In 1963, 19-year-old Andrew Loog Oldman discovered a scruffy, six-piece blues band and knew all the right moves to make (look sharp, guys; lose the piano player and write some songs). But more than just ideas, he had a vision. With Oldham guiding The Rolling Stones' ship, the '60s would not unfold as originally planned.
In April, Oldham, along with one of his biggest mentors, Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He's had a hand in making quite a few records that changed people's lives over the years, and on the following pages, Oldham talks about the 10 discs that shifted his senses all around.
“Growing up in England, radio wasn’t all that interesting. Because of the musicians unions, a great deal of what was played over the radio had to be live, and so you got these big bands trying to do Woody Herman, trying to do Glenn Miller, and only succeeding on a few occasions. We didn’t actually hear the original records. That came much later.
“However, when I was about 11, which would be in 1955, things started to seep through, and so you heard Johnny Otis doing Willie And The Hand Jive. But change came slowly.
“Getting records in those days, if you remove the technology, was similar to what’s happening now with the Internet. We had to go to the record shop, of course, but once there we’d go into these listening booths and listen to records before we bought them. The only problem was, you could only hear so many records before somebody would come up to you and say, ‘Are you gonna buy something, or what?’
“I do have issues with the fact that music is so accessible nowadays. When I was growing up, we had to find our music; we had to fight for it. But hey, you live in the age that you’re born in, and you get on with it.
“I get to listen to a lot of this music again doing my DJ work on Little Steven's Underground Garage. To hear Van on Them's It's All Over Now, Baby Blue – what a vocal, and what an arrangement. Also, I get to hear so many records that I missed the first time around – The Chocolate Watchband, Roky Erikson. It's an audio food fest, a total privilege, a second chance.”
Photo © Betina La Plante.