Saturday, 13 February 2010

Influence Peddling

 Influences? Is that really necessary?

In 1980, I had a  3am Sunday paper route and a portable Walkman cassette player the size of a college textbook...my favorite cassette had  Deep Purple's Machine Head on one side and The Clash's first album on the other...the tape was finished with a few songs by an old UK punk band called 999 and the first six minutes of Pink Floyd's Astronomy Domine.

 During my final year of high school, I tried to teach myself to play guitar by listening to The Cramps' Smell of Female (Live at the Peppermint Lounge) LP over and over again...but the songs were too difficult for me to play, so I traded it in for a used (but seldom-played) copy of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music.  That worked for me.

My first concert was Joe Walsh. My second was King Crimson. Third was the Talking Heads.

My friend Ron Curry gave me my only lesson in 1984...he sketched out a couple of major barre chords on the back of my notebook during a high school pep rally. I liked them so much that I never learned any others.

In 1986 I attended a Grateful Dead concert stone-cold sober. They played a extended cover of 'Gloria', which was bad enough, but Bob Weir added insult to odium by spelling it 'G-O-L-R-I-A'...over and over in-between endless guitar meanderings...I spent the next decade playing loud, fast and angry punk-metal. One band was hailed in the local press as being "destined to join [Richmond's ] rock pantheon"...we broke up the night before the review was published.

That influenced my decision to get a 'real job'.

Doing sound in nightclubs.

(To be continued.)

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