Edgar Winters Band, Rocky Burnett, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, The Stones, The J. Geils Band, The Knack, The Cars, Genesis, Queen, Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle, Helen Reddy, Bob Seger, and later, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner... and Prince's, "Around The World In a Day." I remember having him hook up a mic for me, so that I could sing through the speakers to "My Sharona," "The Gambler," "Delta Dawn," or "Freeze Frame" (ah, if only there were tapes made of that!!!).

My older brother was a huge influence over my taste in music at that time, too, and when we hit on a favourite, we played it to death. We often played "air band," with our red, orange and yellow shag rug as our stage. Of course, we were a 2-piece: a guitarist (tennis racket) and a drummer (stacks of throw-pillows). We took it rather seriously, and if I do say so myself, we pulled off some of the most rockin' air-performances of all time in that rec room on Victoria Street. Our set list looked something like this:

"For Those About To Rock" AC/DC
"Here She Comes Again" - The Cars
"Don't Try Suicide" - Queen
"The Logical Song" - Supertramp
"Heat Of The Moment" - Asia
"The Stroke" - Billy Squire
"I Can Feel It Coming In The Air Tonight" - Phil Collins (that drum solo!)
"Hotel California" - The Eagles
"You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth" - Meat Loaf
"Crazy Train" - Ozzy Osbourne
"My Sharona" - The Knack
"Modern Love" - David Bowie
"Don't You Want Me" - Human League
"Tainted Love" - Soft Cell
"Turning Japanese" - The Vapors
"Drugs In My Pocket" - The Monks

Geez, the memories! I gotta wrap this post up posthaste and go make an iTunes playlist already!

1 Responses to “the victoria street air band”

  1. Blogger Nanny in New York 

    I no longer feel guilty about the hip hop exposure. Now I just see it as expanding the kids cultural lexicon.


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