This site is all about the music I enjoy listening to. My tastes are eclectic and vary from day to day, hour to hour and sometimes moment to moment. I encourage all to explore new music and learn what it has to offer the senses. While music obviously tickles your ears… it is also a great trigger to memory and recall… and this leads to all the other senses as well. I listen to a wide array of music including jazz, reggae, pop, latin and, of course, New Wave. I appreciate music for it’s musical, vocal and lyrical content – not just because it is hip (or hop). I offer these words in hopes that you will enjoy reading them, but also that you will come away with a new appreciation and desire to add music to your own collection. Thank you for visiting!
Mom & Dad’s Music
While I certainly listened to music even earlier on the radio my first “real” exposure to controlled music selection was in 1976 at the age of nine. My parents allowed me to use their Fisher (very big name at the time) stereo which had a turn table and yes… even an 8-track tape deck. No music was off limits and I enjoyed jacking into the stereo with their headphones and kicking back to Led Zepplin, McCartney & Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues and Seals & Crofts… as well as other selections.
The most influential person in my audio world was my Uncle Ted. Even before ’76, when I visited Uncle Ted (who still lived at home with my grandmother and grandfather), he provided exposure to classics such as Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water as well as Todd Rungren and David Bowie selections. Uncle Ted went away to college at Kent State, but he visited me at our home in the Colorado Rockies in 1979 and brought his portable cassette deck with him. He also brought Devo, Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads and a host of other bands that he liked from college. The visit was too short and Uncle Ted had to go back to school, but he sent me a cassette tape that would change my life forever. The 90 minute cassette came with a track listing that started with the premise that we were embarking on a musical adventure and the roll of the die would dictate the path we would take. The first track was an orchestral arrangement by Bartok that started slow and soft reaching a crescendo which led us into the city… in fact, London’s Burning by the Clash, followed by Sat’day Night In the City of the Dead by Ultravox and then Nick Lowe’s Heart of the City. While the reference to my interest in Dungeons & Dragons did not persist throughout the tape, the introductions to new music continued. Selections from the B-52’s, The Waitresses, Devo, Blackbeard, Rachel Sweet, Lene Lovich, Kraftwerk, Patrick D. Martin, The Vapors and more were included and set me on a path of music appreciation and collection that continues to this day. Uncle Ted moved to Colorado with his girlfriend, Lori, (later to be his wife) and continued to share with me all of the new music that he found and all of the old music he loved. He also took me to various concerts in Denver. At the Rainbow Music hall we saw The Waitresses and at Red Rocks we enjoyed The Talking Heads (with R.E.M. opening for them), The English Beat (with Bow Wow Wow and Joe “King” Carrasco) and The B-52’s (again with R.E.M. opening). Many is the night that I would spend with Uncle Ted and (Aunt) Lori at their apartment in Aurora, Colorado listening to music on Uncle Ted’s Marantz applifier spun through his Pioneer turntable with a diamond cartridge… in those days TDK and Maxell were ever my friends too.
The next major influence in my music listening was a friend of my Dad’s named Steve. He brought to me a love of knowledge about the bands and a lot of understanding about racism. Whenever we would visit Steve’s house he had something new to listen to and played it “over loud”. Having a conversation with Steve was actually difficult on occasion because he played the music so loudly. From him I got the influence of soul – Steve introduced me to (very early) Prince, Quincy Jones, Grover Washington Jr., Gil-Scott Heron, Herbie Hancock and a host of other soul, jazz, reggae and what today is often just called world music. Steve always knew who was married to whom, who played with so and so and was basically Pop-Up Video without the video since this was pre-VH1 and MTV was just starting up. So, all of the above people – Mom, Dad, Uncle Ted and Steve – really contributed to my love of recorded music and passion for collecting and listening to music that picks from genres all over the map.