Media, Darling: My first record, part 2

We’re continuing our special holiday Media, Darling post about first records. Hope everyone is enjoying their time off!  
Wendy Kam Marcy: My first album was New Kids On The Block. I had a mad tween crush on Jordan Knight and used to fall asleep with him singing to me – I hid my Walkman under the covers and had a picture of him under my pillow. Years later, I met him and he signed my Hangin’ Tough tape. It was pretty amazing to see this guy that I’ve watched so many times on music videos and in concert actually standing before me. I even hugged him.
Benjamin Leszcz: My first CD was in fact two CDs: Bon Jovi’s Keep the Faith – and the Keep the Faith Mega Edition Bonus CD. My Dance Mix ’92 tape got tossed into the back of the closet – and I became a man.
Jeni Besworth: The first cassette I bought (that got played until you could no longer read the writing on it) was Blue Rodeo Outskirts. I had always listened to pop music/top 40 and one day my brother came into my room, stopped my ghetto blaster, which was blaring Wham! and scolded me on my taste in music. He lectured that I needed to branch out – “listen to CFNY!” – and expand my musical horizons. 
 
So, the next day (without him knowing of course), I switched stations and caught the last minute of Try. I had never heard anything like it. It blew my mind. I bought the tape that afternoon after school. To this day, they remain one of my all-time favourite bands. 
Deirdre Kelly: My first album was The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour. I must have been 11, and was so inspired that soon after, I did my Grade 5 public speaking assignment on The Beatles (I was a school finalist). I bought it for the same reason I love it: I Am The Walrus. I heard that Lennon/McCartney song for the first time on a transistor radio I had hidden under my pillow at night. The Beatles, alas for me, had broken up, and CHUM was playing a documentary on the most famous band in pop music. I Am the Walrus came on at one point, and I was mesmerized: the serpentine melody, John Lennon’s nasal, aggressive voice, the surreal nonsense lyrics, as deliciously subversive as anything out of Lewis Carroll. 

I had never heard anything like it. It was like opium to my ears. I don’t think the song was released as a single, which is why I went to Kresge’s in Thorncliffe Park, where I grew up, to buy with my own money the Magical Mystery Tour album. I Am the Walrus is just one of several outstanding sonic creations on it, the others being Strawberry Fields, Fool on the Hill, Penny Lane and George Harrison’s psychedelic-evocative, Blue Jay Way

I am a huge Beatles fan still today. I met Ringo last year, and, in September, I met Paul McCartney at the world premiere of his Ocean’s Kingdom ballet in New York; he kissed me twice, and held my hand while we chatted. I was dumbstruck. But I did manage to find my voice to thank him for a lifetime of incredible music. 

Sarah Kelsey: Outside of Strawberry Shortcake on vinyl (seriously, it was her telling stories), the first album I remember loving was a mixed tape my mom and dad made. It was full of classic rock and oldies tunes. I played it over and over and over again on my toteable, plastic Fisher-Price cassette player. I practically brought it everywhere with me. It’s because of this tape I developed my love of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Creedance Clearwater Revival and The Band. Keep in mind I was probably three or four years old when I became obsessed with these tunes. My love of classic rock endures to this day.
 
Gabrielle Johnson: I feel like I’m really dating myself here by revealing that my first album was Miss Piggy’s Aerobique Exercise Workout Album, which was a parody of the Jane Fonda Workout. On vinyl.  My favourite song was Snackcercise – if memory serves, Miss Piggy instructed listeners to “reach for the bonbon, eat the bonbon, reach for the bonbon, eat the bonbon.” That is still my idea of an awesome workout.  
Karon Liu: If we’re not including cassettes, my first CD was Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. Ironic was being played every hour on the radio and MuchMusic and it was one hell of a catchy tune. I was 10 when the CD came out in 1995, so I had no idea what most of the lyrics meant until much later. Luckily my parents weren’t fluent in English, so they didn’t think twice when I sang “And are you thinking of me when you fuck her?” out loud in my room. Ever since the CD came out, I’ve always had it in my Discman, on the various mp3 players I owned over the years and currently on my iPhone. It’s the album I listened to the most, especially during the mandatory emo phase everyone had in high school. My second CD was — you guessed it — the soundtrack to Space Jam
Lisa Ng: My first CD that I ever bought (when it was cool to make the switch from cassette tapes to CD) was The Cranberries’ No Need to Argue in 1994. It was the perfect soundtrack to my angsty teen years and The Cranberries were the shit back then! I paid $13.99 for it at Future Shop and listened to it over and over again.
Chantel Simmons: For Christmas of 1985, my parents gave me a ghetto blaster. Yes, that’s probably an incorrect term now, but that’s what we called it back then. Move over, shared family room record player. With two cassette decks, I was in business. I could now make my own mixed tapes, so my first cassette was a huge deal: Starship Knee Deep in the Hoopla. No clue what my fascination was with that band, but I was obsessed with the songs We Built This City and Sara. That is, until a few months later when I got NKOTB fever.
Thanks to our Media, Darlings for sharing their fun memories of their fave cassettes, albums and CDs. What were yours? Tweet us @rockitpromo or leave a comment!

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Media, Darling: My first record – part 1

Last year for the holidays, we asked some of our past Media, Darlings to share their favourite holiday traditions (check out part one here and part two here). This year, we decided to mix up it a little, and got them to spill about their very first album/record/tape/CD. The results were even better than we were hoping for. Without further ado, here goes the first round: 

Laura Serra: Culture Club’s Colour by Numbers. I used to turn our family room into a dance studio, jump off the sofas and boogie the night away.
Doug Wallace: Throughout the whole of the 1960s, I was obsessed with The Beatles. She Loves You came out when I was two years old, and the words were dead easy to remember! Aside from the obvious bubble gum compilations (so cheap and pressed for peanuts in Mississauga) that my teenaged siblings brought into the house every weekend, I spent my “drugstore” money on Beatles albums, until I had most of them — and then they broke up. And now, as they slowly die off (and their hair is brown still!), I have my eye on the complete iTunes set. On my list.
Flannery Dean: I have an older sister and so much of my music (like my clothing) was hand-me-down and consisted of mixed tapes (cassettes!) that she and her friends made. But my first big-girl purchase was a bargain-bin CD of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits when I was 12 or 13. I bought it because I had a crush on a boy at school who was a self-styled troubadour in the vein of Bob D (he was adorable and pretentious — adorably pretentious). The crush on the boy faded. My affection (One Too Many Mornings) for Bob Dylan endured. 
Athena TsavlirisGosh, I think it would have to have been a Madonna album. I totally remember wearing white fishnet gloves and belting out Papa Don’t Preach into my curling iron. 





Maryam Siddiqi: I have a horrible memory and can’t remember the first album I bought (though I have faint visions of Corey Hart’s Christmas EP — on red vinyl!), but do know that the first poster I ever had on my bedroom wall was of Wham! It was the cover of their Make it Big album. Many a hairbrush was used as a microphone for my renditions of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, and I had a bit of a crush on Andrew Ridgeley. Fun fact: I’ve never really cared for Careless Whisper.

 



Sasha Tong:  The first CD that I bought with my own money was Blind Melon, you know, the one with that cute bee-girl on the cover. Need I say more than No Rain? Come on, that song is a pretty awesome jam and to this day it’s still one of my go-to Karaoke songs. You should also know that I went to see them open for Lenny Kravitz in Vancouver when Shannon Hoon whipped out his BLEEP and peed on a person in the front row. I thought it was really cool back then and I actually still do….


Randi Bergman: The first tape I remember having was a single of TLC’s Creep, which incidentally was purchased for me by my grandmother. I can’t imagine that she would have bought it for me had she known the lyrical content, but then again… I had no idea what it meant either.


Mackay Taggart: My first album, I’m hesitant to admit, was Boyz II Men’s sophomore CD II.  I was 11 and (at the time) far from soulful, romantic or deep…though come to think of it perhaps the same can be said for Boys II Men. My one saving grave was that the CD was a gift, however enough digging would probably reveal a letter to Santa that requested the title along with the latest air powered NERF gun. Looking back on the lyrics of the album’s hit single I’ll Make Love To You, I question what a sixth grader could really glean from words like “Girl relax, let’s go slow, I ain’t got nowhere to go….Girl are you ready? It’s gonna be a long night”. Nonetheless I had my hands on a record spun nightly by Tarzan Dan on AM640, so I felt cool. All this said, acquiring that album back in Christmas of 1994 was probably the closest I’ve ever come to having “game”.


Bonnie Munday: I remember playing Supertramp’s Breakfast in America over and over again as a kid with my best friend Sandra in her basement. I loved the lyrics and that the band was British, but listening to it now, it’s pretty cheesy. 



Paul Boynett: My first album was Never Mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols. I bought it because my close friend brought over Rod Stewart’s Do Ya Think I’m Sexy and I needed to cleanse my ear palette as quickly as possible (do we even have ear palettes?). I had never even heard the band but their notoriety intrigued me so I bought it without hearing it. From the opening sound of boots marching in Holidays in the Sun to the very end, I love everything about the album – still.

Funny side story: I left the album at my British girlfriend’s house and her mom threw it out.  I thought it was because it was so loud and obnoxious, turns out it was because bollocks was a “bad” word over in the UK and she was offended by the reference. Who knew? I guess the album was an education as well.



Stay tuned for part two of our Media, Darling’s first albums next week. What was your first album? Leave a comment or tweet us @rockitpromo.


Media, Darling: Paul Boynett

Veteran producer Paul Boynett has been working in the entertainment/television industry for over a decade. He got his start in the showbiz industry at Much Music, were he worked as an overnight tape operator, had a few editing and producing gigs at Much Music and StarTV, then finally settled at Bravo! as an Associate Producer. He is addicted to anything by The Beatles, Clash or Led Zeppelin, is a self-proclaimed Ontario craft beer expert and thinks that Jack White should produce every record made. 


Other fun facts about Boynett: opera makes him cry, he loves when Norah Jones goes country and he takes his single malt and blended Scotches seriously. 

With the bearded dragon (the lizard, not Boynett).
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
No. I was either going to be a screenwriter or an air traffic controller.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
On the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t expect to start out doing what you want. I wanted to be a producer but when nothing was available I took an editing position. Although I wasn’t great at it, it gave me a better perspective on storytelling (I knew what worked and what didn’t) and when I did become a producer, I had a much better idea about how to do the job.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Setanta, HBO and anyone showing soccer. I am addicted to The Onion A/V club.  A must-visit site for pop culture junkies. I listen to NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” (a very funny look at the week’s news headlines styled like a ’50’s quiz show).

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
Stephen Colbert in Montreal was the best. I got to talk to him alone for about ten minutes while camera was setting up (this was about three months before he left The Daily Show to start The Colbert Report) and he told me a great story about how when he was growing up, he was embarrassed by the stigma of being from the south. So much so he tried to hide his accent when he went to college at Northwestern. A very, very smart guy – as all great comics are.


Wilford Brimley (the diabetes commercial guy) was the worst. He thought I mistook him for another actor (which I didn’t) and it became very awkward.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was an editor and got tense as deadlines approached, a senior editor told me never to panic – it always gets to air.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Never discuss politics with friends.

Never say something behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face.

Don’t waste your energy reacting to someone who is nasty or negative.


What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Tell me why whatever it is you are promoting works for my show(s). With an email inbox that sometimes is bursting at the seams, it is easier if I know immediately why something is a good fit for us. 

Also, although my hair looks like Einstein’s, I am no genius. Sometimes there is an angle to a story or event that is not obvious to me, so show me.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.  
Anytime someone arrives at an interview with all the materials (clips, photos, etc.) I need to put my story together makes me happy. Having to follow up and wait for story elements is frustrating and sometimes means missed deadlines.


I hate?:
Waking up before 10 a.m.  Oh yeah, also, gardening.

I love?:  
Waking up after 10 a.m. Manchester City Football Club. My dogs. (Two Italian Greyhounds and a Chihuahua).

Reading? 
Among The Truthers by Jonathan Kay.

Best place on earth?
It’s a tie – Austin, Texas and Venice, Italy.

Dinner guest? 
Hero?
Hank Williams.


Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)? 
NPR App (is this sounding pretentious?).

Pool or ocean? 
Neither, I am deathly afraid of sharks and I hate chlorine.

Voicemail or email?
Email.