I have always loved music. My entire family loves music. My father used to have a whole room of 78’s (those are very, very old records for those of you too young to know). My aunt was a singer, I was a singer, my son is a singer songwriter, my other son is a drummer, my sister played the piano and several other instruments and my niece is studying to be a jazz singer at the Royal Academy of music and plays the flute, my nephew plays guitar, bass and the drums. When I was young I was in the school choir, the church choir and finally graduated to attending stage school full time to become an actress and singer. I even studied for a short time to be an opera singer but realized that as much as I loved to listen and play music I was too embarrassed to be a performer.
But I didn’t want a real job so I decided instead to get a job at MTV and interview performers rather than actually be one. I was part of the original team to launch MTV Europe in 1987. I somehow blagged my way into a job as a studio PA despite being unable to speak a foreign language or having a degree or indeed knowing anything about television production whatsoever. But I had worked for a photographer called Katya Grenfell and using my will and moxy had helped her finish her book, titled Naked London by persuading various celebrities and other semi important people to pose naked in front of famous monuments in London (and yes there were some arrests). This impressed the Americans sent from New York to build the MTV brand in London and I got the job. There was no better job aged 22. Amoung other things, I had to watch music videos and write the VJ’s copy. Yes I did say I was being paid to watch music videos and listen to music. I wasn’t paid much but I didn’t care. I got to meet people like Johnny Rotten (who by the way was scary) when they visited the studio. I later transferred to the film department and got a promotion working on the European movie shows eventually being transferred to New York to produce The Big Picture. But that’s another story.
My love of music started way before I worked at MTV and it continues to this day. When I was being treated for breast cancer music was one of the main things that carried me through. It is the thing that makes me happy and sometimes sad. I (slightly) judge people on their musical taste and have been known to fall passionately in love if someone has exquisite taste in music. Each month I collect my favorite new songs and put them on a CD and so in addition to all the other things I put on this newsletter and website I’m adding my latest musical finds.
Click here to hear what I was listening to this past month.