To know a person you should know the music that made them. I so believe this about every person I have ever met. Show me someone who has never been touched by music, and I will show you a soulless shell. Harsh sounding? Maybe on the surface, but not really if you dig deeper. Most every human being has been touched by some form of music, even if it is tribal and ritualistic only. Staying stateside (America), most everyone has been exposed to some form of music. It might be country and western, rap, pop, etc. The deeper the connection to the music of their life, the deeper their waters run. I say this not to give the impression I am any better than anyone else, only that it might shed some light on my writing style and themes. So to know the music is to know this man. I thought I would share my soundations with you.
I am, at heart, a prog-rock based reservoir of music. That is the music that touched me and drove me through my awkward years. Oh yeah…talk about REALLY making me a chick magnet. I will share that I am also a fan of 80’s synth-driven alternative like Echo and the Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, Peter Murphy, The Cure, and others. I won’t explore this now, but did want to show the more modern connection to the classic start I had. I will save my favorite until later, but the bands what made me are:
The Moody Blues; Yes; Pink Floyd; Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; King Crimson; The Alan Parsons Project; Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds; Saga
I was mesmerized by the marriage of music, lyrics, melodies, and harmonies. Thematically, they always spoke to the part of me that believes in magic and those things unseen or unknown. Not to mention they sounded AWESOME in headphones whether stoned or not. These bands are fantastic, but they are not my #1. That spot is filled by an incredible trio that have so many layers. Geddy, Alex, and Neil. Rush. I will not make the case for them if you aren’t a fan. That is ok. This is my soundation…not yours. You will see me posting snippets of their lyrics from time to time when relevant, and I think you will be able to find merit. There is an incredible documentary about them that was released back in 2010 called Beyond the Lighted Stage. I encourage you to watch it if you ever get the chance.
But wait…we haven’t reached my beginnings. It took me awhile to figure this out, but I need you to know what my soundation is really built with. You see I realized I have a spot for female vocalists in heavy bands such as Glass Hammer, Heart, and Evanescence. The latter especially in the song Hello of their first album. Looking at the other bands of my personal soundtrack you are probably wondering why. Well, you have to journey with me back to 1973, when I was about 10 years old. (Yeah the old man outed himself). There was a young man that lived around the corner from us. He was back from Vietnam, and I was playing near there when I heard this voice coming from the stereo he was using. Her name was Annie Haslam, and the band was Renaissance. I stopped playing and stayed there for hours listening with him.
I repurchased a couple albums a few years back, and it all hit me. This amazing prog band with this angel-voiced singer opened the door for me. They created the soundation where the house was built for the music of this man.