Saturday, January 5, 2013

Getting back with my 1st love.....

Music! Music has been a special part of my life since I can remember. I was always drawn to it, even as early as 4 or 5 years old I remember music being special and it's still the case to this day 46+ years later. My folks thought it was "cute", that is until at 8 years old my older cousins introduced me to KISS. My folks thought it was evil, I thought it was the most incredible thing I had ever heard. The screaming guitars, the pounding drums, the punishing bass, all completely changed how I would look at music forever. I think "Cold Gin" was the 1st song I remember hearing.
The impact it had on me at 8 years old was unreal, rock and roll had a firm grip on me and I was for the most part, consumed by it. Ace Frehley in particular left a huge impression on me, the Gibson Les Paul became my most sought after guitar, and I wanted to play in the worst way! Well, considering the time, 1974, location- middle of nowhere Iowa, and being the oldest son of a farm family, my folks were not going to let that "evil rock and roll" take their son. Playing an instrument was out of the question, boys didn't do that, they worked. Playing music was "irresponsible". I was however, allowed to listen to it "at a reasonable volume", and as long as I paid for the albums(yup vinyl, cassettes hadn't been invented yet, lol!) My dream of playing guitar, playing rock and roll, seemed to get further and further away. I kept listening and learning about new bands and old bands alike. The next two to get a firm foothold in my brain was Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath. All through the 70's and 80's I immersed myself in the growing rock/metal/heavy metal genre listening to everything I could get my ears on. Then in 1983 it happened, the band I had basically been idolizing since 1974 was going to in concert in a city an hour from our farm. KISS was on their 10th anniversary tour! I had passing grades(I was a junior in high school at that time), had a friend that they liked willing to drive, and hadn't been in much trouble recently so I got to go! Actually seeing them in person was unbelievable, that much volume, that much power, was almost overwhelming. Being in a crowd of about 3000 kids just like me, screaming, fists in the air, being able to completely and freely let our anger flow was almost magical. For alot of us, we had found home, we were accepted simply because of our love for music. It was 30 years ago and I still remember how I felt that night. Seeing KISS, and really Ace Frehley, rekindled my desire/need to play guitar, to express myself, and to maybe one day be lucky enough to give someone else that same feeling.

The following year I became more and more dissatisfied with "status quo" and very disillusioned with what Iowa's version "society" had become. In December of '83, halfway through my senior year, I dropped out and was determined to live life rather than have life live me. Not the brightest move I've ever made, lol, but I felt I had to make, and do not regret to this day. By May of 1984 I was ready to implode, I had to get out, so a month after I turned 18 I joined the Army, I had to get out and explore this huge world, somewhere out there was my dream. After basic training and AIT, I got sent to my 1st actual duty assignment, Ft. Bliss Tx. Since I was officially on my own, had no one to tell me otherwise, I bought my 1st guitar! It was an absolute piece of shit, Strat bodied Hondo, but goddamnit it was mine!!! The dream was on!

Anyhow, I could write all night about this, but I won't, maybe another installment later? I have taken the last 8 years off from playing, I still held on to some of my gear and they've been patiently waiting for me. Music is part of who I am, a huge part, and just because I stopped playing doesn't mean the music stopped. I still listened to it, it was always in my head and over the past 7 or 8 months the need to play, to create, has been getting bigger and bigger. I've made the decision to play again. This time for me, not for a band, it's time to take what's in my head and make it real.
Yup, I play metal. The one on the left was given to me by wife 25 years ago. The one on the right I bought in 1993 and is technically my oldest sons as I gave it to him for his birthday a long time ago. He left it at the house so I"m playing it for now, lol! Yes, Jimmy, you'll get it back!

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