AT RANDOM: Singing the blues

Working in a newsroom, one learns to tune out the constant chatter and conversation.

Working in a newsroom, one learns to tune out the constant chatter and conversation. But at times, the desire to procrastinate from the task at hand is too great, and suddenly all of us are debating which Stieg Larsson book was the best, red wine versus white, our favourite Seinfeld episode and why Glee is no longer must-see TV.

And when the talk turns to music, you can be sure all of us — who range in age from 20s to 60s — will get in on the discussion. And suddenly we’re reminiscing over concerts we’ve loved, artists we’d prefer to never hear from again and others with voices that send us into paroxysms of joy.

So when our music reviewer Dean Gordon-Smith was in this morning to pick up the latest batch of CDs for reviewing, I of course couldn’t resist getting in on the conversation he was having with arts editor Kristin Froneman.

Dean is also a professional musician, so when I mentioned that my seven-year-old daughter has a thing for Justin Bieber, he was — unsurprisingly — horrified.

I had just finished explaining that my brother, a blues musician who lives in Calgary (shameless plug: Blues Connection, check them out on YouTube), had sent me the following e-mail the other day after I had sent him a pic of his niece wearing a JB T-shirt: “Justin Bieber! JUSTIN BIEBER!!! Have you forgotten the Blues part of her musical education? JUSTIN BIEBER???!!!!”

And yet, I understand her crush on the teen sensation. Because when I was a kid, I had a massive — and I mean huge — crush on the Justin Bieber of my day, Donny Osmond. Posters, records, 16 magazines piled on the floor: you name it, I had it.

Sure, it was all very clean-cut and wholesome, but the kid could sing. And, let music-lovers everywhere shun me, but so can Bieber.

My brother, five years my senior, had far more sophisticated tastes. At my eighth birthday party, he took me record shopping so I’d have tunes to spin on the turntable. Needles to say, all of my choices were deemed unacceptable. Apparently, he thought eight-year-old girls would prefer Cream, The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater.

When I was 12, and my sister was 10, we were in Toronto with my parents for a convention. My brother had just flown in from London, where he had been living for the past year, and of course we were all thrilled to be reunited. But I’m sure he wanted to hop on the next flight back to Heathrow when he discovered that we were desperate to go to the Osmonds concert. And that he was being pressed into service as our chaperone.

My memories of that concert are of thousands of girls screaming, with no hope of actually hearing the music, and my brother wearing his Elton John-esque platform shoes that were decorated with shiny silver stars (yes, it was the ‘70s).

The next year, in an attempt to be part of my own musical education, he took me to see BB King at UBC’s War Memorial Gym in Vancouver. I was not a blues fan at the time (see aforementioned teenybopper crush), but I was thrilled that my older brother thought I was cool enough to take to a concert.

It turns out he did have some influence on me after all. I no longer listen to Donny Osmond (full disclosure: I have a couple of songs for nostalgia’s sake on my iPod), but love the blues.

And who would have thought that years after that Osmonds concert at the CNE, I would be reminiscing about the show with Kristin. It turns out she was at that same concert. And no doubt screaming loudly and preventing me from hearing the subtleties of One Bad Apple.

I’ve taken my daughter to a couple of concerts already: the Wiggles twice, Charlotte Diamond, Bobs and Lolo and other toddler favourites. And I fully expect that in the not-too-distant future I will be hearing the screams of thousands of Justin Bieber fans.

—Katherine Mortimer is the lifestyles editor for The Morning Star





Just Posted

Vernon Vipers shut out Penticton Vees in first game of home-and-home

James Porter Jr. stopped all 42 shots, Seiya Tanaka-Campbell scored his first BCHL goal Friday night

Conservation officers on the hunt for North Okanagan moose poachers

Officers execute search warrant Friday morning, investigation continues

Vernon Montessori students re-gift to raise funds

Holiday Gift Shop fundraiser supports Project Christmas Elf, teaches sustainability

Sagmoen’s lawyer argues ‘abuse of power’ in police search

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen continued at the Vernon Law Courts on Friday

Vernon’s All Saints Church sets table for less fortunate

Fifth annual Festive Street Lunch will take place at All Saints’ Church tomorrow

‘Where the miracles live’: Shane Koyczan narrates powerful KGH Foundation video

‘There is more to being alive than just our data plans… there’s our plans’

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

WATCH: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

The fire was reported around 2 a.m. Saturday morning

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopens after vehicle incident near Boston Bar

Initial reports of a jack-knifed semi truck had closed both directions of the highway

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read