by Crikey intern Tristan Price

Taking cue from a certain music-based quiz-show hosted by Julia Zemiro, this week’s question delves into the musical roots of the Crikey crew.

Some answers will be awe-inspiring, some cringe-worthy, and some beyond the confines of human-comprehension…

What was your first album and what was your first gig?

Sophie Black, editor:

First album: Cassette from Brash’s. Made dad drive all over town on Boxing Day to find a music store that was actually open, dying to put something in my new mint green cassette player (with pastel pink buttons).

Little sister picked cassingle I Want Your Love by Transvision Vamp. Me? John Farnham. Whispering Jack.

First gig: Push Over. Headline act: Spiderbait. Enduring memory: the taste of Ouzo UDLs and the sound of corduroy pants.

Ruth Brown, website editor:

First album: Barring the full catalogue of Peter Coombe records I had a kid (“Newspaper Mama, Newspaper Mama!), the first real album I recall was a tape of Marvin the Album by Frente!, featuring the Australian classic “Accidently Kelly Street”.

However, Sophie insists that I mention that this was quickly followed by a succession of albums by seminal Australian girl group, Girlfriend. I was, in fact, co-President of the Grade 1 Girlfriend fan club — an organisation whose primary activities included: eating lollies from the $2 Shop, making up dances to Girlfriend songs at play-lunch, and wearing leggings to look more like our favourite Girlfriend member, Melanie. For one day we became the Wendy Matthews fan club when “The Day You Went Away” came out and we decided we liked her better, but we got tired of the song the next day.

First gig: Barring the endless world music concerts inflicted on me by my parents throughout my childhood (“Czechoslovakian Womens’ African Drumming Collective” etc), my first “real” gig was AC/DC on their 2000 Stiff Upper Lip tour. I was invited by a boy I’d met at a party a few weeks prior. He had a bad teenage bum-fluff moustache, but hey, free AC/DC tickets. We went with a friend of his, who had an undercut and whose dad drove us to Rod Laver in his 4WD. We were literally in the last row of the entire arena, but dammit if it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had at a rock gig  — still young, innocent and free from self-consciousness, we jumped on our seats, head-banged and windmilled, and waved our devil horn fingers about without a twinge of irony.

Leigh Josey, production manager:

First album: I was ten years old. I had a voucher to purchase two cassettes for my birthday. I chose Blood Sugar Sex Magic by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and (gulp) some crap by Mr Big. Thankfully I went on to be a lifelong fan of the mighty Chilli Peppers, taking up the bass guitar in an attempt to emulate one of my great heroes, Flea.

First gig: My first gig was the Big Day Out 1995 at the Bassendean Oval, Perth. I was fourteen or fifteen. The mosh pit (before the “D square”) for Rage Against the Machine was insane. Insane. But completely mind bending adrenalin pumping shit hot. Interestingly, I was also maced that day. But that’s another story…

Andrew Crook, journalist:

First album: Various Artists, “British Airways’ Story of the 80s: Hits of a Decade” double CD. Purchased duty free.

First gig: Vanilla Ice, Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre, 28 April 1990. Mötley Crüe played on the same night across the road at the Tennis Centre. (Editor’s note: Crook is failing to mention that he also had an ‘i’ shaved into the back of his blue-tipped hair’.)

Amber Jamieson, journalist:

First album: My first album that was all mine and not really my sister’s which I could just borrow occasionally (oh, the bane of being the little sis) was Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill. I was about ten and knew every word — including the controversial “would she go down on you in a theatre? lyric — and can still put that album on and remember every word. I just checked the track listing to pick a favourite song and as it turns out, I can’t. You Oughta Know, Perfect, Ironic, Hand in My Pocket, You Learn, they are all perfect angsty tracks for a boppy ten year old.

First gig: And I’m not sure if the word ‘gig’ is appropriate, but the first concert I ever attended was 5ive, circa 2000. I was being half ironic, half serious. Who are 5ive? A fabulous UK boyband who had a member known only as “Abs”. You should probably also check out this megamix of their ‘hits’ and start practising your choreographed dancing.


First Dog on the Moon:

First album: My dad bought me Arrival by Abba. I was a bit dissapointed, it only has two good songs on it.

First gig: The Stranglers

Elly Keating, journalist:

First album: I am very proud to say that the first album I owned was Neil Diamond’s ‘I am…I said’. On cassette. My Mum gave it to me and I would listen to it every night on my Walkman… ‘Sweet Caroline ba ba bah….’

First gig: Killing Heidi at the Wodonga Sports Centre — it was a blue light disco.

Tristan Price, Crikey intern:

First album: Was a Best of Queen tape I was given by Mum when I was five or six.  Listening to this required me to steal Dad’s tape-deck.

First gig: Was the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2002.  Flea wore fluro orange underwear, matching beanie and not much else.

Mick the sub:

First album: Elvis Presley’s golden records (volume one) in 1959 (I think).

First gig: The Rolling Stones (they were the main support to Roy Orbison) at the Palais in st Kilda in 1965.

UPDATE: Tim Dunlop is having a similar discussion over at his blog, Johnny’s in the Basement, with readers weighing-in on their most formative musical experiences and albums.