Hello. . . My first record. . . I’m guessing this might meander, but that’s how I think from thing to thing connected. . . Let’s call this “My First Records and Record Firsts.”
I remember the first song I ever, for lack of a better word, noticed.
By noticed, I mean something more than the songs you hear in the air, sing at school, camp, church. It’s the first song I liked while I was hearing it and that song is “Country Road” by John Denver. I think I was in a car in Connecticut. I was very young.
A few years later was the first time anyone pointed out to me (and my siblings) that music was made up of multiple layers of different instruments playing different parts. That was my step mom and we were in the car at night headed somewhere.
The music was symphonic at first, then she switched to a rock station to point out the same situation happens in rock-n-roll. I think the band on the radio was Led Zeppelin. Also, she had a stack of 45s that we would listen to and my sister would make us dance.
The first full album bought for me was a Christmas gift and it wasn’t really the one I wanted. I wanted either the album by Christopher Cross with “Sailing” on it or the album by the J. Geils Band with “Centerfold” on it.
I forget what album on cassette I ended up with, but I didn’t listen to it as much as I would have. Regardless, for this same Christmas I also received a desktop cassette recorder /player, which I placed next to the radio and used to record myself mix-tapes through the air using the built-in microphone.
Anyhow, sometime around then I did some summer jobs. Worked in fields that grew watermelon, tobacco and something else I can’t remember. I had a little money, so I bought my first cassettes. They were:
The “Breakin’” soundtrack:
The Fat Boys‘ first record:
And some other early but more obscure rap that I haven’t been able to find since, partly because I can’t remember the name of the group. I don’t remember which one I listened to first when I got home. I do know that I was breakdancing at the time.
A little later, I was buying a little vinyl, which brings us to the first song on a record I ever learned all the words to and that song is “Let the Good Times Roll” by the Cars. Notebook paper and pencil in hand, I picked up the needle and moved it back if the song was playing faster than I could write or if I didn’t understand the lyrics.
Then there’s the first album I purchased directly from a band. I don’t remember the name of the album, but the band was Inner Circle and my favorite song on the album was ”Bad Boys.”
I saw them play at a reggae sunsplash at the University of Florida with my mom and her best friend and my sister. Years later, I’m watching TV and this new-to-me show comes on called Cops and I hear this song. I go dig through a box of old tapes and find it. It’s them. I hated that their song got used like that (but who am I to judge?). It’s probably served them well.
The first devil record I ever bought (albeit a tame devil record) was “Shout at the Devil” by Motley Crue. I love 80s metal and I fucking love this song AND video.
Somewhere around here, I move away from home in Gilchrist county, FL to Gainesville, FL. I started buying my first real punk rock records and weird records and 80s goth records and thrash records and all that. I would buy them on a whim or gut feeling about the art, sounds unheard, in the local independent record store.
At the same time I had discovered zines and started to go to shows and started to learn about more underground music including local Gainesville, FL bands.
Check these out:
During my first, um, well, losing my virginity. . . the album The Head on the Door by the Cure was playing on my boom box. I was twenty years old.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: ROY! This is my favorite song by The Cure ;))
Anyhow, I moved to Memphis, started hanging out at the Antenna Club and met some people that I became friends with. They had a band called A Band Called Bud.
Later they became The Grifters (named after the book), because Budweiser sent them a cease and desist letter. . . and then a little later, of course, a movie was made of the book.
So, my first album cover appearance was on one of their singles, a posed/voodoo/jesus-in-combat-boots looking photo.
My first amateur album recording engineering release was for them; I did some of the basic tracks for “One Sock Missing” in a flower shop where Dave and Stan worked.
The rest was done at Easley Studios. I also did some of the art in the album, a first for me as a visual artist (and would record some of and contribute art to their and the Simple Ones’ catalog along the way).
I am still constantly recording things to this day, but not others’ music as much as I used to.
My first guest musician spot on a record was on a Loverly Records 45, playing drums for Trey Harrison.
It was also my first record as a drummer, but it wasn’t my band. I was in a band called Bob’s Lead Hyena (originally called Roy Food with a different singer). It was my first real band. We didn’t release a record. Here’s a song anyways.
My first album as a drummer and with a band I was in was Worth the Weight by the Simple Ones.
But since I was the second drummer, some of the songs were not me. On the older songs, the drums were deftly played by a guy named Mark Miller.
Then the next record. . . finally, my first whole album as a drummer: Two Cups for a Tale by the Simple Ones.
It was also my first record release that had me singing a song (that I wrote. . . contain your laughter).
We toured some in the states. We toured Germany with a band named Desmond Q Hirnch. We were trying like crazy, but sadly, eventually, the band broke up.
Somewhere in here I (and Terance Brown) released our first electronic album on cassette under the band name Overjoid. It’s here.
Then a little time passes and I find Lucero or they find me. They were already recording a record. Everything was done except bass and drums. For my first album with Lucero, The Attic Tapes, I had to learn the ebb and flow of the meter of the guitars to record my parts.Here’s a fan made video for one of the songs.
It turns out that it turned out alright and maybe some of this was someone-out-there’s first in some way.
Roy Berry is the drummer for alt-punktry rock band Lucero. The first Lucero album recorded at Ardent Studios was 1372 Overton Park. They have a new one called Women and Work coming in March that was also recorded at Ardent.