Saturday, January 23, 2010
Who am I kidding? Music has shaped my world since I can remember!
1976, Las Cruces, NM: I vividly remember my dad's vinyl collection. Cap't & Tenniel, ABBA, Dr. Hook etc. In my sisters room was the Eagles Hotel California. These were all on vinyl. The 8 Tracks were in the car. I remembered how scared I would get when they would sing "they stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast". A Beast?!?! Yikes.
1977, San Diego, CA: In the back of my Uncles' VW bus with my cousin Joe, we wold sing Walk This Way by Aerosmith from their Toys In The Attic 8 Track. We would laugh and point towards our eye as if we were walking into our eyeballs. Because we were idiots. Because we were 4 years old. Whatever...
1980's Las Cruces, NM... again: In third grade I had memorized Freeze Frame and Centerfold by the J Geils Band along with Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC and I Love Rock N Roll by Joan Jett and the Black Hearts. I slowly realized I had the ability to memorize all these songs I loved. That Summer, my song was Electric Avenue by Eddie Grant. I would sit by our stereo, which was also a record player. A Massive phonograph that I would stare at and wait for the magic to emerge from. On Wednesday nights, I would two step dance with my mom to the country western station.
The sounds that came from there. Wow. The people singing couldn't have been real people. It was impossible to ever be that person. Wasn't even worth dreaming about.
In 5th grade my brother introduced me to break dancing and my cousin, Moe from San Diego, introduced me to Newcleus' Jam On It. Rap music. It made sense to me. It rhymed it was fast it was awesome! Then the Beat Street soundtrack and Ice T on the Breakin' soundtrack rappin Reckless. Trips thru the desert with my dad introduced Louis Prima, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Manfred Mann and the Earth Band, Johnny Cash and the Highwaymen. Harry Chapin and Neil Diamond were played a lot as well. We would listen to a cassette tape called "Hooked On Classics" as well.
All these incredible types of sounds that were pouring into my ears. It was an overload a beautiful, beautiful overload. In high school we finally had Mtv. Mtv showed music videos. They had a show called "Yo Mtv Raps" hosted first by Fab Five Freddy and later by Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. Not the Dr Dre from NWA. Wait, you don't know about NWA? Eazy-E? Red, Yella, Ice Cube, Dre and Eazy-E were NWA. The front runner was Eazy-E and the whole group followed shortly behind spawning such mc's as the D.O.C. Up North from Compton in Oakland was a rapper named Too $hort rappin' about Freaky Tales and The Ghetto. The Digital Underground was doing the Humpty Dance and a young kid named Tupac was "clownin' around when he hung around with the Underground". No one had died yet.
When I went in to the Army, I began listening to soundtrack themes like Conan the Barbarian's Anvil of Cromm by Basil Poledouris and Heavy Metal like Pantera and Slayer. Training to kill made me appreciate heavy metal music. Towards the end of my Army career we were listening to a lot of Techno and Industrial music. At one time, a buddy of mine took me to see a show at a little restaurant. It was Leon Redbone.
A roller coaster journey through a wide variety of sounds has led me to where I am today. A singer/songwriter with a broad base of musical influence. I feel bad for people that only listen to a certain type of music. It's like eating the same piece of bread for the rest of your life. It'll nourish but won't help you flourish.
From not daring to dream of even being a person that I heard on the radio to being the person being heard on the radio. What a trip...