Records That Changed My Life, Part I

crickets (6k image)Records that changed my life, in one way or another (1984-1992):

1984 – I was 7. I saved up my allowance (25 cents a week) all year to purchase Bruce Springsteen’s born in the usa on Cassette. I bought it with my Mother at Waxie Maxies in the mall right near JC Penny. I memorize all the lyrics. Verbatim and with NJ dialect. I was hooked on rock and roll forever. The Boss was the man.

1985-1986 – I didnt really have a particular taste in music at this point. I mean I listened to music but no bands outside of the Beatles and The Stones and Ray Charles and Joni Mitchell (bands by Parents listened to) stick out… I was a radio slut at this point. Casey Casem on Sunday mornings with my tape deck at +3db like my Father taught me; ready to record. “Just a bit in the red, but not too much.” I made Top 40 mix tapes by month. I still have a few.

– Jane’s Addiction: The fist Jane’s I heard was Nothing’s Shocking. My friend Jordan got all the best and newest music from his older brother who had a radio show at some college station. Maybe U of Maryland. I heard the first yelp of “THREE – FOUR” in the 2nd cut, Ocean Size and I was hooked. Lyrics that really made no sense yet talked about sex, drugs and rock & roll were amazing and mezmorizing to me. There was an incredible mystery about this band. And the drums were gigantic. Steven Perkins made me decide to play the drums. Jordan told me there was this super computer that processed Perry’s vocals. Later in my career in music production i realized he was quite full of shit. Then shortly after “Ritual de lo Habitual” came out and the rest is history. Three Days was meant to give orgasms.

– Fugazi’s repeater: These guys were local. Local heros who were accessable and did it themselves. Very inspiring for a poor kid from the suburbs who was 14 and impressionable just like everyone. I got this on a tape on the A Side. The B side had Shutter To Think’s ten spot. I was forever changed with local indie music. I had never heard music this real and strange.

– Smashing Pumpkin’s gish: I went away to summer camp. It was a music camp. I borrowed this tape of Karin’s. Side A was Gish and the Side B was some Sex Pistols record. I listened to Side B trying to see what the deal was with them… I never got the Sex Pistols and to this day I still do not. Needless to say, Gish was amazing. It was music for people who could cry and a bit more. This probably fed part of my teenage ridden angst and sadness. I was learning drums at this point and went to my summer drum teacher, Josh and said, “I want to play this entire record.” By the end of the 6 weeks and 10 hour days of practicing I had mastered it. Sans the wacked out solo in Snail, but that was not my concern. I was so proud of those calousess. I think I still have this tape in my parent’s basement. I remember it was a Sony Type II tape that was green and I played it in my yellow walkman I stole from some schmuck. Maybe I was the schmuck. Then Siamese Dream came out a year later and they were giants. I remember listening to Hummer in my basement. After the arsenal of guitars come in I heard a sound that sounded like crickets up in the upper sound register… It had to be a keyboard. I messed with the keyboard that was in the basement from the band i was in at the time, Undertow. I couldnt get the right sound. It was impossible. I later found out from the guitarist in the band that sound I was hearing was the effect of guitar fuzz. This is when I wanted I decided I wanted to produce and engineer like Butch Vig.

To be continued…

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