Making Up For Lost Time
For a huge portion of my adult life, I existed in a music vacuum. I went from being in college in the early 90’s where I met new people and was turned on to Metal of all types, then back home to good rock radio and the later 90’s evolution from Grunge to Hard Alternative and Numetal. Then, our only rock station closed up shop, our alternative station started to play weird mixes of music, and I relied on Rolling Stone for my music news. As many of you know, Rolling Stone has a fixation with aging/over the hill rockers and pop stars. There is very little room for the true innovators or even the great sounds coming out of rock music. So from about 1998-2007 I would say that I relied solely on my ipod and a few suggestions from iTunes. I also had children during this time, so that made my music selections a little interesting. There was that four month period of time when my daughter, at age 3, would listen to nothing but the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, which was cool, but not really rock. I did manage to see some great concerts during this time: Metallica, Motley Crue a few times, Alice In Chains, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden… Old favorites.
Then my husband bought me a gift that proved to be a huge influence on my life. He bought me a Sirius satellite radio with a boombox for in the house and a car kit for my Explorer. Man, was it cool! I could listen to whatever I wanted! They had a station for my New Wave memories, Lithium to satisfy my 90’s cravings, and even Hair Nation and Ozzy’s Boneyard for my classic rock needs. Then I found a little channel called Octane: New Hard Rock. They played a little Metallica, and a little Pantera, which were familiar. But then I heard something strange and wonderful. Bullet For My Valentine had recently released their debut album The Poison. Whoa! The speed! The screaming that flowed right into melodic rock! And what’s this? Avenged Sevenfold? Yeah, I can dig this. And wait, THAT’S what Slipknot sounds like? They aren’t just some gimmicky guys in masks? AMAZING!!! And Korn isn’t just some confused hip/hop/metal/perverted/alcoholic mess? They have brilliant lyrics and experiment with some amazing shit? I AM IN!!!
My new little satellite radio got a workout! I carried the little box from the car to the house to the car and listened to it constantly. I even tried out the Alternative station, Alt Nation. I heard The White Stripes and said to myself, “that’s what all the fuss is about! Genius!” Then I heard the Killers, the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather, Panic at the Disco… I’d never suffer without good music again! I discovered so much music in such a short time that I filled my little iPod nano in no time and had to steal my husband’s classic, which then had 120gb. (now I have the 160gb model and it’s nearly full).
When I started to write my first novel, Haven, in 2009 on a whim, I was always playing music. I hadn’t graduated to making playlists for each book, that didn’t happen until the next book, Haunted, but I tried on different artists for different moods. These moods traversed the entirety of my music education.
I was exposed to so many types of music as a kid and I credit many people for that. It started with my mom’s 8-tracks and my father’s LPs. Dance lessons exposed me to music from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s for tap and jazz. My aunt was always playing Elvis and Frank when I was at her house. My AM radio/KNBR roots included Fleetwood Mac, Abba and Heart. My mom and I danced around the house to Motown albums. My sister scared the shit out of me by playing Iron Man and Back in Black (I later pilfered her cassettes when she wasn’t looking. I still have her 1984, Missing Persons and Berlin I think). Live 105 came on the air and then it was all about 80’s New Wave, or what we called Modern Rock. Then there was my brief Hip Hop phase with Run DMC, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys and my classic rock/hippie stage in later high school where I religiously listened to the Zep Set at 7:00 each night and had my cassettes ready to record. I read Riders On The Storm and fell in complete fascination of the Doors. Metal started when my cousin stayed with us and played me Judas Priest. That sowed the seeds for me. So as you can see, I’ve listened to it all… Yes, I even listened to Johnny Cash with my father and used to watch the Mandrell Sisters on TV so I knew all about country at that time. But Metal is and will always be my soul. What other music gets your blood pumping, gives you an outlet for all of your frustration and anger, and combines incredible musicianship and powerful lyrics like Metal? Listening to Metallica for the first time changed my life forever. Headbanger’s Ball was the best part of my week. I even kicked down the dough to get cable for the house with my own money from teaching dance lessons at 16 so I could have My MTV!!!
This rant was meant to give a glimpse into my musical madness. I feel like I have a lot of lost time to make up for. So many bands to discover and so many shows to see. I've mentioned before that I've become a bit obsessed with going to shows. Now I don't just see my favorite bands, I take my daughter to see her current favorites (Black Veil Brides, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, and next will be her all time favorite, Motionless In White in August!) There have been many more experiences that molded and shaped my tastes, and I’ll tell those stories here in this blog eventually. Sometimes I wish I was still that teenager hiding in my room in front of the stereo waiting for my favorite songs to come on so I could record them on a mix tape. Or I wish I was back waiting in line in the wee hours of the morning outside the Wherehouse for David Bowie tickets. But I’m happy now to be flying down the freeway in my Mustang blasting Slipknot out my Shaker soundsystem and sharing my love of music with my kids. Writing stories about music and romance has become my passion and I hope you get some entertainment from my brand of crazy!