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!

Media, Darling: Karon Liu

Karon Liu is The Grid‘s (formerly Eye Weekly) resident food writer and he considers himself to be the luckiest guy in the world since his main task is to eat. Prior to The Grid, he has written for Toronto Life, National Post, Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun, and his photos have appeared in More, Zoomer, National Geographic Traveler and on TorontoLife.com.


Can you spot Karon’s hand?
In addition to backpacking, stargazing and trying new foods, Karon also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.


What was your favourite class in high school? Why?
Photography class was my favourite because it broke up the monotony of staring at a textbook all day. It was the one class where I didn’t fall asleep. I learned how to develop my own film, manipulate photos without Photoshop and find my way around the darkroom when the red lightbulb would break. I also have many fond memories of hallucinating in an unventilated darkroom full of chemicals at 4 a.m.

How did you get your start as a writer?
After graduating with a journalism degree from Ryerson, I did a few internships and freelance gigs before becoming an editorial intern at Toronto Life magazine. They had just started a food blog called The Dish and I was pitching stories and taking every assignment that was handed to me. I didn’t know much about the restaurant industry at the time, so I had to do a lot of cramming. I continued to write for Toronto Life’s site for the next two years and then I moved on to The Grid, where I’m currently a staff writer.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
Hiking in the Himalayas and avoiding work of any kind.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
E-mail.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Sending folders and packages full of press releases, CDs and USB keys. Writers and editors usually throw them out immediately, or keep the USB key and delete all the files in it. If I need additional information, I’ll ask.

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise when I’m on vacation, sunset for the rest of the year.

Scent?
Unscented.

Cookie?
My sister’s chocolate chip recipe.

Flower?
Chamomile. Add hot water, some honey and you’ve got a party.

Ticklish?
Yes. It’s why I broke up with Oprah.

Shower or bath?
Moist towelette.
Film?
Tie between Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park.

Crush?
I prefer C-plus.

First job?
Working in the stockroom at The Gap in the Toronto Eaton Centre. I believe every teenager should work at least two years in the retail or food service industry to appreciate the value of a dollar and learn how to deal with jerks.

Inspiration?
Books, coworkers, friends, newspapers, an afternoon stroll, pretty much anything can spark an idea for an article, photo spread or what I’m going to have for lunch.