I bet this doesn't happen to today's music-loving eight-year-olds

Published March 21, 2019

In music magazines like Mojo, musicians are regularly asked which was the first record they bought and where they bought it. It always amazes me that so many seem to remember this, because I'm not sure I do, at least not with such certainty. I was a music fan from about age two (no, really!), and so records were always a part of my life. My parents and my sisters bought records for me and everyone knew I couldn't get enough of them, almost no matter the genre. Records were just...there.

The first record I do remember going to our local record store to buy myself was a single by Wings, around February or March 1974. Their Band On The Run album was on the charts in Sweden, and a track from it was played on the chart show on Swedish radio. Being a huge Beatles/McCartney fan, but only eight years old and so with limited financial resources, I was naturally interested in owning this great track they played. I couldn't afford the album, but I had recently read a review of Wings' latest single, Jet, and so I concluded that the track they played on the radio must have been their latest single.

I went and bought it, got home and played it - and was first taken aback that what I heard wasn't the cheerful hey-ho-ing of Mrs Vandebilt, which was the song they'd played on the radio. But it was Jet, which was even greater, so I soon learned to love it. Then, in April 1974, I got the Band On The Run album for my birthday, so after that I could play Mrs Vandebilt however much I wanted.

About a year later, sometime in the first few months of of 1975, I had a similar experience. Sparks were on Swedish TV and performed a song that I thought was really lovely, but, again, I didn't quite catch the title. My conclusion was that - you guessed it - "it must be their latest single", and so I happily trotted off to the record store and asked for Sparks' latest 7-inch release. I'm sure you will agree that Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth (the song I heard on TV) is quite a different proposition from Something For The Girl With Everything (the single I brought home with me). This time it took a little longer for me to learn to like the single I'd mistakenly purchased, and I'm not sure I ever fully did.

Today's music-loving eight-year-olds won't have to worry about going through such traumatic experiences as they click their way through Spotify or Youtube, but I do hope they get musical surprises in some form or fashion anyway.