Reno’s Rant: Musical Influences Vol. 2: The Radio Years (Part 1)

In my continuing look at the people in my life who have influenced the musical tastes throughout my life. This installment, it’s not so much a person but a thing that influenced the music I love.

I got my first radio about the time I started grade school…maybe 3rd grade. I remember setting it front and center on the desk in my room, scrolling up and down the dial trying to find my favorite songs or something new to jam to. While the radios got bigger through the 80’s and the music I listened to evolved over the years, the one constant was I always had a radio going, waiting to tape my next favorite tune.

Growing up just outside of Saegertown in the early 80’s, we had no cable. It didn’t come outside of Saegertown proper. So as much as I wanted my MTV, I couldn’t get it unless we went to my aunts house in Enterprise. We did get channel 10 out of Canada which played a video countdown show after school but they played an over abundance of Bryan Adams, Glass Tiger, U2 and Madonna! So for new music radio was my only solace.

I must admit, at that time, while I liked my rock, I was also really into pop. Hey, I was a kid….I didn’t know any better. But pop music in the 80’s was a magical time. Every pop band had a synthesizer churning out an ethereal sound that was mesmerizing to my young 80’s mind. Duran Duran had sweet guitar riffs (at least early on), John Taylor played funky bass lines (one of the most underrated bassists ever!) and I learned early on chicks liked these bands and even at a young age, I liked having an “in” with chicks….music was the perfect “in”!

Duran Duran was always a fav. Michael Jackson, The Cutting Crew, Prince, Men At Work, Toto, The Thompson Twins, Pet Shop Boys, even The Moody Blues were getting in on the 80’s synth sound. Like any genre of music, the sound was soon over imitated, over saturated and there were a lot of one hit wonders that were lost to history. Even the mix tapes that I made and listened to so fervently went the way of the dodo.

As the decade progressed and metal became more pop and more mainstream, my tastes started to change. Quiet Riot – Metal Health was probably one of the first metal tunes I remember hearing on the radio. Now I had listened to KISS, AC/DC and some other metal bands before but to my grade school mind, I didn’t get it. As I started getting closer to my teenage year, around 11 or 12, I started to get it and the metal bug bit me.

Up next in my series of blog posts about the people who influenced the music I love, we’ll take a look at a cousin of mine who really opened my eyes and ears to the metal that I love to this day!

Until Next Time…..Cheers!!!

Reno