Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Life In Music: Part 1

Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen via last.fm

Today I would like to talk a little bit about why and how I became a musician. I have always been interested in music, since I was a little kid, I would see my mom playing chords on her acoustic guitar in the living room, and on a couple occasions, I even had the opportunity to catch my grandfathers band when he would play family friendly venues such as the Dutch Wonderland amusement park in Lancaster Pennsylvania. I really looked up to him when he played those shows, and I would fantasize about being on stage with him. That is really where it all started for me. I wanted to be cool like Gammpy, as I call my grandfather.

Later on, I would go through various musical phases. As a small child I was exposed to a lot of 50's rock n' roll through my grandfather, as well as some surf rock, and a lot of country music from my dad. But most of the music that was available to me early on was top 40 radio type stuff, which at the time would have been stuff like Michael Jackson's Thriller album, a lot of glam metal, Madonna, Prince, and a bunch of new wave stuff like Flock of Seagulls, and Divo. I also heard quite a bit of classic rock and what I would call roots rock from my mom's radio, stuff like Zeppelin, the Eagles, CCR, Bruce Springsteen, Journey, and to many more to name here.

In my earliest years, my family was dirt ass poor. The cool kids in my eyes were the kids that had a Walk-Man, which we couldn't afford. My dad eventually got a cassette Walk-Man, and it was always a real treat when I got to listen to his, and I started asking for tapes for Christmas and birthdays. It wasn't till like 1994 or so when I finally got a cassette player of my own, in the form of a little K-mart mini boom box. By this time, all my friends had CD players, so I was a little jealous, but still happy to have my little boom box, and my Woodstock 94' two tape set that came shortly thereafter. I didn't have to many other tapes, so I would record my favourite songs off the radio on to blank cassettes, and with the remainder of my blank cassettes my little sister and I would make our own recordings, which included everything from make believe radio talk shows, to sessions of the two of us singing and her playing her little Casio keyboard while I played my red Yamaha keytar, which neither of us really knew how to play. We would also record ourselves singing along to Disney tapes.

From this humble beginning, my sister went on to take up playing the saxophone, and later the keyboard, although she would eventually find her true calling in the visual arts. I, on the other hand, got wrapped up with, sports, boy scouts, and video games. It would be many years before I would really think of playing music again. Somehow though, I think I always had in the back of my mind the music from those Woodstock tapes, where I was exposed to bands like Live, Green Day, Red Hot Chilly Peppers, and especially Metallica.

It wasn't until my teenage years, when I was going through that awkward stage of trying to find myself and establish my identity that most of us go through, that my interest in music really came to a head. I had been doing some singing in the school quire, and had begun to be exposed to some of my peers that were musically inclined when I met my friend Ben, a talented aspiring young musician with in interest in Goth-metal and industrial music. It was also right around this time that I was starting my freshman year of high school, and was looking for this to be a chance to really reinvent myself. I had just gotten my first CD player, and I had began acquiring every Metalica CD I could get my hands on.

To be continued.....

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