During the tumultuous times shortly after my father's death, my big brother Dan became a prevalent figure in my life. He hadn't been too much previously, due to a 10 year age gap and the fact that he lived in a different county. Didn't affect the love. I love all my brothers and sisters, especially now more than ever, because I have learned so much in the last decade. I can never repay what they've give and the warmth they've pored out, even when I haven't deserved it in my blackest and most self-absorbed moments.
This is hard for me to write, as the words are blurring before me now, cheeks dampening, but I shall press on. I need to get this out.
Dan introduced me to music. Not the country and western/WMAQ/Patsy Cline/she-bop shebop my mom was ingratiating me with, although that stuff is fantastic. I keep Sam Cooke, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Roy Orbison around due to her, and that will never change. But my brother brought me the CRASH.
The stuff that had me thinking, "Holy shit, what's this?" Long before I arrived at the doorstep of punk, this was my initiation in the fact that music had FORCE. It started with the Who's "Who's Next". From the opening bars of "Baba O'Riley", on through "Love aint For Keeping", (a personal fave), to the forlorn "Behind Blue Eyes", and "Won't get Fooled" which has to have the best effin' rock scream ever recorded on it.
Pete Townshend is monster. Entwistle a dream, Keith Moon was, well......Keith Moon.
Danny introduced me to "Welcome to the Machine"...."Have a Cigar", of course I am speaking of Pink Floyd. I used to use "Dark Side of the Moon" to meditate, in high school. Before pharmaceuticals came into my life, it was my only means of "toning down" my high-strung nature. Lights out, blanket, Side one.......soothing the savage beast.
Dan brought me more, much more, Led Zeppelin II and Jimmy Page's first take animal riffs, Boston I, which may be the closest thing to Phil Spector's "wall of sound" done in it's wake.....Now mind you, I don't like everything Dan does, I eschew his ponderous joy with Steely Dan and Supertramp, but no one, including myself, is even close to perfect.
But I just wanted to take this opportunity, publicly, and in prose, to thank my big brother, and tell him I love him. For his music he so graciously shared with me...and for his companionship.
Fellow siblings, fear not. I have much to share about you as well. You have all shaped me, whether you know it or not. And I will be bragging your exploits in turning me into one strange, yet hopefully memorable individual. Stay tuned.