In the mid-to-late 80’s, my musical tastes started to branch out from whatever records my parents had around the house to the things I would discover for myself. Back then, the most influential force on my tastes was probably B-94 – Pittsburgh’s top-40 radio station, geared primarily toward young people. Even then, I listened to the radio a lot: when I was getting ready for school in the morning, when I was playing sports in the basement or the yard, when I was hanging out at one of my parents’ offices while they were working late or on the weekend, when I was falling asleep.
Eventually, in high school, I would move along to a wider variety of radio stations. A little WAMO (dance/R&B), some 97 Rock (modern rock) or whatever the station at 96.9 was on a given week (it changed all the time!), then moving along to WDVE (classic rock) and ultimately during college, primarily listening to WYEP (eclectic). Other than the Pet Shop Boys’, “West End Girls”, which seemed to come on B-94 every day at 5:00 for a few months, I don’t remember any strong associations between any of these stations and what I listened to back then or like from the era now – INXS, Heart or otherwise – but it does give you a little roadmap of the way my tastes developed over the years.