No, this post isn’t going to be about the Justin Bieber song ‘Never Say Never.’ In fact, it’s not even going to be about the non-Eon Productions James Bond film “Never Say Never Again.” I’ve actually decided not to really “rage” this time but share my own personal observances and evolution of my own taste in music.
For a lot of people, music is part of one’s every day life. People play instruments, some write lyrics, listen to it while at work, in the car, and at the gym. Music is all around and everyone can have their own opinion about what they think “sounds good.” Before I get way more philosophical than I actually am, let’s dive in and dissect how music has shaped and evolved my lifetime.
I grew up in a fairly religious and Christian household. My Dad sang at church, weddings, funerals, and whenever really. Christian contemporary music is almost what I was “limited” to as a kid growing up. I’m not sure if it was as strict as I make it seem. I don’t really remember my parents banning me from listening to certain things, and I may have just been naive about it all. Either way, as a kid I listened to a lot of DC Talk and movie soundtracks. Cassette tapes I wore out most were DC Talk’s Jesus Freak and the soundtracks to Space Jam, Mighty Ducks 3, & The 6th Man. (If you’re not familiar with The 6th Man, it’s a movie from the late 90s starring Shawn and Marlon Wayans where they’re NCAA basketball players. One dies and comes back as a ghost to help the other fill the shoes of the deceased one. GREAT!)
You get the idea. I was pretty sheltered musically. I started taking piano lessons in about the 5th grade and really liked it and was pretty good. I actually competed in some sort of recital competition at the U of M a few times. You learn a piece and actually go into a soundproof room where it’s just you, the piano, and a judge. Pretty nerve-wracking for a ten year old.
When I was in middle school, I came across Metallica. I heard ‘Fuel’ once on TV or something and the next time I went to Disc-Go-Round I picked up Re-Load for about $6 and so it began. I stopped taking piano lessons and somehow got my parents to buy me a Squier electric guitar kit from the now defunct Mars Music store in Har Mar Mall. It came with a cherry red Squier strat, 10-15 watt amp, picks, cords, etc. I never took lessons and just taught myself. I discovered tab websites online like ultimate-guitar.com and really picked it up rather quickly.
As I was learning to play, my tastes in what I wanted to listen to changed too. I got pretty deep into the pop-punk bands that were popping up like Blink-182, Green Day, Sum 41, New Found Glory, etc. It didn’t hurt that their songs weren’t super challenging to master for a kid teaching himself to play the guitar either. At the same time I was really into Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica(still), Led Zeppelin, Styx, among others.
Mid-way through high school my music tastes changed again as I discovered Dave Matthews. The things he could do with an acoustic guitar were just amazing. So amazing that I saved up my money from my first couple of jobs and bought an acoustic guitar. Liking Dave and DMB brought on the discovery of more artists like him as I made my way through college. Post college I started to get into country music but rather limited myself to what artists I liked based on how twangy their sound was. (Not a huge fan of twang.)
Overall I find it pretty interesting that my tastes in music changed while I moved to each “stage” in life. Definitely pretty clear-cut eras. As I liked one, I despised others. Yet I somehow ended up liking those later on in life. When I was in my pop-punk phase I absolutely HATED Dave Matthews. I despised country music up until I actually started listening to it after I discovered Luke Bryan. Now I just enjoy it all and know that if I dislike a type of music, chances are I will love it in a few years. I won’t say never about music.