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Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Road to Life and Progressive Rock Part V

Phase 6

Graduate through a new "door".

"Computerized clinic, For superior cynics, Who dance to a synthetic band,
In their own image, Their world is fashioned, No wonder they don't understand!"
-
Natural Science/Rush

A "Late" Graduation and the beginning of a Love Affair.
The Senior year would add something to the radio waves . . .
"The Spirit of Radio" by a band called Rush. Another band I couldn't take in yet,
I didn't know what to make of it. It had such weird time changes that the only
thing I could compare it to was my creative "whistling and humming" in the
shower! I'd make up weird melodies, odd time changes with beats (sort of "Beat-
Box" like sounds waaay before the Rap community would find its use, we're talking
70's thru the 80's here!)- So I was emulating Drums and Guitar SFX- like I said, I
was
weird, I used to imitate instruments, celebrities, cartoon characters, sound
effects, etc..

So Rush was a mystery to me, and Geddy's voice was REALLY different, I didn't
know
what to make of them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Juv5Ifs2fFY


As I mentioned before, In my last years of high school would see the days of
New Wave, for the most part I wasn't interested, with few exceptions (see
previous story). But many of these bands would be another link.
Bands like these would influence Prog to come (its my contention that if their
were no Flock of Seagulls, U2 and Ultravox, there would be no "Grace Under

Pressure" by Rush in 1984, in sound, that is) and was just another re-birth for
the genre.
But for the most part, I heard less musicianship and more "push a
button and
it plays a melody", programmed, tweaked sequencers making music.


"All this machinery making modern music, can still be open hearted
Not so coldly charted, It's really just a question of your honesty, yeah, your honesty
One likes to believe in the freedom of music, but glittering prizes and endless
compromises
, shatter the illusion of integrity"
-The Spirit of Radio/Rush

Yet again how prophetic those words would be.

Punk was also transforming the American bands. With the likes of the
Dickies; Stiff Little Fingers; Black Flag; X; The Dead Kennedy's; Social

Distortion; Patty Smith; The Angry Samoans; The Ramones, The Butthole
Surfers, and The Meat Puppets etc. (Acknowledgement to "Iggy Pop" and
"The Stooges" for doing it in the late 60's early 70's).
Like the Harder Rock bands of the late 70's rebelling against Disco, these
"Punkers" would musically "Flip-off" some of the sappier New wave and Top
40 rubbish, this new music
seemed to want-to yell at the establishment, and
make things "ugly", this would be the root of Thrash from
the "Crossover"
bands like:
DRI; Excel; Waysted Youth; Corrosion of
Conformity; S.O.D.; Misfits and
more would in-turn influence Heavy Metal into "Speed Metal" and beyond.

This would come much later of course, but again, I'd hear these bands and
heard
the influences seeping through each other. And would add their angry
tones
of the coming "New Wave of British Heavy Metal".
But at the same time the Punk movement was litterally spitting at the Brit
"Dinosaurs" and their Progressive Rock full of pomp and circumstance, and
only the strong would survive. And I wanted more.

ELP, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, the Bands that put England on the map again
were now labled "Out of touch" with the World, "over the top" and Labels,
Record Exects (many abandoning the bands they supported) and Radio
listeners wanted "simpler" and "straight forward" musics . . .
I was not one of those people.
But Jon Anderson (Vocalist for Yes) would say decades later:
"We were Punks, we were doing what was not popular, The Who were punk
kids, James Cagney was a Punk, these guys making Punk music would
eventually become more popular, then they would buy better equipment and
so on..."

"All the same we take our chances, laughed at by time, tricked by circumstances
Plus ça change, plus ç'est la meme chose
The more that things change, the more they stay the same"
-
Circumstances/Rush

Again, the Pop music (Top 40) was starting to wane from me as FM Radio
had what I was looking for, especially in the late hours, when D.j.'s got a bit
more adventurous with the turntable. Pop songs ran out of "musicianship".
But popular music is just that. And it held no form of creativity for me to sit
through it, I respected music too much to just "tune it out". The music I liked
held me in its trance, I couldn't just "wash the dishes" to it.
This would be the way to this day . . . its not, just music to me, its something
a creative person "crafted" and played with the highest denominator.
Eventually, Hit Singles would't mean anything to me anymore, "Albums" were
more important than a single track that was "made" to have more creativity
than the whole.
But good music is good music, no matter how simple, some
music just didn't
sit well with me.
But time and time again, with almost every job and friends that would be made
in the coming years, I had to "tolerate" musical tastes.

1981:
I was doing terribly in school, but drawing constantly and because of these
2 things, my parents, especially my Dad, we started to be at odds with each
other . . . I HATED school, my attention span was nil, but I wasn't a bad kid,
on the contrary, Smoking didn't make sense to me, just the the smell of Pot
gave me a headache, drinking made people annoying and stupid, Beer tasted
like piss and I didn't hang with the "wrong" crowd (maybe bad choices in what
a "friend" was, but...), I was a good kid with my head in the clouds.
I couldn't WAIT for school to be over! So my wish came true, and with not
able to grasp Math and failing "P.E." (Physical Education) as it was my last
class of the day, and I
couldn't stand the competitive attitudes of the other kids
and the Coaches (except for 2), were right out of the movie "Dazed and
Confused".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_eTV4lRJYU&feature=related
I'd hang with a friend
named Robert Flock (Who had a punk/new wave friend
that introduced us
named Eric, who always made fun of me in a condescending
way) we would
sneak off to the Stadium, talk skateboarding, music and girls,
stupid jokes and laughing our heads off, then jump the
fence and head over to
a Doughnut shop with our saved lunch money (The
food at school was really
bad, one of many reasons we called the School "the Chino Work Farm").


. . . I wasn't going to graduate with the rest of the class, which (I) was the shame
of my parents. This would be the 1st real nail to start distancing me and my folks.
How I'm still ALIVE from that news is a miracle . . .

But I was going to get my Nogales High School Diploma if I went right away to
a Continuation School for the summer!
To my amazement it was swift and easy and I got to talking to another kid, he
was this big guy with semi-long hair, but he seemed more mature than the other
kids. We would talk about music and he told me he was going to see Rush on the
"Moving Pictures" Tour. I just started to hear the new songs, and he talked about
Neil Peart and what an awesome Drummer he was.

After we "Graduated" and went our separate ways, Rush stuck in my head,
and I started paying attention to the songs and the musicianship . . . this was
the same band I saw on that turnstyle in the Record Shop!? How could I be
soo stupid!!!? (If I heard Cygnus X-1 Book II/Hemispheres back then, God
knows who I'd be now!) Next to Kansas, this Canadian trio would engulf my
world . . .

Phase 7
New influences, new awareness.

"Passing time will reach as nature relays to set the scene, New encounters
spark a true fruition,
Guiding lines we touch them, our bodies balance out the
waves, As we accelerate our days to
the look in your eyes."
-Sound Chaser/Yes

So after the insanity of High School, went into a stint at community college
(Mount San Antonio, Walnut Ca.) in a
crappy Drawing class (I learned more in
High School, though "now", they have an excellent curriculum for Art and
Digital/CG Graphics).
But because of joining up, I
was to receive my own stereo to enjoy my new
collection of music. I had my
ideas of what I wanted, I was building up on
pamphlets of equipment.
Pioneer was looking really good and that years series
of stuff was really cool in
design and I was asking for a deck type set up of an
Amp/Receiver; Cassette
deck; Turntable and Speakers.
Not the whole top of the line "Rack", but enough to have oomph!
http://i360.photobucket.com/albums/oo48/jgmacv/levisdeer176.jpg

. . . And what I got was a
Soundesign all in 1 component model that had a built
in Cassette and 8-Track player (its 1982 not 62!) and a separate Turn-table
that sounded like a Bus idling. . . I was disappointed to say the least.
But "I" was a disappointment! So I kept my mouth shut and made due.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3114/3197033479_9fb4676c2f.jpg
(My God! that's the Stereo I had! Yikes!)

1st Job:
My 1st goal was to get a nice Turn-table and I was eying a cool Pioneer direct-
drive. http://www.vinylengine.com/library/pioneer/pl-4.shtml
But to obtain it I had to get a job and My Parents were shuving me to get one!

At this time, my best friend Glen had a neighbor named Alex Zandor, He would be
a new music friend who was becoming a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal fan. He would get
me a job at a plant that made "Cables for Nuclear Power Plants" (and in a scary low
tech way of lacquering them, as cable being fed through holes, drilled through empty
large plastic paint buckets with sponges and lacquer!), And the supervisor was this
butch looking red haired woman(?) with facial hair and her husband, this pencil
neck/eraserhead with a twitch and stuttered as he would talk of "simple things".
All this on the graveyard shift . . . but it was money for Art books, sacred Vinyl and
that sweet Turntable.


New Musics (81-82):
This is probably the time that Southern Rock was hitting its peak and my faves
would be Molly Hatchet (that had a bit of Metal in them); Point Blank; Allman
Brothers; 38.Special; The Outlaws; Blackfoot; Atlanta Rhythm Section and of course
ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd (Who even to this day, I own NOT 1 record).
The amazing guitar solos were the main event to these guitar driven Southerners,
and some even had "3" guitarists!
Molly Hatchet doing Allman Bros.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B53j-lKZdhE
Outlaws, the "Epic":
Part1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqJ_V7ay3E8&feature=related
Part2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3JAglkUrms&feature=related

Blackfoot:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrtApoX959c
Pointblank:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rawGDqTxe4

Also, I was discovering:
Pat Travers; Gary Moore (his Metal years); Survivor; Gamma (Ronnie Montrose's
band); Pat Benatar; The Cars; Sammy Hagar; Judas Priest and Blue Oyster Cult,
and re-discovering Robin Trower.
Survivor (When they were a great Hard Rock Band):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al4mk_gVarM

Glen Mayfield would hang out with me and Alex and we talked about seeing

Kansas
(for some reason Alex didn't go) . . .
At this time sadly, Steve Walsh (the original Vocalist) had left, but was
replaced by the excellent
John Elefante . . . It would be my FIRST concert,
and it delivered!
A funny note:
Seems the floors were "slippery" at the Universal Amphitheater, with the 1st
song "Paradox", John would play his key parts up on a riser, then run to the
front of the stage to sing, when his key part was coming, he'd run . . .
and then he slipped, sled and fell on his butt! But got up, RAN to the riser
where his keyboard waited and made it in just in time for his part!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCzVd_BrL9s
Robby Steinhardt was playing his Violin for "Mysteries and Mayhem", then
started walking
the stage . . . and fell right on his butt, his part came up, and
he just sat on
the ground and played it out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqhDa4pPzIg

"Windows" . . .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55sSc95T_nk&feature=related
I remember being very nervous, with pot heads and beer drinkers making
trouble and the "unknown" plaguing my mind, but also the excitement!
Still one of my fave shows to this day, my teens were filled with their music
and here I am witnessing these awesome musicians playing their catalogue
along with the "Vinyl Confessions" material, though I missed the great Walsh,
John's vocals just soared and with much gusto, passion and POWER!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNODeiYl-gs

Another Clip from Vinyl Confessions Tour in Omaha:
"Play the Game Tonight"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymn_zMIBKzA

"And when the curtains open, to the roaring of the crowd, you will feel it all around you
Then it finally happens, and it's all come true for you
And the songs are playing over and over, till you do it all over again!"
-Play the Game Tonight/Kansas


2nd would be another fave show with Zebra! This too was an energetic show
and they were even better live, filled with such power and sound from this
power trio, I was truly impressed. Singer/Guitarist Randy Jackson's Double
Neck "B.C. Rich Bitch" sounded HUGE, chorus ladened and echo . . .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3yPXOtIjdM&feature=related
Doing Take your fingers from my hair and the " B,C, Rich Double Neck":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiT4HAW-PRY&feature=related

3rd would be Heart on the "Passion Works" tour, and again . . . awesome.
Nancy Wilson looking gorgeous as ever and her voice ripping the ceiling
open!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pSMOusgPHg&feature=related

Going to concerts would bring a new understanding what it took to get it
off the ground, as well as being able to perform or enhance the music from
the studio to stage.
Perceptions of this growing within me with each band and passing years.

"Those who wish to be, must put aside the alienation, get on with the facination,
the real relation, the underlying theme..."
-
Limelight/Rush


Phase 8

"Expanding Realms" circa 1981-84

"In a similar way, At the end of today, I could feel the sound of writing on
the wall, It cries for you, It's the least that you can do, Like a spiral on the
wind,
I can hear it screamin' in my mind, Long live Rock and Roll! . . ."
-Long Live Rock n' Roll/Rainbow

So during the time, with new friend Alex would be filled with hanging out
at his Grandmothers, who was VERY Hungarian (she was always saying
"Eat EAT!!!" but she cussed like a sailor) and had a Stockpile of Sodas, and
high-end
junkfood like bags of Milanos! It was a wonder Alex was tall and
skinny. You would open any drawer in her immaculate house, and there
would be candy bars, Hostess confections and Pop Tarts!
So it was listening to music, watching movies, talking music, Sci-fi, playing
guitars, drinking and eating. . . hanging out. I was 19.
Never did too much heavy conversation though, I was missing that with
Glen Mayfield, heck . . . with a girl would be a change, but that would
come briefly when I was 21, too sad to talk about here and would involve
too many verses of songs. For another entry in my Book perhaps. It was
brief, sad and both in desperation to feel needed (for acceptance, sex, love
and just needing to feel sympathetic). A short-term relationship that would
be a premonition for the future.

Metal finds a Hero:
Ozzy Osborne would release to the world Randy Rhodes and the New Wave
of British Heavy Metal would hit our shores.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqwsOcKK3ic
. . . but the ONLY one that I would hear from it, was the great debut from
Def Leppard "On Through the Night", that I played religiously.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwE2IRd5bBc
Randy took what Eddie Van Halen unleashed on the World, but Randy had the
"Darkside" of its sound, with many Classical flurries/undertones that made it
really different, and lots of Power Chords, so it grabbed many an Influence
from the past but took Metal into the future.
"The Blizzard of Oz" album would be played over and over. There was also a
faster tempo than most Hard Rock/Heavy Metal at the time (other than Priest),
and it is something that appealed to me. I also noticed that Ozzy aquired
Drummer Tommy Aldridge from the Pat Travers Band, so I was already a fan
of his style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6JA6X25g9M
Some great Guitar duels between Pat and Pat Thrall.

Also, me and Alex went back through the history of Black Sabbath, we
started listening quite alot to the Debut Sabbath album, dark and scary!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akt3awj_Ah8
And "the Wizard" had a great Harmonica by Ozzy himself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCjspyo-_aI

Another album I enjoyed . . . and was surprised by the topics,
"Master of Reality" and the Pro-Christian themes it had, very
Church of England, but songs like "Into the Void" stood out:
(Tony Iommi Interview and Music)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epDSucMvP70&feature=related
Then of course . . . the fave for all the Pot-heads:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXs9-XEiDoY

So Black Sabbath; Ozzy; Kansas; Yes; Styx;
Pat Travers; Leppard and Van
Halen would
be the diet of the day. And new discoveries of Gary Moore; April
Wine; Robin Trower; Billy Squire; Quarterflash, The Cars and Neil Young.
As well as re-discovering Led Zeppelin by purchasing and listening to Alex's
Cassettes. Favorites would be in "Houses of the Holy"; "Physical Graffiti" and
"Presence".
Kashmire:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGB18OI-Q50
Achilles Last Stand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWOuzYvksRw

April Wine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BbbFFEeumA
(Love the Guitar Harmonies and the "3 Guitar solo/swaps")
Gary Moore:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGWdkqDH0XY
and the great Intro to "End of the World":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40OR-JtfP_Y&feature=related


(Other than Gary Moore) the radio was often playing many tracks from these
albums and soon, the
release of Van Halen's new album,"Fair Warning", me
and Alex worshiped this
album and played it daily.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2R2KXNQR1M
Another fave from the same:

Comprehension of the music filtering through my ears
would grow into more
adventurous musics.

I remember asking my friend Alex as we were driving from work, "Have you
heard about this band Iron Maiden?" and he'd say he heard something about
them. But we never pursued it, not even searching for them at record stores.

After a visit from Alex's brother Bob, he played for me the Soundtrack for the
movie "Brainstorm" by James Horner. Funny how I 1st heard it at a Electronic
Store called "The Federated Group". Bob had it on Cassette and we listened
to a few tracks on an early Aiwa Portable, but it sounded really good, and we
cranked it! An employee came around and asked, "What is this? This is really
cool!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV-bs5aEMRk
I had yet to see the movie (Brainstorm) but the music
made quite an impact on
me . . . it was powerful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqzf465drjc&feature=related
When I got my own copy on vinyl, and before I slept, I listened to it on
headphones . . . and track 2, "Lillian's heart attack" scared the PANTS off me!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7HSkbLezYs
It would take awhile to get used to it.
This album along with the Star Wars soundtracks, would inspire me to get into
this genre.

When I visited Alex's
family in the suburbs of Las Vegas, we went to a Record
store around the
"Strip" and it would be the 1st place to buy Focus albums.
Eventually buying a
few more, and Focus "3" would be a fave because of a few
songs having
"medieval qualities" about them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEZdXfcOdLY&feature=related
(later discovering the
Strawbs and "Folk Prog" or the Canterbury Sound) and
also purchasing Mike Oldfield's
Tubular Bells.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9A60e16SvM
Strawbs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuuCHawtzZc&feature=PlayList&p=
1F6224FAD8756F1F&index=59

And speaking of the Canterbury Sound, because of my love of medieval
history, I would buy almost any Rock album with a medieval theme (like Rick
Wakemans "Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round
Table") from my childhood love of Knights and its history. I came across an
album with a "Knightly" cover, the song titles were interesting, so I bought it
and took it home. As the 1st track came on, the music was in-different key
(or so I thought) of
the vocals, and the more it went on, the more dissonant it
became, but it did
have a melodic quality, but . . . I must have had the face of
dog when it hears a strange noise.
As the album went on, that sound was getting weirder, I didn't know what to
make of it. The musicianship was strong, and the vocal layering/harmonies
were really beautiful, but this was NOT what I thought it would be.
This was Gentle Giant and the album "The Power and the Glory". The song
"Cogs and Cogs" with its beautiful intertwining vocal layering would be a fave,
but this album would have to grow on me for the next 20 years when I could
understand it. I had a lot to learn (I think this album was a big influence on the
Kansas "Point of Know Return" album, especially songs "The Spider" and
"Paradox", as well as the obvious for Spocks Beard; Echolyn; Advent; Eye
Strings and the like which would be discovered in a whole other lifetime).
Other albums would be purchased in more recent years and i'd hear what I'd
been missing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2c4k_dHA2Q

The Moody Blues would be another purchase and I loved the poetry within
the moody tunes. Their debut "Days of Future Past" and "On the Threshold of
a Dream" would be new (old) faves. And I'd buy other albums in years to
come. But I loved the prose and poetic dialogue intros!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lazdg-eqmQ
Soon they would return with their new album "The Long Distance Voyager"
in 1984.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv8oKH0_lac&feature=related






This was also a time I tried to learn how to play Guitar from a neighborhood
music store and a former guitarist of "The Ink Spots(later years)", which I
appreciated and was happy to learn the basics . . . it was just that I could not
remember the lessons, like school, I was not able to comprehend what was
being taught, I couldn't grasp it, a wall that plagues me to this day.
But from the same unit that used to be the store that held that album with the
"Nude man" on the cover, I got my own Guitar, again a "half-ass purchase" of
a cheap Memphis brand (plywood) for $150.
A Black Stratocaster, why? One name . . .
Ritchie Blackmore.

1. The Rainbow induction

"You don't know what's happening, you want to go home
but there's nowhere to hide
you walk out on stage, your first time alone
the crowd's going wild
and you feel so alive
you could stand up and take this all night
they love you but you're in love with the spotlight
you're the spotlight kid"

- The Spotlight Kid/Rainbow

On latenites I would stay up watching the new "Video" shows sprouting up.

This particular one was called Rock World and this episode featured "Rainbow"
at the 1st "Monsters of Rock at Castle Donnington Speedway" in England.
This was a leg for the Down to Earth tour (apparently "monsters" was started
up by Rainbow's Promoter).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_of_Rock
The sounds coming from all the musicians, the stage presence and Blackmore
just SHREDDING his White Strat with sounds that made my jaw drop! His "lip
singing" the notes and at moments in a trance as if he was far away in this
guitar dream world, as he let notes fly off and hover into the air with thousands
of fans in COMPLETE silence!
Blackmore and his Strat in a Guitar FX extravaganza of feedback, tremolo,
string bending-sounding like a wolf howling and entwined with haunting notes
enhanced by his Taurus Pedals adding Major/Minor notes and nuances.
. . . As a note faded into the night sky, it segued into Graham Bonnets rendition
of The Shirelles "Will you still love me tomorrow" . . . INCREDIBLE!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So9f5ZEFDQc
with "Eyes of the World" intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlYkSYwDzfU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTxJJaqPdbU
"Difficult to Cure" with new singer Joe Lynn Turner would soon come.
"Spotlight Kid" was a Radio Single and I loved the main Riff and the "sound"
Don Airey chose for the Keyboard Solo! From there I
bought every album
from their history and would also discover another name of their
past
. . .
Dio.
I worshiped Blackmore and Rodney James Dio, and then the airwaves would
introduce Dio with Black Sabbath and more albums to my growing collection
(and even an album of his Blues/Rock debut band "Elf". Had to have MORE
Dio!). Going back into their past catalogue, I religiously listened to "Rising";
"On-Stage" and "Long Live Rock N' Roll".
I also became a LP collector and of ANY EP-single I could find from
Rainbow, as I still do to this day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-aHeoLuMDY
(1977 w/Ronnie James Dio)
Dio with Sabbath:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frtJQFe9apw&feature=related
The album "Heaven and Hell" would be a staple on my Turntable.

Rainbow's "Tarot Woman" from Rising:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkanocYiQ1Q

From there, I'd go back further to Deep Purple and re-discover a band that
influenced a genre and a generation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkg0xJj2A4w
Ritchie Blackmore became my Guitar Hero. Showmanship with "chops",
he rose from a Bluesman, Rock, Even a little "Funk", one of the Founders
of Heavy Metal and Post-Progressive Rock to Neo-Classical and beyond.
He had all I wanted and more!
"Lazy":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6x8GGXrCFQ&playnext_from=PL&feature=
PlayList&p=4FDB56BECB104AFF&playnext=1&index=18
Later years after Ian Gillian (vocal extrordinaire) . . .
"You Fool No-one":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5CoGJevTuo
(With David Coverdale on Vocals, later to form the Rythem & Blues/Hard
Rock band "Whitesnake")

R
ain
bow Bio:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_(band)
Deep Purple and the "Family Tree":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Purple


2. The Education of Rush: 1981
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrejJHPnVfk&feature=related

"All the world's indeed a stage, and we are merely players, performers and portrayers
Each another's audience, outside the gilded cage"
-Limelight/Rush


But on FM radio, I would hear more from Moving Pictures and it was time
to make a purchase. After I got fired from the assembly job and one of my
strange fates with friends that would just "fade away", Alex and I went our
separate paths and I found a job at a Printer, loading up paper and cutting
them. Across the street there was, the now long gone, Zody's Department
store. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq0C3OUaTow
They had this LP clearance sale and ALL the Rush albums up to Moving
Pictures
for $2.99 . . . I bought them all and began my odyssey.
(The Tour album, "Exit...Stage Left" would soon follow. It would be the 1st
time to hear them live, Somehow I missed Rush when they were on Don
Kirchner's Rock Concert, same for Kansas).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lpVjXwAfm0&feature=related

It would be profound, each album had its own world of musicianship and
ideas that would baffle, amaze and inspire me and would be my soundtrack
for my drawing sessions. . . . These guys were GIANTS!
"2112" was a Sci-fi kids dream, the music was cinematic with a Hard Rock/
Prog soundtrack! but every song was soo beautiful, from its 2112 side A
to side B and the individual songs, and the haunting mellotron laden "Tears".
The cinematic would continue with "Farewell to Kings" and the same feelings
I would have with Yes's "Close to the Edge" were found in Rush's "Xanadu".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NP-ZlztziM
But the last track "Cygnus X-1", a voyage that was, much like Bowman's
perilous hyperspace flight in 2001: A Space Odyssey, another cinematic
journey through sound, I can't imagine a fans anticipation for the next album
when the last words on Cygnus lyric sheet says, "to be continued", and here
I am breaking time and space . . .

I then held in my hand the album I called "Gay" so many years ago . . .
As that $45 needle from that Pioneer Turntable I saved up for, hit the groove
of side 1, my life would change like seeing that Star Destroyer flying
over my
head in that Cinema in 77. I couldn't believe that 3 guys could
produce such
sounds, colours, and scenes. I held this album in my hand when
it came out
and I "didn't buy it!!?" NUTS!!! Who knows what I'd become if I
heard
"Hemispheres" back then! The same, or a musician, a drug addict?
All I knew was, this was the most brilliant piece of music I had EVER heard.


A Rush Fanatic I became.

Neil Pearts words, let alone his amazing abilities on his ever growing Kits,
would transport me to wondrous worlds and everyday thought, in profound
lyrics that resonate in me, and sometimes find there way into my vocabulary
to this day.
But it is because of The "Professor", I would become a Drum fan and hear the
difference between a player and a Drummer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9qJLt1dofE
Alex Lifeson. . . his "sound" so synonymous to Rush and what they are. One
of the most underrated Guitarists there is! From the technical, to the moody,
the atmospheric and sublime. It would be his sound (as well as his mates) in
those crazy time signatures, but also his Guitar tone and style in which he
played, filling the role of a second guitarist, that would be unique to my growing
ears and a prolific understanding of what music could be.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78D00dYOBrM
Geddy Lee has the most distinguishable voice in Rock . . . but then the Bass.
I'm not sure if anybody truly appreciates what the man DOES on that 4 string
Bass, listen to the older pieces (as now), he does NOT just add a "beat" or
rhythm, the man plays it like a 6 string Guitar! And the tone was his signiture.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUNxqE_3N0c
And STILL to this day, they sound like "musicians", not old fogies trying to
live on there past. They create MUSIC.
For now on, they would set the standard and ALL would follow.
To this day, I am still on the look out for any LP's, Promo Discs (CD and LP),
EP's and Tour Programmes that I can get my hands on
.
Bands have done Tributes and interpitations of their music,
but none can
emulate their knowledge of recording, playing style or
sound, that makes
them squeeze out soo much music, from a "Trio" that plays more like a
6
piece band. This IS the definition of a
Power Trio.
Kansas and Rush would be at a tug of war for my favorite bands of all time.

But with the older albums, I would re-discover the "Permenant Waves" album,
it was still fresh and new. Hearing "The Spirit of Radio" properly on a good
Turntable made it more dynamic and the time changes were soo damn unique
at that time. "Freewill" was another unique piece that it could be a hit, yet be
un-radio like, Alex's Guitar Solo was more akin to a Jazz piece, take away the
Drums and Bass and its a Fusion masterpiece! It almost has no Rock
elements in it, almost freeform, but you bring in the Bass and Drums and it
follows the lines, but still it comes from another World, it has to be one of my
favorite all time Solos!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDqDlRf8wxs&feature=related
. . . not only that, but the prolific words and clever phrasings that fit the music
so well! Words that would grow in meaning as I got older, at first I thought it
was "Anti-Deity", but we all have a Freewill, and my guide does not want
"Jesus Robots", but a human being of freewill and a conscience.
We all have a choice, and this song was a reminder that our own choices, if
we believe it is right without malicious intent, its the right one (or a "kindness
that can kill", we choose our path what ever it may be).
It didn't stop there, 2 "Ballads" that only Rush could make unique, "Alone
and yet together like 2 passing Ships":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AatUO5n7QE8
"Entre Nous" showed that prog Bands could write well thought out "Love Songs"
that was not only from the heart, but with some intelligents.
"Jacobs Ladder" was Cinematic, A "Film" of Clouds would grow in my head as
"Thunder Heads are rumbling through our distant overture", it was the anatomy
of a sky battle of Storm Clouds represented in music!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnkwhHOjv-4&feature=related
But the big Final was to be a favorite, Epic and prolific, from our "beginnings" of
life to possibly "losing our way", science and nature colliding, yet we have that
will to create something unique and go beyond what is "instinct".
"Natural Science":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7W0Nm8iHwk

. . . To say I was overwhelmed by their catalogue is an understatement.

Rush Bio:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Rush


Finally purchasing an Emerson Lake & Palmer album!!!
I'd end up finding ELP's "Pictures at an Exhibition" and would listen to it
quite alot, and STILL did not own "Brain Salad Surgery".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpEoF5nYE5w

"Talk, talk, it's only talk, debates, discussions, these are words with a D this time,
Dialogue, dualogue, diatribe, dissention, declamation, double talk, double talk"
-Elephant Talk/King Crimson

Another introduction to something that should've made me run out and get
EVERY album. A show that tried to ride the Saturday Night Live band wagon
in 1981. A comedy show called "Fridays"(on ABC) and this band comes on
that I had heard of a long time ago, these guys were soo incredible I didn't
know what to think of them, they were sort of New Wavish, but . . .
progressive.
The SOUNDS coming out of this smiling mans Guitar was NUTS! and is that
Bill Bruford on Drums!? It was King Crimson promoting the "Discipline" album
and it was . . . insane (until YOUtube, I thought I'd NEVER see this again).
Adrian Belew left an impression on me with his "Dialogue" vocals, his happy
dimeanor and crazy playing style, as well as Tony Levin on Bass, and it just
might be the 1st for me to notice bass playing of that calibur since Geddy Lee.
And seeing Robert Fripp "sitting" as all these busy notes came flying out of his
fingers (it was before or after this I read about Bill Brufords history in a
magazine called "Musician" and he also talked about his "Mutant" kit that is in
the vid, notice the Simmons Electronic Drums, he was 1 of the first to use
them).
I went out and got the album probably a few months later and became one of
my all time favorites. As I collected more albums in the years to come, I would
discover that the 3 "Primary colour albums" (Discipline, Beat and Three of a
Perfect Pair) were a different line-up and sound, of their previous history.
These 3 would be my faves (as well as the albums to come after), but would
slowly re-discover a band with a rich influencial history.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zl_Ryg5Ks4
(Note: seems ABC/YOUtube keeps deleating it for copyright bullshit, hopefully it
is still up by the time you click on link).

I've never seen Guitarist/Founder (on Chair) Robert Fripp THIS happy (hehe).

It was there I would discover another "U.K." based band. . . . and a few others.


Phase 9
. . . Heavy Metal, Heavier times.

"For the windows of the world, are never open all the way, and the voices of the past
are not forgotten
Till you leave it all behind you, you will never see the day,
'cause your life is on the line"
-
Windows/Kansas

To be Continued . . .

Opus Insert
("The Pied Piper, The Anatomy of a Whistle or How to annoy as many people as
possible").


Or how about, "You're not paid to be a Canary!", what the hell am I talking
about you may ask. Well my Father was a damn good whistler. In fact, he was
always in the same key of the musics he whistled along with.

In-turn, I was to imitate my Dad-imitate the music I loved. I have always been
an imitator of sounds, birds, animals, musical instruments, celebs,
cartoons,
sound FX, since I was a little kid.

But I vaguely remember a Hit song that had whistling in it back in the 60's.
My Dad would imitate it to a T, and I started doing it, though it wasn't the "O"
shaped mouth-blowing air out, was more the "sides of the mouth open
with
the tongue tip touching the pallet behind the teeth, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbQh8mTLUU0&feature=related
I started "singing" melodies by whistling, much like Guitarists playing the
vocal parts of songs (as I do :P), and that includes any inflection in the
voice, any subtlety. Then I started doing this with the melodies of music of
the instrument, mainly Guitars and keyboards-from there I was
imitating them,
(and Drums, again, like a "Beat-Box"), but I was doing this since the late
60's.
Bass was a controled "farting" sound (Ha!), but I'd add a "voice" to it, so it
became 2 sounds at the same time, even the "Fretless" sound. Same for
Drums, a popping sound as well as tongue on pallet, mouth opens quickly,
teeth clenshed and air through the teeth-Snare and High Hat and
other
Cymbals, it went onto emulating China Crashes, Double Bass Toms
(Kick
Drums), Electronic Pads, Wind Instruments . . . call me "Bobby
McFerrin",
before . . . Bobby McFerrin (why didn't someone tell me I could
make money
with this, instead I'm bragging to Prog Heads that don't have
any money! :P).
One thing I still catch myself doing is, when I imitate a Guitar sound, I "whistle"
the "Harmonics", I just can't help myself. When I hear Eric
Johnson's "Bristol
Shore", its either a high E or a harmonic towards the
end of the song, I plant
that tougue up to the pallet by the teeth and blow
"(schh)TTEEEEEEE!!!!"
. . . I'm a freak.

Then Geof Tate comes along and for 3 albums has his trademark whistles,
the best comes from "I will remember" from Rage for Order (Queensryche):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCxxK0SZuEE
Everytime I see the "Unplugged" version of it, where Tate "doesn't" whistle
any of the parts, I whistle the parts :P When I'm in a large Parking Garage,
I get the urge to whistle it . . . and damn it, when I'm goofy enough to do it,
Blow man blow!
. . . I'm such a weirdo! what is wrong with me?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83bmsluWHZc&feature=related
"Be HAPPY at your work!"

3 comments :

guitarsean said...

I see a lot of my own journey here. Thanks for sharing MAV. I don't know if I could remember the soundtrack of my own life so clearly.

MAVIII said...

Gosh...

I hope only in music, not the "journey" ;)

guitarsean said...

Well, I also spent some time as a good kid with my head in the clouds. I was bored and disengaged, but not interested in screwing up my life with drugs or something either.