Pete Waterman OBE

One LP: Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner

Pete Waterman holding Richard Wagner LP.

It’s Hans Knappertsbusch directing Tannhäuser by Wagner. It was the first piece of music that really got me to believe that music was something different – because I was emotional and still get emotional to this day after 65 years of listening to it.

And I just figure that if that’s what music could do that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, you know. I never thought I would, but I just couldn’t quite believe that a piece of plastic – as it was for me then on a record player, could emote such feeling in me and I guess I was quite unusual at that point. You go to school and you say to your music teacher you know that you’ve fallen in love with this album Tannhäuser – and of course we’re talking about 1955/56 and of course the poor music teacher hasn’t got a clue who Wagner is!

You know they’re sort of looking at you as if you’ve really can’t quite… you know everybody else is into Peter and the Wolf and you’re into, you know, you’re into Tannhäuser and I don’t think he could quite work out where I was coming from.

But I’ve loved it all my life. I still play it regularly, and if I’m ever, ever depressed I play this record and it depresses me even more – so afterwards I feel fantastic!