Here's something you might not know about me:
I grew up music deprived.
Well, I should say radio deprived, actually. We did have music in the house, but only the Motown 45s my mother would play, or the odd country or Christmas LP at my grandmother's home. For some reason, I never ever had the desire to find my own music. It honestly never seemed like I was missing anything.
It should go without saying that I was a strange kid.
Anyway, growing up in the South Bronx I was of course exposed to hip-hop all around me. In the 5th grade, my best friend Bobby introduced me to Run DMC, The Fat Boys, Grand Master Flash, Slick Rick, and eventually Rob Base (among others). And for a while there, I thought rap was where I would end up. It didn't own me the way it did everyone else in the Bronx, but I thought I could sort of get into it with enough time. In junior high I got into house rap, and in high school started listening to the more hardcore stuff that preceded "gangsta rap."
But by then I started to hate that kind of music. It just didn't speak to me. It didn't feel like "real" music. Oddly enough, I had never really listened to much rock. It wasn't until another best friend, Tarrell, introduced me to the band who's logo is pictured above -- Queen!
And the song that did it for me? Why Bohemian Rhapsody, of course! This was my very first Queen song, and also my introduction to rock as well. I was 15 at the time, and imagine what must have been going through my head when I heard what is considered by many to be the greatest rock ballad ever written.
Watch the music video below and tell me this is not AWESOME!
Coincidentally, Wayne's World came to theaters shortly thereafter and I was treated to the song once again! Surely a sign that I was not the only one that had discovered the magic that is Queen. Of course, by that time I was heavily into this band. I couldn't get enough! Highlander: The Series hit tv in 1992 and--lo and behold!--another Queen song was being used. This time, Princes of the Universe.
Surely the whole world had gone Queen crazy, no? I was floored by the fact that the band had such a huge following. Up until then, the only time I'd heard the name was when WPIX would air Flash Gordon on tv. My naivete was soon quashed as I realized just how popular they really were. And, even though I'd come to party late, I was from that moment onward a die hard Queen fan!
This band open the door for me to venturing out to other bands and musical styles within the broader rock genre. Looking back I totally credit Tarrell for opening my eyes and broadening my anemic musical horizons. I have eclectic tastes to this day, sure, but without him I'd probably never had explored rock precursors like Jazz, R&B, and Classical, to name a few.
So, what was your baptismal into rock 'n' roll?
And to leave you off with something extra--mainly because I couldn't decide between which version to pick--here is the re-released music video of Bohemian Rhapsody inspired by the Wayne's World flick. For most people, this *was* their introduction to the song. It certainly is a "worthy" homage, I concur. Check it out for yourself: