Hi, everyone. This week, I thought I would share a little something from my memoir. Enjoy!
Through all of this, I was going to shows at least once a week at The Metropolis. The only way to learn the “scene” was to go out there and check out the bands. In doing so, I found that I wasn’t as “punk” as my high school classmates thought. In fact, I disliked hardcore punk and most of its sub-genres as much as I did heavy metal.
To me, music must have three elements: rhythm, melody and harmony. I played piano, violin and guitar, and also sang (choir and theatre). I had a grounding in classical music as a result, and a correspondingly particular ear. As I’ve said before, my taste is eclectic; I’ll give just about anything a listen in order to formulate an opinion. Hardcore, thrash, et al., were not my cup of tea. In the ensuing years, I have been able to find something to like in every genre of music except Chinese opera, but that wasn’t the case in the early ‘80s.
I loved David Bowie, Roxy Music, Human League; in other words, the “art school” performers. It was one of the things that made me such a fan of Theatre of Sheep. I liked the more cerebral sound.
At the same time, I liked a good dance band like Billy Rancher’s, the mod and rockabilly resurgence coming out of Europe, some pure pop mainstream acts like The Police; it was hard to put my taste into one simple box.
One of the bands I heard at the Met was a trio called The Van Goghs. They had an edgy, mod sound and I liked them a lot. I approached their manager about doing an interview that I would pitch as a freelancer to Two Louies, the local music paper. He and the band were amenable, so I wrote it up and gave it to them for a fact check.
What came from that interview was my first gig as a publicist. (You knew I’d get to the business part eventually, right?)
Want your own copy of Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions? Here are the back cover copy and purchase links.
During her teenage years, award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart dreamed of working in the music business. She lived that dream for seven years, beginning at age 18.
Unfortunately, she learned that dreams can turn quickly to nightmares. Sharon found herself in a world of not only of music, but also one of domestic violence when she got involved with an undereducated youth she met during a concert. In this book, Sharon tells the unvarnished truth about experiences for which her sheltered upbringing left her unprepared.
Originally published as You Had to Be There: Three Years of Mayhem and Bad Decisions in the Portland Music Scene, Sharon has updated her memoir with new information about those early days.
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