For most people, music is one of the most important things in life. It can inspire you, fill you with joy or even make you cry. But different music affects us all in different ways. Each week, I interview one of our writers or editors about the impact music has had on their life. This week, I talk to frivolity editor Naomi Duffree about her life in music.
Describe your taste in music in three words.
Eclectic, unusual, surprising!
What’s your musical genre of choice?
Ooh far too tricky… If you are expecting me to make decisions, Lorna, you’ve come to the wrong woman! Rock or pop …probably …or musical theatre songs? Does that class as a genre? Oh I don’t know, but I know what I like!
Your favourite band or artist?
I’m just changing this question to ‘AND’. Please don’t ask me to choose either one! Squeeze (spot on lyrics) AND Robbie Williams – but not during his Take That (formative) years!
Your favourite song of all time?
I’m going to have to go with Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’. Love the rhythm – it usually gets me up and dancing.
What was the first album you ever bought?
I can’t believe I’m confessing this. Cliff Richard – More Hits By Cliff – but I hasten to add I bought it well after it was released!
First gig you went to?
AC/DC at the Hammersmith Odeon. A friend’s boyfriend had got her a ticket but she wasn’t a fan. What’s a girl to do? Had a great time although my ears took days to recover. It was a while back but I’m pretty sure Def Leppard were the support band.
What was the last song you listened to?
‘Million Years Ago’ – Adele… quickly becoming a successor to ‘Tainted Love’!
Which musicians do you admire? Do you have any musical role models?
I admire anyone who can play an instrument – I used to have to write the notes on my music sheet at school while struggling to learn the recorder! So I think that answers the other part of the question.
What’s your opinion on music videos?
They were quite exciting when they first came out, but probably because they were different! Some were pretty cheesy! I rarely watch music channels now nor hunt out videos on the net. I guess with the popularity of the internet they probably help sales and promotion, but I prefer watching a live performance from an artist.
— Naomi (@nsdlittlelegs) December 1, 2015
In your opinion, what’s the most annoying song of all time?
‘Shaddap You Face’ by Joe Dolce. What possessed the record company to release that?? This has been haunting me from school days. I think it got to number 1. And if I ever come across anyone who helped that happen, I will not be held responsible for what I do.
Who do you think is the most overrated artist out there?
At the risk of sounding as if I’m just copying Gemma’s answer from the other week, I have to say One Direction. Can’t sing and can’t cover Blondie songs. So what they thought they were doing at the Brits a few years ago is anybody’s guess.
Where do you find new music?
That’s a very good question as I rarely listen to music radio. I think I’d have to say recommendations from reviews, friends or if I hear new bands at festivals.
Do you play any instruments?
Only the recorder…badly…and probably only ‘London’s Burning’ or ‘Hot Cross Buns’… from memory. I still can’t read music.
Rock or pop?
It depends on my mood. But my roots are probably rock.
Classical or heavy metal?
Despite my love of AC/DC, if I had to choose one for the rest of my life I’d plump for classical as I think I need to listen to more of this. I find it pretty relaxing but also you can hear a great passion in some pieces, especially piano. I rarely listen to classical which is a shame.
What song will always cheer you up?
Kirsty MacColl – ‘In These Shoes’. It has fun lyrics and the music is carnival city! I have a passion for shoes and I want this played at my funeral. Every time I think of this being played, as people would be carrying out my coffin, I chuckle 😉
What song always makes you cry?
How long have you got?
‘Million Years Ago’ by Adele, ‘White Wine in the Sun’ by Tim Minchin, ‘The Ballad of Lucy Jordan’ by Marianne Faithful, ‘Alone Again’ by Vonda Shepard, ‘Seventeen’ by Janis Ian, ‘Seasons In the Sun’ by Terry Jacks, ‘Eternity’ by Robbie Williams, ‘For Good’ by Kristin Chenoweth & Idina Menzel… Shall I stop now before I run out of tissues?
What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Country music! I love a good story told in song so it has to be country. Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton come to mind but I used to have a tape of country music with plenty of unknowns on it. There was so much tragedy on there – I’m sure I was traumatised listening to it, but it was irresistible.
“Four hungry children and a crop in the field.” Yes Lucille, fancy upping sticks when your man had a crop to harvest and kids to feed. Good grief. You could have waited until you’d given them their tucker? Can you imagine trying to get away with lyrics like that now? And let’s not forget, “His Mama named him Tommy, but folks just called him yellow.”…Ah, fun times – well, not for the coward of the county…but you can see how they hook you in!
What does music mean to you?
An emotional vehicle. Happy or sad, it covers all emotions and occasions. It is good for the soul.
What do you love most about music?
The fact that you can hear a piece of music and be transported right back to a moment in your life. It can be so evocative.
If you could sit down for a chat with any musician (dead or alive) – who would it be?
Elton John. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank him for what he did for Watford football club – and also what he has done for the music industry. He too has produced some amazing songs.
Tell us your best musical memory.
It has to be seeing Queen live at Wembley back in 1986 on The Magic Tour. Freddie Mercury was incredible, as were the rest of the band. It turned out to be the last tour they did for 19 years. Status Quo supported them too – and Anita Dobson was rumoured to be seeing Brian May and she was sat a few rows behind us! All very surreal. It was an evening of amazing music and vocals from Freddie. What a talent.
…I also will never forget the time my daughter (who was at primary school at the time) came home to find I’d bought an Oasis CD. “Mum! This is what teenagers listen to!” She was astounded and outraged all in one. And all I could think was… “Oh dear, wait until she finds out her mother still has sex.”
What’s your best musical memory? Tell us about your life in music in the comments below!