Monday, July 9, 2007

Tag. A musical one.

Laura tagged me to do this meme [I'm not really sure what 'meme' means] about influential music in my life. I don't have all the mystical "here's where I was when [that] was playing" stuff that others may have. My list has more to do with songs that I can point to as guiding posts for my later-in-life musical tastes.
The rules are as follows:
1. Name between 5 & 10 songs that have made an impact on your life. I’ll leave it up to you to decide how many you wish to describe.
2. Pass it onto five other people with a link back to your own post and this one as the original.

1. Donimo - Cocteau Twins. This one opened a whole genre of music to me. I can remember precisely where I was when I first heard it. On my way home from work, tuned to WXPN. I waited on the street until the host finally said what it was. That weekend I was in the record store looking for Treasure. Even now, when my soul needs soothing (almost every day) I find myself listening to the Twins.
free music

2. Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I was in my cousin's garage, rifling through his record collection (with his permission) and I came across several LPs that I hadn't heard. Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick, Thunderclap Newman's Hollywood Dream and ELP's first album which contained this song. The synthesizer solo at the end is the theme to the progressive era and served as a gateway for me to a lot of great music. In those days, it was all about finding great music through other great music. Genesis was Keith Emerson's favorite band, Greg Lake begat King Crimson, and Carl Palmer led me to Atomic Rooster via The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. You had to be there.
3. Hocus Pocus - Focus. Jan Akkerman is still one of the more highly regarded guitarists in my book. This song came out during my high school days, and it was an anthem for like-minded souls who wanted something more than the gunk they played on the radio.

free music

4. I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles. A bit obvious, perhaps, but this was the first Beatles record I owned, and you know how it is with The Beatles. They got a six-year old interested in music and lucky for me, my parents never considered them enemies of the state or long-haired hippies. When I think about it - geez - six years old. What are six-year old's doing these days?

free music

5. America - Yes. Having always been a Simon and Garfunkel fan, I was amazed when I heard this long-form take off on their classic tune. Unpopular music wasn't as easy to find in those days as it is today, so finding the long version of this song took some scrounging. We had to call record stores and run around like idiots looking for stuff. Briefly, a single (short version) came out, but it's a lame excuse for the real deal. Listen to it back-to-back with the Paul Simon version, and you'll know what I mean.
free music

6. Aerial Boundaries - Michael Hedges. Steve Vai once said, "Nobody on God's green earth plays the guitar like Michael Hedges." How right he was. Michael died in 1997, and I saw him perform six times, the last of which was at the auditorium at The Seaport Museum. Michael was amazed at the place, and said that he could "just stand up here and write." Two weeks later, his car skidded off California State Route 128 in Mendocino County. I never felt a sense of loss for someone I didn't know like I did when Michael died.

free music

7. Sunday Will Never Be the Same - Spanky & Our Gang. This song came out in the summer of 1967, a few months after my father died, and it was almost as though the song was written for my mother. It's pretty grim stuff, and as a kid, things like this will straighten your ass out in a hurry:

Sunday afternoons that make me feel so warm inside, have turned as cold and grey as ashes as I feel the embers die. Sunday will never be the same. I've lost my Sunday song. He'll not be back again.

As for the other five people, I'll leave that up to you. If you wish to make a list, go ahead - just don't hold me responsible for breaking the "chain".


Laura said...

great list!
i'm glad you played along.
thanks for including links to the songs too and for showing the kiddies what a RECORD looked like.

Loz said...

As the originator of the meme thanks for playing along. Your list brought back some great memories of ELP and Focus for me, of afternoons at mates places listening to new records :)