I’ve heard so many writers wax lyrical about their early poetic influences and, indeed, I’ve done it myself in interviews. Musicality plays a great part in my poetry and some time ago, a young writer asked me what the first album I bought was. They might have been expecting Tracey Chapman, or perhaps even Gil Scott Heron, The Last Poets or Public Enemy – and indeed, they did come later. But here, ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, is my ultimate secret shame.
In 1989, I bought my first ever cassette tape album: Bobby Brown’s gem Every Little Step I Take. It played on loop on my sunflower yellow boombox till the tape got twisted and Bobby began to sound chipmunk-like. Whitney Houston and Brown hadn’t hooked up yet and I knew deep down that somehow, Bobby and I were gonna marry someday. Bel Biv Devoe and Arrested Development were soon to follow suit, though none of them would steal my heart anywhere close to the way that skinny-legged black-shoulder-padded-tux-with-bare-chest-underneath Bobby did.
Cross-posted from Slam up.