I love music. Plain and simple. I cannot imagine my life without it or being part of it. I could live the rest of my life without books and movies and TV and not be bothered, as long as I had music. I tend to be friends, real or internet, who like music too. We don’t always agree on what makes good music, but at least we can agree we like music.
My earliest recollections of music was of course at home. We had a dog named Moses, and my fav dog was Snoopy. I loved the song “Hey Jude” by the Beatles and would request it often, even though I didn’t have a concept of “bands” at the time. I don’t even remember if it was a 45 or an 8-track tape. It was just a song I love to hear and sing with. There were song, whose names I did not know, but I knew all the same, and when I heard them coming out of our TV speakers I came running. I’ve always loved the theme from “The Lone Ranger” and I knew I would be watching another great episode with Kirk and Spock when I heard those four special notes.
I remember my dad’s stereo. It was a false wood cabinet receiver, a turntable and an 8-track player. The turntable could play anything from 78’s to 45’s and LP’s. You could stack them all for a long music listening experience. I remember having little books and it came with a little 7″ record where the story was read to you. I remember that my mom and dad had a collection of 8-tracks and vinyl, but I don’t really remember what they were. For me, if it sounded good, it was good, I didn’t need to know anything else about it.
There was music on the radio and in the truck, but I really don’t remember much of that. I just know it was there, because it was always there. I think, it was about 1976 or 1977, Christmas, that I got my own record player. I don’t remember all that I got, but I do remember getting a 45 with a song from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
There was a movie that changed my life in 1977 and changed other things as well. I still remember the brass horn sting of “Star Wars.” What an experience that was. My dad even bought the sound track on vinyl so we could listen to it at home. My brother actually has this now. Another John Williams favorite from that time was the “Superman: The Movie” theme.
Music came and went for me. There was songs I like and there was song’s I didn’t. I was introduced to The Eagles because I didn’t pay attention to band or artist names at the time. On the radio there was this cool, almost ethereal song that I loved called, “Fly Like an Eagle.” My grandmother took us out shopping for a gift and I saw an album cover that I thought that might be for the song.
When I got to play it, I did not find the song I was looking for, but I did hear some really cool new songs. The one I really liked was on side B and was called the “Journey of the Sorcerer.” It wasn’t until later and a few more mistakes that I finally learned to pay attention not only to the song title, but the artist name as well. I had the same problem with The Cars and Laibach.
I was 12 or so when I got my 1st cassette and cassette player for Christmas. The cassette player was a single speaker style that was portable, but nothing fancy. You could record on it too. The first cassette was KISS “Double Platinum.” Why my parents bought this one, I don’t know, but I liked it anyway. I loved “Rock N’ Roll All Night.” Yes I would record my favorite songs off the radio by holding the cassette play up to the speaker as the song played.
As I have stated, I’ve always listen to music that sounds good, so it shouldn’t be surprised that at one time in my young life, I owned Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I loved that song, it had a cool beat, and I love the voice of Vincent Price. I loved the video too. Another group I fell in love with was ELO or Electric Light Orchestra. My Aunt Rhonda had a LP of theirs called “Eldorado,” and I would play it from beginning to end every time we visited, never tiring of it. This plays into who I am later.
As we grow up we are influenced more and more by the outside world. This includes friends. In middle school I had a best friend named Ben. We both loved music so much that we both played trombone in the school band. He re-introduced me to The Cars. Gave me Def Leppard, ZZ Top and the Moody Blues just to name a few. He also taught me how to play the drum set. I heard Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil” in school for the first time. Friends come and friends go. After our freshman year, Ben had to move to Kansas with his family. I’ve had some contact since then but not a whole lot.
Donovan Allen was my best friend from my sophomore year on until about 1998. We could always pick up where we left off even after a few years in between. He was great. Donovan’s dad was one of my teachers in elementary school, so that was cool. Donovan wasn’t a musician, but he was a computer freak. he owned a Commodore 64and was in computer club with me. We were SysOps for the schools BBS as well. When I first started to hang with Donovan, he was listening to Scandal and Planet P and Huey Lewis and the News. I introduced him to some of my collection and he in turn found new music and introduced them to me. I gave him Oingo Boingo, he gave me Shriekback, I gave him Ministry and so on. We were looking for the most “evil” song, meaning something dark, not found on the radio.
I was looking for something that wasn’t heard on the major radio or played on MTV. Here in Northern Colorado, we had 3 things that help us in the pursuit of “underground” music. First we had 93.3 KTCL. This station still exists, but it’s just a corporate top 40 alternative station. Back in the 80’s, this was like listening to college radio. Second, we had a local PBS TV show called Teletunes. They showed a lot of music videos that MTV wouldn’t play. This show is where I found Front 242 and early Ministry and Laibach. Lastly, there was Front Range Records. Better than any mall record store. They carried new and used music. Every year they had a big $0.25 lbs. sale on records. This place was awesome, and this was all before we knew of Wax Trax! in Denver.
It was time to start thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I wanted to be an actor, or a circus clown, or a stunt man or be in a band, something to entertain, I knew that, but what? I graduated and still had no plans. I go kicked out of the house, barely had a job and no other plans. I was lazy and had no discipline, but I knew I had to do something. I joined the Navy. I spent 6 years there. I can no longer listen to Jimmy Buffett because some guy brought his Jimmy Buffett box set and listened to nothing else for 6 long months. I now hate Jimmy Buffett.
I like music that moves me, not only physically but emotionally. As I have stated, if it’s good, I’ll listen to it. I’ve always have been a bit of a rouge when it comes to music. I don’t always listen to the same thing my friends listen to. They could be listening to something with heavy guitars and I’ll be listening to something that’s all synths. I have loved music that was on the top twenty for the week and I have listened to music that only 20 other people knew about. With that in mind, I love some of the songs done by Rednex. The music is just dance music pure and simple, it just made me smile and laugh.
In 1996, I finally figured out what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a recording engineer. I can listen to the same song over and over and not get completely sick of it. I went to the Art Institute of Seattle where I took Audio Production. I didn’t finish due to money. Hindsight, although I learned quite a bit, I think it was worth the money I spent. During my time there, I found even more great music. Seattle has some great clubs to fit every taste.
With the likes of myspace and twitter and facebook, and can keep in touch with all my favorite music as well as find new stuff as well. I like creating music now that I have a small studio in my bedroom and a computer to record on to. I guest host on a music podcast. I want to start a cover band as well, but only time will tell if that’ll happen.
I love all kinds of music. I can listen to different styles in one sitting. I could listen to Johann Sebastein Bach and then listen to Bachman Turner Overdrive. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it’s good. What’s good? That’s for me to decide or for you to decide. I can suggest or influence, just don’t limit to what you listen to. Music is like life, you can’t experience it all if you only stay in one little place.