Ever since the time I could walk, music has been an integral part of my life. My Mom and Dad were big blues lovers. Bobby “Blue” Bland and B.B. King were in constant rotation. My Mom would stack vinyl albums 10 deep on the record player.
A vintage 1963 Zenith turntable console would play one album, drop another (right on top of the previous) and play the next album, this repeated until all albums were played.
Now check this out, Mom would take the 10 stacked albums off the turntable, flip them over, and play the other sides. This happened every night until I fell asleep.
Fantastic Music Moments
There are three dramatic music moments in my life. The three moments have allowed me to become a much more open person. I accept and listen to all types of music now. Keep in mind that up until the age of 15, the only music I was acquainted with was gospel, blues, and rhythm and blues.
Moment Number One
At the age of 15 (living in Chicago), I knew an awesome drummer named Brady Williams (who is currently a blues drummer in Chicago). I admired Brady because he was phenomenal playing drums. I was learning how to play guitar. He was two years older than I.
I went to his house one day, and when he opened the door, I heard the most wonderful music coming from his upstairs bedroom. I had never heard music of this kind. I was fascinated and smitten. What type of music I was hearing? Brady invited me up to his room and brought out his album collection. The song playing was Renaissance by Jean Luc Ponty. That song changed my life. Because of that song I became curious about not only music but everything. Back then I only knew of music played on the radio. If it hadn’t been played on the radio I was unaware of its existence.
After hearing Renaissance, everyday after school I would take the train downtown to Rose Records and survey the album bins. Mostly to learn about what I was missing. I never imagined buying albums before hearing them. But when I went to Rose Records I would buy between 3 to 5 albums of artists I had never heard.
My appetite to explore as much music as possible was insatiable. I learned about Joni Mitchell, Flora Purin, Michael Urbaniak, Steve Hillage, Allan Holdsworth and The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The door of music was open and I stepped right in.
Moment Number Two
This moment is a little fuzzy. Sometime in 1991, one night watching music videos, real late, I saw the weirdess video I have ever seen. I don’t remember exactly the song or video, but I remember it was weird and the band was Tool. Up until that point I tolerated rock, I wasn’t a big rock music fan. But when I heard Tool. My entire perception of rock changed. The desire to explore and listen to the rock genre was large.
Moment Number Three
In 2001, while living in Miami, I went to the Delano hotel for an after work get together. When I walked into the Delano my jaw dropped. It was amazing. Long white curtains hung from the ceiling acting as section dividers in the hotel lobby. Colored lights decorated the tall white walls. As I walked to the back of the lobby, the volume of cool and mellow music playing increased. The music had few words but a steady beat. It was perfect for Miami.
I went over to the DJ and asked what type of music was he playing and he said lounge music.
Learning about lounge music opened the doors to discovering all forms of electronic music. Chill out, electronic dance, nu jazz, downtempo, dub step and ambient. The introduction of lounge came at a perfect time. The older I get the more I want to chill. Each day at 5pm it is guaranteed I’m listening to some type of electronic music.