Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Taras, The Lulu Raes – Tenacious D – ‘Tenacious D’
To many people you were a sweaty, morbidly overweight, and grossly unattractive first lover. You were a Cheezel stain. You were fugly. I remember going to a Roosters vs Sharks NRL game, and the only time the intimidating bogan crowd payed any attention to the cheap band that filled half-time was to boo you when they played your hit song Tribute. I was perplexed. I found you so easy to love.
My first high-school friend Alex King showed you to me. He had a perfect cube for a head and a great fear of his father. I remember once asking if his mother was pregnant. She wasn’t. He and I would listen non-stop to your album, and with each new listen a new favourite song would raise its dumb head. You knew you were dumb. But that was the god damn point. You were funny. You were irreverent. Fuck the bogans. And, especially, you had heart. For a skinny-framed loser with an unusually out-of-place fat ass (my friends called me “Fat Ukrainian Ass” even though I’m not Ukrainian), to find confidence in what should have been your liabilities resonated deep within my ample buttocks.
And you were a very musical piece of work. Wonderboy modulates nearly every bar in the verses; City Hall is an epic medley that seamlessly moves between folk, psych and hard rock (in the vein of Bohemian Rhapsody), The Road is a white-man’s blues feast. I devoured it all. You had chops, my love. Dave Grohl drummed on the album, at a time when he hadn’t yet achieved the “Hall of Rock Fame” saturation that he has today, and he hadn’t yet played in a billion other bands. It gave you cred, although I didn’t think you needed it. The band was tight, the song writing masterfully crafted, and the lyrics perfect for a hormonal teenager who had just discovered how to delete internet history.
I guess the main thing that you did for me is you made me pick up a guitar. I learnt guitar and all your songs from start to finish in a two week stint during the holidays where I only ate canned Irish Mutton because my dad had gotten a new girlfriend and wasn’t home for the entire year. To this day he still feels guilty for leaving, but your music and the preservatives in the cheap tin-meat made me strong. I started tabbing your songs out for online message boards. I started not wearing a belt so my fat ass wouldn’t stand out as much (my pants would ride very high as you can imagine). It was during those holidays that I learnt from mutual friends that Cube-Head Alex hated me. I still don’t know why. It hurt. But now I had something else to do every day, something that would lead me onto a path I didn’t think I was going to take. And I’m still on that path. So I guess you’re just like Jack Black’s movie Shallow Hal, you are beautiful to me, no matter what anyone else thinks.