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: Maryam Siddiqi

Maryam Siddiqi is the editor of Post Toronto and the deputy managing editor of the Features Department at the National Post. She first started at the Post eight years ago as the managing editor the paper’s business magazine. Prior to that she worked in public relations. Extracurricular activities include drum lessons. She can play a fairly accurate rendition of Sunday Bloody Sunday. Cool.

Twitter: @MSiddiqi


How did you get your start as an editor?
After university, I completed the post-grad PR certificate program at Humber. I worked in PR for three years and hated it, so I completed Ryerson’s Magazine Journalism continuing education program, then got an internship at Saturday Night magazine. As that came to an end, I sent a few freelance pitches here and there, including one to the National Post’s business magazine. Luck, timing and a solid story pitch landed me an interview with the magazine’s editor (his managing editor had just resigned), who hired me.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
Writing for TV. (It’s my hope, anyway.) Or urban planning.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email, please. I’m really not a phone person.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Please take no as an answer. I know you think your story is really important, but sometimes I don’t (sorry!). Plus, I’m dealing with you times, like, 30, so if I turn down a pitch and you come back to me with it, well… it’s going to make me not want to run the story just that much more.

Don’t send emails bigger than three or four MB. If you’ve got lots of photos or PDF’s attached to an email, find out if there’s a group mailbox you can send it to. Send me a 12MB message and it paralyzes my email and makes me not like you.

If something can be sent electronically, please do so. At times, I feel like I’m responsible for a not-insignificant pile of landfill with all the press material I get.

Please contact me at my work email, not my personal email, not on Facebook.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Scent? Bond No. 9’s Fire Island or L’Occitane Green Tea with Mint.
Cookie? Can’t go wrong with PC Decadent chocolate chip, but if I’m looking for something healthier I love Whole Foods’ spelt ginger snaps.
Flower? Hydrangeas.
Ticklish? Yes.
Shower or bath? Shower.
Film? Grosse Point Blank. Or 28 Days Later. (Scares me every time.)
Crush? Cute boys with English accents. Specifically, Henry Cavill.
First job? My very first pay cheque came from McDonalds. I was a cashier.
Inspiration? People who take action instead of just talking.