Thriller - Michael Jackson
It's a good tune and totally uncontentious these days. I wasn't ever that into music. I bought Thriller because my cousins got it and I thought, "I want that too".
It was an interesting start for me because I'm not interested in pop culture. I've always had an aversion to hooking into the main thing that's happening. I'll deliberately not get into it.
I wasn't allowed to watch the Thriller video. We were only allowed to watch a bit of telly each day but I wasn't really into it anyway. I reckon I've watched 10 music videos ever in my entire childhood. I wasn't interested and I remain quite uninterested although this year alone I've pumped nearly all my savings into making the f***ing things.
Wannabe - Spice Girls
I don't have the same relationship with music as a lot of people. I don't store music with emotional memories. It doesn't work like that for me. Music's more like a parallel train running along.
However, 1996 was defined by an ironic love of Spice Girls. I had a Spice Girls poster on my wall and my band played Wannabe as a cover with guitars. Not a punk version, we were genuine and absolutely loved the song.
Because it was the post-Grunge era it was an ironic relationship but like so many ironic things it just became … like, my entire look and persona started ironic and has become who I am.
What's hilarious with the Spice Girls is that I then went on and worked with Mel C [Sporty Spice] a lot with Jesus Christ Superstar and got to know Emma [Baby Spice] and met all the girls. Mel is still a very, very dear friend. She's my mate but Baby Spice was - and remains - a bit of a crush. If Sporty ever reads this article I'll get in trouble.
She's Leaving Home - The Beatles
We didn't have a heap of music in our house. We had a pianola that we used to sit around and sing, which is a weird Von Trappian feature of my childhood. But The Beatles always were - and sill are - the bedrock of all my music-listening. My mum and dad met and came of age in the 60s so it's embedded in our family culture. The Beatles changed their lives and we inherited that.
My parents had about 30 records. For some reason, the weird circus-ness of Sgt Peppers appealed to me. She's Leaving Home ... I didn't know what it was about. I didn't understand it all. But it's one of my first memories of crying to a song. They were so amazing those boys, what they were writing. Lyrically, let alone musically.
Tomorrow Wendy - Andy Prieboy
When I think back to playing piano and teaching myself songs, a lot of it was that when you're growing up you just want to be the guy at the party who can do the backflip into the pool. My version of that was playing piano. I wasn't the needy asshole with the guitar - but you know, someone would go, "Tim, play us a song!" and I'd be like, "yeah, I s'pose" and I'd do what I've been doing ever since; which is trying to make girls cry and like me.
This Concrete Blonde cover was the No.1 song of Triple J Hottest 100 in 1991. A girl I really loved at the time, who I was kind of going out with, and has remained my friend my whole life, loved this. She and I agreed when we were kissing at the age of 16 that this would be the song that we'd play at our funerals. And so it remains.
I think it's about Aids?
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Four Seasons in One Day - Crowded House
This is such good songwriting. I've always thought I'd love to write a song as good as it. I probably got closest to writing my Four Seasons on this new record with the song Absence of You. [Neil Finn's] voice is just beautiful. I'll never have that instrument, I don't think. But It's a song I've thought that if I work on it, I could imagine being able to write like that.
* As told to Karl Puschmann.
Tim Minchin's new album Apart Together is out now.