Digital edit of this print.
The first time I really listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival wasn’t until I was 16. My best friend and I were sitting on his parent’s lounge room floor, flipping through his dad’s record collection, drinking beer, burning incense and probably fretting about what the hell we were going to do with our lives. Later on, he gave me a CD to burn and that started a (kind of, sometimes it’s still embarrassing) shameless love of southern rock. It’s worth noting that this was the same friend who sat me down on the edge of a garden bed outside the school sports stadium and made me listen to Tool, and then Alice in Chains, in quick succession. We both had one earphone each, conjoined twins via a discman, squinting at the blinding white concrete and trying not to move in case the other’s earphone fell out.
With music, I think the thing that is almost as special as the sound itself is the person who gave you the gift of knowing about that sound. I remember “getting” Pink Floyd – in a dark room at 3am, no less – loving Guns n Roses, unearthing Rodriguez, falling for Bowie, picking up the Shins, understanding Biggie, and inheriting the Doors. All the people who gave me those sounds were and are such crucial people at pivotal times in my life that it makes me smile just thinking about it.
Those mixtapes and CDs with the hand-drawn labels and tracklists were just the best.