5 Classic Rockers Discuss the First Album They Ever Purchased
By: Claire Holton

It seems like everyone can remember the experience of buying their very first record. And for the rockers on this list, first records are especially important as they can be some of their earliest musical influences.  In honor of Record Store Day on April 20, we give you the Top 5 first albums bought by some of our favorite Classic Rock stars!

1. Paul Rodgers of Bad Company

The first record I bought was a 45, and it was instrumental strangely enough, it didn’t have a singer on it, it was “Red Beans and Rice” by Booker T. and The MG’s.”

Booker T and the MG’s, featuring Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper, were one of the greatest soul house bands of all time, accompanying greats like Otis Redding, Albert King, and many others.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted band is best known for their 1962 ultra-smooth hit “Green Onions.”


2. Patrick Simmons of The Doobie Brothers

“I can remember the first 45 I bought, and that was Clyde McPhatter, “Lover Please”… And I had heard the record on the radio and fell in love with it, for some reason, and I went and bought the record.”   

As a member of The Drifters and an accomplished solo singer, Clyde McPhatter was one of the formative figures of R&B and doo wop in the 50’s and 60’s.  His single “Lover Please” peaked at #4 on the US charts in 1962. 


3. John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival

“The first record I bought was an album.  I walk about four miles with my four dollars and 25 cents… and I went there with the intention of buying Elvis’s album.  Lo and behold, I get there and the store is sold out on me… so I see the Bill Haley album and I bought that instead with my money.”

One of the most underrated figures of early rock and roll, as Mr. Fogherty points out, compared to legends like Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, Bill Haley & His Comets hit it big with the release of their seminal 1955 record “Shake Rattle & Roll.”  Although, Elvis would have been a good first record, too! 


 4. Lou Gramm of Foreigner

“I think I was 13 and a half or 14 years old, and I bought ‘Louie Louie’ by The Kingsmen.”

One-hit-wonders The Kingsmen only ever made it big with their cover of Richard Berry’s 1957 hit “Louie Louie,” but made an impression on music nonetheless.  The iconic track has been covered by Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Kinks, Iggy Pop, Motorhead, and many others over the years.


 5. Steve Howe of Yes

“There’s a 10 inch album called “Django” that I think was one of the first records I bought, by Django Reinhardt.”

French jazz great Jean Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt badly burned the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand in 1928, causing him to develop a totally unique style of guitar playing.   Reinhardt’s lively classics like “I’ll See You In My Dreams” and “Minor Swing” contributed greatly to the development of swing music in the 1940’s.


Interviews courtesy of Gary Graff

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