“Thanks to the lovely people at the Proper Music blog, I’ve been given the chance to share with you the moments that made me decide to be a musician. Being the difficult person that I am, I’ve decided to explain this with the help of YouTube.
“My journey to being a musician started with a record that you’ll all have heard. I was ten years old and was sitting in the back seat of the family car on the way back from Edinburgh airport. We’d just picked my dad up and I was massively excited to see him and was probably being a massive pain in the backside, desperate to impress him after not seeing him for such a long time. I remember him reaching into his bag and pulling out a CD before turning round and saying, ‘Hey Cal, I think you’ll like this’, and then:
Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy
“Even now when I hear that opening, ‘Whoaaaaaa, yeah … whoa, yea, Everything gone be alright this morning!” I get goosebumps.
“It’s still for me, one of the most important records ever recorded, everything from the screams in the background to the slow sexy rhythm of the drums, topped off with Muddy’s confidence and hard as nails delivery. It is everything that music is supposed to be: brash, honest, inspirational, ageless. That was the first time I remember thinking that nothing could ever be as special as music, nothing could affect people in the way that a record could.
“After I heard that record I became a music fan, and although I didn’t start to play an instrument until I was 14, I had already begun to seek out more records that gave me ‘that feeling’. The next record on my journey to becoming a musician came a couple of
years later, as I’ve said, I hadn’t yet picked up an instrument but was listening to music as often as I could and trying to find more things that I liked.
“I remember being 14 years old and it being a very rainy Saturday afternoon. I was looking through my dad’s vinyl collection when I pulled out a record with an interesting cover and put it on the player; it’s important to state at this point that I put on the wrong side first (side two). I played the opening track again and again for the rest of the day, and then immediately begged my mum to buy me a guitar, so although I still didn’t want to be a musician at that point, this is the record that made me pick up a guitar.
Led Zepplin – Heartbreaker
“Any objections? … Thought not.
“I then spent a couple of years learning how to play guitar and started to put together a few compositions ( I called them songs, they really weren’t) about how the hot girl in my year wouldn’t go out with me and other teenage boy things. It was around this time that I heard the record that made me want to be a musician (read songwriter) more than anything in the world. I remember the moment well because up until that point I had been actively discouraged by my parents from entering the music industry and was very nervous about telling them that I wanted to be a songwriter.
“I can’t stress that word ‘songwriter’ enough, because it’s a very important word to me. There are some people that want to be singers, some that want to be drummers, others guitar players or sax players. They’re all musicians and none are any better or worse paths than the others; for me though, it was about being a songwriter, to me all that matters are the songs, the melody, the meaning behind the words, the delivery; it’s the only form of art that cannot be faked in any way, it’s also why I play country music, because country music has the best songs.
“Anyway I’m beginning to ramble here. The song that made me want to throw it all away and sit in a van with four smelly boys, and struggle to pay rent while being away from home and worried about what my girlfriend was up to, the song that set me on this path, that gave me such a wonderfully interesting and such a woefully difficult life, the song that made me say, for better or for worse, I’m going to be a musician, is this:
Ryan Adams – Come Pick Me Up
“It may not seem like much to you, but it’s still everything to me, and I will always strive to be as good as it.
Thanks to Callum Adamson for the latest in our series of artist blogs. Catch ahab on tour from 29th Sept 2012 (see full tour dates below) in support of their forthcoming new album Live In London, out on Wits End, 29th October 2012.
No shows booked at the moment.