However, it wasn't until I was personally introduced to the fruits that grew from the 1960's orchards that flourished in the canyons of our minds that I truly got an understanding of what music, itself, is made of and the role it would play in my life in the years to come.
Almost overnight, I went from listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, Mountain, Ten Years After and other Blues based bands to more progressive and experimental groups like King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Passport, Genesis (previous to the departure of Peter Gabriel, thank you) and of course Frank Zappa. It was these progressive and experimental bands and musicians that lead me to discover Classical,
Jazz and Jazz Fusion.
Even today, my primary interests in music lie with those who are not only willing to stretch the envelope, but travel outside of it's boundaries. My favorite contemporary musicians and bands are very similar to those in the early 70's. King Crimson would have to be the band that has continued to evolve, redefine and inspire me (and many other progressive musicians) the most. As Robert Fripp, founding member of King Crimson once said: "Whenever music appears impossible to play, eventually,
King Crimson appears to play it."
Robert Fripp, as an individual musician is one of my greatest musical influences here in the waning 90's. However, more than anyone else, my greatest influence ever would have to be fellow Crim and experimental guitarist Adrian Belew whom I had the distinct and grand pleasure of meeting and introducing in concert while playing with the soon to be reunited band The Bears. It is more than Adrian's formidable skills as a guitar player that has caused me to place him high as my ultimate hero. Adrian, also a remarkable and talented lyricist has not only touched my heart and soul, but seems to write many of his lyrics from there. Look I don't mean to sound like my sister who basked in the glow of the short lived light of The Cowsills; but I have never felt so comfortable and in-touch with any one's lyrics. As a budding lyricist myself, I find much of my inspiration by listening to his, sometimes, overwhelming ability to craft a
catchy phrase or entire song.
Of course I still find much inspiration in the classics as well; The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, just to name a few.
Some of the links listed below will lead you to some of the musicians and bands that I have mentioned above. If you are unfamiliar with any of them, take a minute to download a sample or two.
It is never too late to expand your mind.