Thursday, 29 August 2013

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - My Favourite and Most Important Thing

My Favourite and Most Important Thing
by Jo Michelmore

When I think about it, it all comes back to one person, really. When I think about the things I love now, they all come back to one. When I think about my obsession with live music, it's because of what one person taught me. When I think about writing on this blog, while a bunch of amazing people are involved, it's probably the influence of one who got me here in the first place. That person? My Dad.

I can remember being a little girl, sitting on the lounge room floor, surrounded by these magical things I didn't understand, but instinctively knew I loved. They were big for my tiny hands, they were big pictures and lots of words and if I was lucky, there was a booklet inside. They were full of "don't scratch!" and "be careful!" The records, the LPs, they fascinated me. We didn't play them much because the delivery of music had changed, but the reverence of their importance remained.

Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, the BeeGees, the hits of the 70s, the hits of the 80s, they were all there. My favourite? An octagonal case with the faces of five men on the front. How was I to know of the importance of the sounds on those magical black circles? 'Paint It Black', 'Ruby Tuesday', 'Let's Spend The Night Together' - The Rolling Stones were one of your favourites and in turn, remain one of mine. The bluesy rock they produced led me to some of my favourite artists of today; The Black Keys, Jack White, Band Of Skulls, Gin Wigmore, they were all influenced by you.

I can remember being a little girl, slightly out of place but incredibly comfortable and always welcome, wandering around the garage watching you working on the cars you loved while you sang along to the Kings and Queens of soul and r'n'b, the irresistible grooves of Motown blaring from the radio in the corner. The Temptations, The Supremes, The Jacksons and the one who was to eventually become probably my favourite; Stevie Wonder. How was I to know those melodies, the harmonies, those incredible bass lines were to influence the music I love to dance and sing along to today? The Justin Timberlakes, the Beyonces, the Alicia Keys, the Frank Oceans... even the M.I.A's and the Amy Winehouses, all of the love for them began in that garage all those years ago.

I remember driving long drives, the whole family in the car. I would always take the back seat behind the front passenger, which was always Mum. That seat was my favourite, because it wasn't the middle (let's face it, who wants to sit between two older brothers?) but from there I could see what was happening on the radio in the front. I would sing along to the songs and watch you tapping the steering wheel as you drove, listening to all sorts of things along the way. I remember the anthems of Queen, that amazing vocal of Freddie Mercury and the journeys those epic songs would take us on as we were on our own road trips. That love for Queen continues today and encouraged my love for so many others: the Foo Fighters, Radiohead, even the soaring vocal of Florence + The Machine - all of them influenced by that awesome band we both love - Queen.

I can remember the time I heard it first, but there aren't many words to explain this one, sometimes music says it all. That band you adore that have influenced and meant so much to so many. I remember the words, the knowing smile, the nod and I think of you every time I hear it.

I remember all of this and when I think of it, my life soundtrack has been influenced by so many, but one more than most. You gave me so many musical memories and in turn have always been interested in where I have taken them, always asking me what I'm listening to or what gig I'm going to next. You gave me a soundtrack I love and what you gave was to me, more important than anything else in the world. You gave me a best friend and that friend is music. The reverence and respect you show for it showed me just how important it is...and the love you taught me to have for it will never be lost, much the same as my love and respect for you.

Happy Father's Day Dad and thank you; for you, for everything and for introducing me to my best friend, my favourite and most important thing in the world to

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