V is a whizz at most of the trivia served up, having been immersed in musical culture from a very early age. I am okay at bits of it - mainly the trivial - but there are large gaps in my knowledge even though I may have lived through the eras that are represented.
But do I ever feel dumb about this? Not really (well, not unless it is THAT WEDNESDAY that hasn't come along for a few months now) because I have an inescapeable excuse.
I can blame my upbringing.
See, while others may have grooved out to their parents extensive album collections (like V did) there was a theme running through Mum and Dad's records that didn't exactly trill "seventies style". On the upside, any Charley Pride or Val Doonican songs ever featured on SnS are a shoo in for me.
Don't take too much pity on me - after all, there were occasional glimpses of life in the outside world - "The Best of Abba" did come into the family home (this shot is 1 side of the album - the side Mum chose to display - the other side was Dad's favourite - anyone remember why?)
We did get exposure to some exceptional tomes, don't get me wrong. When our next door neighbour married, he married well - a girl with a Hot Chocolate album in her collection. My uncle's marriage brought a fantastic aunt - and some compliations that mean bubble gum music is not a completely foreign concept.
Unfortunately there were not enough eligible local bachelors nor enough funky city chicks marrying them to mean that my grassroots understanding of hip culture was all encompassing (man, I have dyslexia this morning - that came out as emcomappsing first go round).
If I had to rely on the local media I was up the creek.
Countdown was accessible via the television station we could receive (in a very grainy grey, it must be admitted. I thought Big Bird was grey for years!) but only available if we could fool our parents into letting us turn on the TV slightly earlier than the news - that was not always as easy a task as it sounds.
The local radio station had a rather limited budget, and tended to buy 1 album a year - I remember the year that they invested in Toto (and see, I always thought that the album must have been called "Africa" - its not, its Toto IV).
I just checked the Wikipedia entry on the song and had to laugh to read this:
Without a doubt Toto’s most recognizable song, "Africa" was almost omitted from the Toto IV record prior to its release. Having spent a great amount of time producing the tune, the band became so tired of the song that they didn’t want it on the album.
Without further ado, here is the earworm that defined that year for me:
Another year George Michael got the guernsey. Anyone up for a rendition of "Last Christmas"? No, me either.
The good news is that the decades after I have managed to track down and bone up on my lack of education in these areas and don't appear to be too strange when matters wander onto pop culture during that era. I can fudge it pretty well, and even manage to answer some questions and appear somewhat knowledgeable. (A secret I have just exposed - I am fairly competitive when it comes to fluff)
However, if I occasionally look at you a little strangely when you ask me to hum the opening lines to "Can't Get it out of My Head" by ELO, its because there are bits of my youth I cannot recreate (but I can tell you what ELO stands for).
When was your musical awakening? And have you ever been hip?