Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Did this influence you, too?

Music has been on my mind this week because I just finished a story about "The Boombox Project," a series of photographs of 1970s and 1980s era boomboxes by New York City-based photographer Lyle Owerko. It's on view Sept. 19-Oct. 19 in Chandra Johnson's pop-up SOCO Gallery at the Mint Museum Uptown.

Here's the story:

Almost everyone who grew up during the boombox craze has a story about how the freedom of a boombox transformed them because as long as they had batteries, they could listen to any music they wanted anywhere.

U2 is also on my mind this week because they are definitely a part of my boombox memories, and they're in the news for setting a music industry record because of the 33 million people who accessed the Irish band's new "Songs of Innocence" album that was released for free and by surprise to iTunes account holders.

In 1981 when MTV began, the company that owned it did something similar by putting MTV on cable channels for free, including the little TV in my family's home. U2's "Gloria" video became my obsession. I even took a pair of jeans, distressed them and drew all over them with paints and pens so they resembled the jeans band member The Edge wore in the video.

Now I understand that "Gloria" is a modern hymn, and it's still one of my all-time favorite songs. I have not seen the video in ages, but thanks to You Tube, here's U2 in all their youthful glory in case the song and the band was a major influence on you, too.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

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