Mother’s Day Special: Music with the Howl & Echoes Mums

Sunday 10 May 2015 is Mother’s Day and we, the Howl & Echoes gang, wanted to take a moment to wish our Mums – and all Mums – a Happy Mother’s Day. Mother-figures come in all shapes and sizes; some are biological Mums, Aunts or Grandmothers, some are Step Parents or Foster Parents and some don’t quite neatly fit into any of the above categories. Regardless, these beautiful people are the ones that played an enormous role in loving us, caring for us and shaping us into the people we are today. So to all Mums out there, new or old, have a swell Mother’s Day and we are sending you the biggest emoji love hearts and hugs.

To pay tribute to these lovely people, the H&E gang thought it would be fun to go back to where it all began, find out a little more about our dear Mums and ask them questions about all things music – we’re talking first gigs, favourite albums, pre-natal musical influences and bra-flingingly* good band crushes (*I’m taking creative licence here, the H&E Mums didn’t get nude as far as we know).

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David Cassidy. Always.

Before we begin, I don’t want to alarm you, but we have a pretty trendy set of Mums here at H&E. Sneaking into discos and concerts at 16 years old, hitting up music festivals like Splendour in the Grass and mad sexy crushes on David Cassidy are all par for the course with these rock’n’roll Mums, whose favourites (more often than not) included U2, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac. So, if you’re reading this, whip up some pancakes for Mum’s brekkie in bed on Mother’s Day, sit down, read and enjoy. Happy Mother’s Day!

PS – our lovely Evangeline recently did a beautiful tribute to her Mum for our Flashback Friday series, well worth a read.

Andrew and his Mum Julie


What was the first band you remember really loving?
Probably The Police, but that was because I saw them in concert. There was music I enjoyed a lot before The Police, but it was based on the music rather than the band, you know?

How do you think your taste in music has changed as you’ve gotten older? Do you think it has changed?
A little bit! I think actually you’ve been a great influence for me. I probably wouldn’t have listened to that kind of music unless you’d introduced me to it. I’ve always liked something with a good beat that I can have a bit of a dance to [bops head to indicate dancing, apparently]. Something that makes me feel happy inside.

And who is your favourite artist at the moment?
Ooh, gosh… I want to say SAFIA, because I’ve liked all of their stuff I’ve heard so far. And I’m excited to be seeing them in concert, at the festival (Splendour in the Grass). I’ve never been to a musical festival before, only concerts!

What’s your best concert memory?
I haven’t been to that many, to be honest. The Police [laughs], because that was the first concert I had ever been to. I went with my cousin and her friends, and I felt really grown up because I was still at school – I was 16 – and they’re two years older than me, so they were in their first year of uni.

I went to stay at Leeds University and we went to a Police concert, it was very exciting! I couldn’t believe how many people were there, and people were fainting, and they were passing the bodies – well, they weren’t dead – over the sea of people. I was so close to the front, as well; I was about four or five rows back. The music just filled my whole being; it was such a great atmosphere.

Who do you think has influenced your music tastes the most?
Well, my friends, the media… I used to go to nightclubs a lot from the age of about 16. Of course I shouldn’t have been in nightclubs then, but I was – don’t tell your sister! It was just dependent on what music was played. I didn’t go looking for music, not like you do.

You’ve lived through six different decades now… Which of those has had the best music, in your opinion?
Bloody hell! Do you have to remind me? Well, I don’t really remember the ‘60s – but the best was the 1980s! But that might just be because of the age I was then. I mean you might look back and think this last decade was the best for music because that’s perhaps when you appreciate music most. At that age you’ve got more time to listen to music. In the ‘90s I was busy having babies and in the ‘00s I was busy working to try and earn money for them!

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Claudia and her Mum Viv

What is the first record that you owned?
I think it was Jethro Tull’s Aqualung. It had some quite shocking words that I hoped my mother didn’t notice when I played it in her car. I think I just liked to think I was a bit cool you know? I would always ask people if they liked Alice Cooper and when they’d say, “I don’t know who she is,” I’d think ugh you’re so lame you don’t even know Alice Cooper is a man. And the first seven single I has was Lola by The Kinks.

Ok, so what is your favourite concert memory?
I guess it was going to Paul Simon’s Graceland tour. I saw him in Birmingham and he had South African musicians onstage in the height of Apartheid, when they were banned in South Africa. People like Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Hugh Masekela, and he took that South African music to an international audience before anyone else.

Whats your favourite artist or album?
That’s really hard, I’ve got so many I love – Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac, Cream, Rodriguez, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jack Johnson.

I think The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd is probably one of my favourite albums. Also Supertramp’s Breakfast in America. When my convent went to Europe when I was 15 we listened to Rodriguez’ I Wonder. I probably loved it because of all the risqué words.

You know I used to be naughty and hitchhike to the disco’s and my favourite song they’d play there was Take a Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed.

What did you play when I was in your tummy?
I listened to all sorts of music Clauds. I guess it was 1991, so probably still music from the eighties. (I then read to her some of the top artists of 1991, in an attempt to jog her memory) No not any of those, they were far too mainstream for me.

What band member did you have a crush on growing up?
We never saw videos because we grew up without television so the first time I saw music on video was Woodstock. I can’t think who I liked though. I always thought Roger Daltrey was pretty nice. I also really liked Donovan at one point when I was a young teenager. You know who else I thought was pretty gorgeous was Peter Frampton, I had a double LP of his. (Rings back later) When I was about four I said I would marry Elvis Presley.

What current music do you love? This is a good question for you because you think you’ve got pretty trendy taste don’t you?
I don’t think I’m trendy. I like Lana del Rey a lot, I just love her music. Mumford and Sons, is that too cheesy to say? I like Tame Impala because I think they sound like the Beatles. I do also really like Milky Chance and Mazzy Star.

(The interview ended with my mum singing House of the Rising Sun to me and saying something about the Black Eyed Peas.)

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Danielle and her Mum Leonie

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What is your favourite concert memory?
Probably the Dire Straits when they toured North Queensland – I went with your dad and we were in our mid-twenties. As we were going into the arena we were about less than a meter away from Mark Knopfler as he was walking in. I also really loved Kiss and Motley Crue on their latest tour – even managed to run into Vince Neil who gave us backstage passes.

Who’s your favourite artist?
I listen to a lot of stuff, Queen – I mean, Freddie Mercury was brilliant, he was an absolutely fantastic, all-round entertainer. I really like Elton John, another really good performer and song writer. Elvis’ later stuff, U2 and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

What did you play when I was in your tummy?
The Beach Boys, Madonna, a lot of Roxette, Blue Eyes by Elton John and If I Could by 1927.

What band member did you have a crush on growing up?
I think the drummer from Sherbet but I can’t remember his name (Alan Sandow)… Also, when I was growing up, The Partridge Family used to be on TV so David Cassidy was a bit of a heartthrob as well.

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Emma, her Mum Clare and her Step Mum Linda

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I was lucky enough to be raised by two mothers – my mother, and my step mother. Each have been vital in helping me become who I am and I couldn’t imagine life without either of them. (Curly hair, loving life and probably laughing at one of her children – Linda, step mother; Sassy lady killing it in power pose – Clare, mother)

Clare, Emma’s Mum

What was the first concert you went to?
Fleetwood Mac, the first time I saw them. I had just started working when I was 17 and I took my Dad with my first pay. We didn’t actually get to sit together, we sat on opposite sides of the aisle but we had the best time ever!

What is your favourite artist or album?
That’s hard but I’m going to have to say… Paul Kelly. No particular album. All. Probably. Also Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

What did you play when I was in your tummy?
A mix of Crowded House… And there definitely would have been some Kylie in there *laughs* Early Kylie! Sorry Em

What band member did you have a crush on?
From the very early stages, my very first crush would have been Daryl Braithwaite from Sherbert and to this day, I still hold that crush. I have also been known to stalk him at the Livewire. My friends and I go every time he plays. I’m seriously getting him to play at my 55th birthday party, he’s only $5000 – worth it Emma, so worth it! He’ll just come and play an acoustic set for us… I wonder if he has a tambourine?

Linda, Emma’s step mum

What was your first concert memory?
I went and saw Dire Straits and I had to sneak out because I didn’t want my mother to know.

Favourite artist or album?
The Rolling Stones. I have lots of favourite albums though…. Probably Tattoo You.

What did you play when Andrew (my brother) was in your tummy?
I played Mozart and Vivaldi, and I also used to play Coldplay.

What band member did you have a crush on?
*looks at me in shock* Keith Richards, of course! And Leif. Garrett.

Who is that…?
He was just a hottie!

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Jess and her Mum Antoinette

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What were your top five artists when you were my age?
In my 20’s my top five were Pseudo Echo, Bon Jovi, the Bee Gees, Witney Hudson and Lionel Richie. I liked all the pop artists. Oh, Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean. Yes, I liked him too.

What kinds of thing influenced your taste in music at the time?
Well, it was the 80’s so there were things like big hair and fashion trends that influenced what was in music-wise. When I was even younger, it would have been ABBA. I liked what everybody else was listening to.

What did you think of the type of music your mum listened to?
I didn’t mind that because we grew up with it in the family. Nonno used to listen to it as well. It was all Italian songs, mostly old ones like The Tarantella and there were more modern ones as well. There was Ricchi e Poveri, that was a band they used to like. They used to put the records on and we’d all listen together. It was more traditional music though.

What’s your fondest music memory?
When we used to go to family’s houses, the kids used to get together and do the dance from Grease. The one to ‘You’re The One That I Want’. That’s what I remember whenever I hear the music from Grease.

What do you think of today’s music?
I like some of it. I don’t like head banging music, but I like some of the modern songs. I like that one that Sam, what’s his name? Sam Smith. Yeah, the one Sam Smith sings. That one. I like King. I can’t remember who sings that one. I saw the video today, it was good. I also like Five Seconds Of Summer. That’s about it.

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Lauren and her Mum Carolyn

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What was your first concert?
Elton John in either 1973 or ‘74. At the Randwick Racecourse – absolutely fabulous. We did have Marcia Hines come and sing at out school, but I think that was probably ‘75 or ‘76. We also had a teacher, a maths teacher, who played Jazz so he and his jazz band came and played at our school, Geoff Bull’s Jazz Band. I remember them all. Of course we did have a music teacher who introduced music to us, none of which made an impact.

What was your favourite concert memory?
I have 2. I loved the Elton John concert. The way he came out wearing an outfit covered in balls, they were attached to his costume with straight flexible wires. It was not just music, it was a whole show. There was a whole story to him. I loved it. The weather was amazing, I was with a couple of friends, but the whole massive audience was all set an one, we were a massive collective fan base and we all enjoyed the music together. With talent, excitement, and wonderful music, it was 100% memorable. I loved it.

Another was about 1978. Bette Midler played Sydney at a theatre. We had great seats and she came out dressed as a mermaid in a large oyster shell, she was the kind of pearl, but remember she was dressed as a mermaid. Her incredible music was catchy and familiar. We loved her. Everyone felt comfortable singing along. Same as the other concert, everyone was happy and enjoying it as one. The music was so memorable and I loved it.

Who was your favourite artist?
I loved Elton John the most growing up (after my young David Cassidy phase,) Bette Midler, Cher, The Beatles, also Paul McCartney as a soloist, and Ringo too. Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel… And also enjoyed The Monkees, and Davy Jones in particular. They were a band purely put together for a TV show, and they were meant to compete with the Beatles. They were good and many of the individual stars had their own story. One was in a a show with an elephant called Circus Boy, another… his mother invented white out.

What music did you play when I was in your belly?
I am not sure how much music I played specifically to you, but you were no doubt surrounded by Elton John, and much of the above music. I sang to you too, just fun stuff. I wasn’t very well, I had terrible morning sickness with both of you and it was not conducive to putting on music at times.

Who did you have a crush on?
The band I loved most was the Partridge Family, and yes I adored David Cassidy. They were a family band, and David Cassidy played the oldest son. He was super cute at the time. Then the Monkees and Beatles.

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Monique and her Mum Jennie

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What is your favourite concert memory?
My first and best concert memory was going to see Carlos Santana when I was 16. I would’ve worn denim jeans and a nice white T-shirt and I went with my friend Debbie who was adventurous. I don’t know how my parents let me go – you could smell marijuana in the bathrooms – but it was so amazing, and I remember we were dancing down the front. The music was heavily flavoured with guitar. (?) I’ve also been to Simon and Garfunkel, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion and Elton John.

What’s your fave artist or album?
I love Alan Parsons I Robot and Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon. Money is my favourite song from that album, but I also love It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

What did you play when I was in your tummy?
Anything 80s – Phil Collins and U2.
Hmmm… That might explain my obsession with 80s music.

What band member did you have a crush on growing up?
I loved David Cassidy and the Drummer from the Monkees when I was 16.

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Ruby-Rose and Mum Karen

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What was your first live music experience?
I can’t remember my first big, big concert. [Long pause]. It might have been a free show at the Myer Music Bowl with The Sports and…. The Angels? Otherwise it was David Bowie at the MCG in the pissing down rain.

And your favourite?
There are too many. U2… Pink Floyd was a bit special. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Joan Armatrading is up there – I’ve seen her twice now. Simply Red. Santana was great. Apart from the drum solos that went on and on. Blondie at the Palais. I think [Chilean Latin American folk music ensemble] Inti-Illimani were pretty special. [Chilean folk/Andean music ensemble] Illapu get better every time. Jethro Tull was pretty great. Yeah. I think Pink Floyd. I never thought I would see that music performed live.

What about let downs?
It’s a shame I didn’t see The Cure when they were here last. I don’t know why we didn’t do that. Eric Clapton was shit. I regret not seeing Fleetwood Mac or Bob Marley ever in my life. I’m contemplating going this year even though I think it might be tragic.

Do you have a favourite band?
I don’t think I have a favourite band. I like lots of things. Fleetwood Mac – I listen to it [their album Rumors] every day. Maybe it’s my favourite album, not my favourite band. I was pretty impressed with U2 for a while but I think they’ve lost the plot.
You haven’t mentioned Aretha Franklin at all…
Oh! Yes! And you know who I used to listen to a lot? Nina Simone.

Did you have any major musical crushes growing up?
Um [long pause] Rod Stewart and Rick Springfield. But only for a little while!
No one else?
Stevie Nicks – but I wanted to be her, I didn’t want to fuck her. But all the boys wanted to fuck her, which is probably why all the girls wanted to be her. Are you gonna write that?
Yes.
[Shrugs] It’s true. I guess that’s probably why they were such a successful rock band.
Did you feel the same about Debbie Harry?
No. I liked Debbie Harry – had an appreciation of her style. I admired her.

What contemporary artists do you like?
None they all suck. No [laughs] I dunno. I don’t even know who, what, they are on the radio. I like The Panics. Very much. I don’t mind the ones from Byron Bay…
…Angus and Julia Stone?
Yeah! Um … Architecture in Helsinki. I don’t like Beyoncé. Artic Monkeys are clever. Los Lobos. I like them. I don’t mind The Killers. They’re contemporary, aren’t they?
Kind of.
The one where he goes to the prostitute and the shooting range or something?
[Mystery Jets album] Radlands?
Yes!

Is there anything you think we’ve missed?
I would like to see Nana Mouskouri. Your dad laughed at me… I’m fucking old you see, I have all these things to remember. I’m not answering the questions properly.
That’s okay.
But I think that’s enough from boring old me. That’s just a list of my rantings. My reminiscences.

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