How pop music influenced who I am.
‘You leave and you slam the door.’
Resilience. Being an ABBA fan in Australia after their shelf life had expired taught me resilience and strength of character. When most of the rest of the population used their pre-loved ABBA t-shirts as dust rags, I continued to proudly wear mine for a while longer. I may as well have drawn a target on my back. I was ridiculed and publicly shamed. Strangers would snigger and laugh at me, I even coped verbal abuse. Teenage years can be difficult, a teenage ABBA fan raging with hormones and a question of sexuality tapping at the door, I had a lot to get through.
I never wore my ABBA t-shirts again, it was a stress I could do without. If asked, about my music choices I never denied I was still and ABBA fan, I was just no longer a walking advertisement for them. If I ever heard anyone bag ABBA I would always jump in and defend them regardless of the ridicule I would receive in return. I had now built up the strength to withstand the taunts of others. This skill better equipped me for what I was about to face in the years ahead when the very core of me would be ridiculed and condemned.
I was different from the other boys at primary school and high school. I hated sport and would rather hang with the girls during recess. Girls were more fun to be around, they loved music and to joke around. I had so much more in common with them. During high school in particular, I was called ‘poof’ or ‘pansy or both by the other boys, never any girls though. I guess I must have led a sheltered life as I had no idea what those words meant until I innocently asked my mother. She simply said it was men who go out with other men instead of women. I was shocked. Though I had to admit to myself I found boys more attractive and girls were just my best friends.
ABBA became quiet as they began to embark on their solo careers. ABBA had never officially announced a break up so I just clung to a desperate hope that they would, sometime in the future have another record out. That never happened and my life kept moving on but I never stopped playing or loving them.
With the influence of ABBA I became just like them, a nice clean-cut boy who dresses nicely, is polite, friendly and caring. A mummy’s boy who all my friends mothers loved.
Deep down in my rebel heart I was tired of being a golden child I wanted to rebel but didn’t know how to kick the goody-two-shoes I was to the kerb.
Coming up next.
Who Popped My Cork – Part Four
‘Do you wanna see me down on my knees.’