Sunday, March 18, 2007

Music Discussion Credibility

Initially, I started out today's blog as sort of a Guilty Pleasure review of a band. However, I felt the need to preface this with my background, or where I'm coming from. If this is boring, I apologize. I just wanted everyone who reads to have a reference point so you would understand why I have certain opinions. I do this because there are times when I read reviews of bands, releases or whatever, and it is entirely apparent that either a) It was an assignment given to someone who had no interest in the artist, or b) The person has no knowledge of history, and therefore does a poor job, or in the worst case, c) both of the above. So read on or go somewhere else, the other thing I need to mention in case it wasn't totally obvious, is that I write this blog for me, not you.

My musical knowledge as a kid started out with 70's radio. I could pick up words to a song very easily and would listen to KSTT in Davenport, Iowa on a little grey transistor radio my dad gave me. Later, I switched to FM radio and listened to KIIK on my GE clock radio. My dad brought me back a single speaker black radio/cassette player from Saudi Arabia in the late 70's. This began my foray into making mixed tapes. But I digress. What I'm getting at was that I was completely immersed in 70's radio pop. The 70's were quite great for this, because stations like KIIK would play a Boston song followed by Donna Summer. You got it all. From this, I started to develop favorite groups.

When my dad bought our first piece-by-piece component system, he said, "We need to go buy a new record." He let me choose. I picked out Cheap Trick's "At Budokan." I've been a Cheap Trick fan ever since. I don't know how I got into Heart, but they also became one of my favorite bands.

My dad was a HUGE influence on the music I listen to, even to this day. He used to play either Willie Nelson's "Red Headed Stranger" or "Wanted: The Outlaws" while making breakfast on the weekends. When I got the "Red Headed Stranger" CD in college, my sister came into my dorm room one day and said, "Oh my God, you have got to tape this for me. This totally reminds me of when Dad used to make breakfast for us!" More on this influence later.

We moved to Oklahoma right before 6th grade. The biggest influence on me there were an album-oriented rock station out of Lawton, a mainstream pop station I could barely get out of Oklahoma City, and David Cizek. Being the new kid, David liked to push me around. Later, when he discovered that I was into music, he told me about AC/DC, especially the "Back in Black" album. In Oklahoma, there is a large Indigenous population, and David was an Indian, as much as that may offend some people. Looking back on our relationship, I'd say it was akin to that of John Dunbar's and Wind in His Hair's; at first a bit tense, but then in the end they were best of friends.

From 7th to half of 11th grade (1982-86), I went to an American Department of Defense Dependent School in Wiesbaden, Germany. Military people love their music, and if they have kids, they are quick to infuse the rock and roll into them as well. So therefore, I was introduced to a lot of that early heavy metal; Rainbow, Deep Purple, Krokus, Def Leppard, Quiet Riot, and Dio I remember being some of the first.

Then a German kid by the name of Sasha let me borrow Judas Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance" LP and I thought, "Wow, now this is a whole 'nother level of HEAVY." There was something about this album that made me seek out other "heavier" bands. There was a line drawn between the regular metal bands, and bands of this nature.

I eventually found Twisted Sister (before "Stay Hungry"), Metallica, Anthrax, Venom and Slayer. The thing about Germany was the exchange rate was so great for the dollar that you could buy records for $5 new, while my counterparts back in the U.S. were having to shell out nearly $10 for the same records.

My first album, overall? Kiss' "Destroyer."


Blogger CJ said...


I just heard an account of a study of gifted students in England using heavy metal as a stress reliever. It works too.
Who knew you were in such impressive company? Until I heard this story, I kind of had you pegged as the Jack Black character in Pick of Destiny. ;)


1:07 PM


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