Thursday, July 2, 2009

Weekend Assignment #273: Music of my life

I've talked a lot about music on here since I listen to it while doing everything, like right now, but also because it means a lot to me. I'm not sure why, but I know that certain music will pull me out of a bad mood, or get me to keep running when I'm too tired to go far, or to transport me to a completely different time in my life. So, I'm glad that Karen brought up the topic of music and musicians for this weekend assignment. I just wish I got to it sooner.

For me, there are certain stages to my musical journey through life. So I'm going to break it up into sections.

My infancy, so to speak, of music started with the first album I owned that was all mine. I had several hand-me-down 8 tracks from my sister, but nothing I listened to with great frequency. Except maybe Cheap Trick At Budokan. I think I listened to that a lot. But, on Christmas my stepsister gave me The Cars debut album on cassette. I think I wore a hole in that tape. I carried around one of those clumsy shoe box sized cassette players and listened to it all the time. That was my first introduction to rock music. I don't want to bring up my older embarrassing music I listened to prior than that.

The next stage came with music I actually bought myself. Mostly that was Styx and Kansas. I loved those two bands. They were a bit different in style than The Cars, but they had the right mix for me. Some good rocking music, but also some slower songs mixed with a little progressive rock; especially with Kansas.

I think Styx Paradise Theater album was the one I listened to the most. It was certainly one of their biggest albums and it hit at the perfect time for me. What I want to know, though, is why is not on iTunes? That is driving me crazy. I can't find that album anywhere. I have all of Kansas' albums, I have to finish up the nostalgia trip with Styx.

Those two bands carried me through to my high school years. Around sophomore year one of my friends bought Metallica's Ride the Lightning. At first I hated it. I thought it was a musical nightmare from which I'd never wake up. Then, one day I was asking him to put it one. After listening to it a few times I could see what these guys were doing. I could hear that they had talent and were just doing something a little different. This lead me to my metal years of Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Megadeth, and many others. It was a good time. I still listen to them this day.

Even though I started listening to Rush before I heard Metallica, I'm listing them at the end. See, I was one of those guys that liked all of their albums up to Signals then thought they got to mellow. That was until sometime late in high school, maybe even just after graduation, when I saw the live video for A Show of Hands concert. On this they played plenty of songs from those albums I thought we no good, and I realized I was wrong. So, I went and bought them all up. Rush is still my favorite all time band. They have great musicianship, they do what they want and they still put on a good show. Not bad for some 50 something year old guys.

Those are my four bands, through four musical eras of my life. What about you?

Extra Credit: What is your personal reaction, if any, to the death of Michael Jackson?

I think it's sad. He was certainly not old enough and he's leaving some young kids behind. That's probably the worst part.


Florinda said...

Good list - and of course, no overlap with my own :-). You definitely gave me flashbacks to high school - fortunately, not the bad kind!

Mike said...

Florinda: So, what would be bad flashbacks? Gary Newman? Village People? Actually village people would be more of a grade school thing, but you know what I mean. :)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Wow - we share basically no music in common, except maybe Cheap Trick and the Cars. Mind you, I kind of liked listening to Mr. Roboto at the record store, all those years ago!

Mike said...

Karen: I didn't think we would share much either. That's okay, though. We can't all like the same music, right?

I wasn't a big fan of Mr. Roboto, but there were some good songs on that album.