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The Album Hoarding Years

TerritorialMale • • • Friday, January 27, 2006

I remember those days when I used to walk to school to save enough money to buy the latest album out in the local music store. Yes, cash was a rare commodity during the Wonder Years. For some strange reason, my taste in music was weird according to adolescent customs back then. My preference to the more bluey, jazzy, oldy and more poetic forms of music over hardrock was a source of ridicule and sometimes awe -but mostly mockery - from peers. I did listen to all forms of music, both Eastern and Western, without any discrimination but my preference clearly showed when it was time to buy cassettes.

Kurt CobainDjango Reinhardt

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Hardrock and heavy-metal was at its peak and it was going only one way from there. We didn't know it then. Nirvana and Kurt Cobain were making hay and ringing the death knell for the rock family. We didn't hear it then. I was at first appalled at this new form of music called grunge but a few listenings had me completely hooked. Perhaps it was because grunge sounded very filthy - both the name and the music - and our young hormone pumped bodies had us seeing, hearing and doing filthy things. I bought several of Kurt's albums only to have it pinched a few days later. At the height of my album hoarding years, I had five hundred plus cassettes and a few CDs, which was a luxury item then. Numerous pillages of my treasure chest has over the years depleted my collection down to fifty or so odd titles. All the gems are gone.

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan

The popular Hindi music scene was totally different. Nothing new was happening. Musicians were blatantly plagiarising Western songs and passing it off as their own or as inspirations. Those who copied the newer Western titles were quickly spotted and the more prudent ones, who copied really old songs, were caught a few months later, but not before making a killing. Songs like ek do teen char...(one, two, three, four...) were plain stupid and nothing but pre-nursery pap.

Almost every teen wanted to be a singer or be in a band or start a band. So, to hone our non-existant music skills, we took guitar lessons and bought guitar chord booklets. We also hoarded song books and learnt songs too woo the opposite sex. I found a few of those up in the attic recently. I originally thought of using them as fuel but nostalgia subdued my urge.

I happened to stumble across an online song book a few days back. It is an A to Z of songs. One can read it online or download the PDF versions for posterity.

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