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: Gabrielle Johnson

Gabrielle Johnson graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins with a Master’s degree in fashion journalism. Her dreams of becoming a muse to fellow alum Alexander McQueen never came true, sadly, but she did sit next to Stella McCartney at a café once, and that was pretty exciting.
She began her career as the associate editor of FQ and SIR magazines, where she worked with a fantastic team and was given a surprising amount of creative freedom. She spent a year as the beauty editor of Rouge Magazine before joining the Sweetspot.ca family, where she now very happily works as the editor of SweetLife, overseeing fashion, beauty and more restaurant/boutique/spa openings than you can shake a stick at.
Gabrielle lives in Toronto with her husband, their two cats and a small army of shoes. 

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
When I was four, I wanted to be a cocktail waitress; I thought it sounded like an incredibly glamorous career choice.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Still working in fashion, but I’d eventually like to spend a little less time at my computer and a little more time playing with clothes (preferably in exotic locales).
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Show people that you’re a hard worker. Say yes to everything. Stay late once in a while. It absolutely sucks that we don’t pay our interns in this industry, but giving off an I’m-too-good-for-this attitude won’t impress anyone. We all have to start somewhere.  
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I don’t think I’ll ever stop hoarding magazines, and I never miss an issue of British Vogue, American Vogue, Lula, The Gentlewoman, Living Etc. and Elle Decoration UK.
Online, I get my news from the Globe and Mail, New York Times and The Guardian, my celebrity gossip from DListed, and my fashion and design updates and inspiration from too many websites and blogs to list here. I’m also obsessed with the Tumblrs of angsty teenage girls who like to post photos of Parisian cafés and crumbling castles and Sofia Coppola and macaroons.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
The best was probably Paul Smith, who was lovely and charming and made it seem like we were two old friends having a nice chat. I also enjoyed interviewing Andy Samberg when I had a huge crush on him about five years ago. Nothing wrong with mixing business with pleasure, right?  
Worst?
I once drove out to the middle of nowhere to interview a flaky socialite at her faux-Georgian mansion. It was 30 degrees outside and she answered the door dressed in head-to-toe riding gear (including boots and a heavy tweed jacket) despite the fact that she didn’t own a horse and had no plans to ride that day – so of course I included that detail in the opening paragraph of my story.
She was friends with my editor-in-chief at the time, and for reasons I can’t explain, this editor broke one of the most basic rules of journalism and sent her a draft of the story before it went to print. The socialite threw a giant hissy fit and demanded we take out basically everything that made the story interesting.  
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
 
Don’t get too caught up in what other people are saying about you — even the good things. Other people’s opinions are usually more about them than they are about you, so don’t give them the power to make or break your day.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Also: you can’t make friends with salad.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Please, please, please read my website before contacting me so that I don’t spend half my day responding to irrelevant pitches. Please don’t call me 10 times in one day without leaving a single message; I have call display and you’re being kinda creepy. Please update your media lists on a regular basis so that you’re pitching to the right people (it helps if they’re people who actually still work at the company you’re pitching).
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I’ve had a lot of fantastic experiences with PR people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, but honestly, as long as you’re friendly, helpful and get back to me quickly with the info I’ve requested, I’ll think you’re pretty awesome.
I hate?
Noisy neighbours, slow walkers, endless winters, confined spaces, Gwyneth Paltrow.
I love? 
Carbs, napping, fancy tea and freshly baked scones, Saturday morning quiet time with my kitties and a stack of books, new nail polish colours, being in London, laughter that leads to snorting, my husband’s mad breakfast-making skillz, taking pictures of trees, looking at pictures of trees, packages from Miu Miu waiting to be unwrapped, moody British period dramas and very long walks.
Reading? 
I’ve been reading The Beautiful Fall since 2006 and I’m determined to finish the damn thing this month; I’ll throw a party once I finally reach the last page. I’m also working my way through The Marriage Plot and Sophie Dahl’s new cookbook From Season to Season. I don’t cook, but I enjoy reading about food and imagining myself cooking someday.
Best place on earth? 
It’s a tie between the Four Seasons Maui and the swan pond at Kensington Gardens in London.
Dinner guest? 
Tilda Swinton.
Hero? 
Daisy from the 1980 Judith Krantz classic, Princess Daisy.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I’m an online editor with Luddite tendencies. Pass.
Pool or ocean?
Either, as long as there are no sharks around (yes, I believe in swimming pool sharks).
Voicemail or email? 
Unless we’re actually real-life friends, email.