Friday, 17 September 2010

Music Buddies

Throughout the history of rock ‘n’ pop there have been partnerships. Simon & Garfunkel, Hall & Oates, Peter & Gordon…and er, Zager & Evans being but a few of the performing artists that understood the benefit of being a duo. Songwriters, in particular, like to team up and so we have Lennon & McCartney, Jagger & Richards and so on. The advantage of having a mate around is that ideas can be bounced backwards and forwards before setting them in stone and a degree of quality control can be introduced into the process via the good old fashioned argument.

This is all very well on the performing and creative side of the fence but what about us consumers? Are we not allowed the benefits of the collaborative partnership? I believe we are. When I was a young music fan back in the 1960s I had a ‘music buddy’ myself. His name was Terry and we went to the same primary school. In those days, being fiscally challenged, we did little more than discuss the most recent singles chart and agree or otherwise on what was any good. But as time went on and the 1960s turned inexorably into the 1970s, our partnership became more productive.

By this time we were both buying singles regularly and just beginning to venture into the world of albums. Some of my favourite bands of that period were chanced upon by the direct action of out musical buyers co-operative. The chain of events would often go something like this. One of us would buy a single we liked by an unknown band which would prompt the other to buy the album from which it came (usually on the cheap from St Albans market). Having then borrowed the LP and listened to it the other would become hooked and consequently buy subsequent albums by that band. My love of early Chicago and Curved Air were fostered by this method.

Also, providing your tastes did not overlap significantly, having a ‘music buddy’ effectively doubled not only your own knowledge but also your music collection by way of illegal taping. The trouble with this is that all my old tapes have disintegrated and over the years I’ve been forced to buy all the albums for myself so the record companies get you in the end. I have Terry to thank for introducing me to many cherished artists, Lesley Duncan of whom I posted recently, being one of them.

I look back now on those years of collaborative exploration as some of the happiest I spent. Music is a bit like life. If you can’t share it, it doesn’t really mean quite so much.


Perplexio said...

Neil & Tim (Finn), Loggins & Messina, Seals & Crofts, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Randy Bachman & Fred Turner, Walter Becker & Donald Fagen, John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes...

You aren't kidding about those collaborations!

music obsessive said...

Perplexio - I'm sure the list is endless. There's something about partnerships that is very enduring, on both side of the fence.