Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tribute to Inspiration

 

Personal Inspirations...

I love music. DUH!

Growing up, I was never very good at expressing myself. I always had a fear of saying things in the wrong way. I also grew up with adults that believed that children should be seen and not heard. I always found that to be a stupid saying - you never know what you can learn from children. This is the type of thing that made me believe that the word 'adult' was the most commonly misspelled word in the world. It should be spelled A DOLT. That's been my experience.

I found that the best way to express myself was through the music I grew up with. It's no surprise that I would turn to making music as a way to continue that expression. Throughout my life, there have been several artists that have inspired me to create my own sound. You can't help but to hear some of them in what I do. 





One of my biggest influences of all time is a little known band called Pink Floyd. I can remember hearing songs like "Learning to Fly", "Keep Talking", and "Money" when I was a kid. I dug a bit deeper into Pink Floyd when I was in high school. Exploring the music that wasn't always on the radio brought me great joy. I also began to realize that much of what I was hearing from them wasn't exactly the norm in terms of your typical, everyday music. It struck a chord with me and made me want to try telling my own story through song.

There was so much emotional content in every note. That particular characteristic was most evident in the David Gilmour days. Something about that frontman connected with me in ways most other music never could. His guitar was just as expressive of a singer as the man himself. He's one of the reasons the guitar became my main instrument. 

There is something about the sound of a Floyd tune that makes me want to sit up and listen. There is so much life - and so much about life - that run in parallel with my own existence. It would be a dream come true to play one of my own tunes with Dave. Maybe we can convince Roger Waters and Nick Mason to join in. We'll do it for Rick Wright.

When you listen to some of my vocals, you can't help but notice one of my other great influences. Michael Jackson truly earned his nickname as the King of Pop. Right up to this very day, I can listen to just about anything from Michael and be totally immersed in a world made entirely of feeling. There's nothing "Bad" about that at all.

There are too many MJ songs I love to list here. Michael peppered my childhood with amazing musical memories. A lot of what I do vocally comes from trying to emulate his powerful, emotion-filled sound. I'm no Michael. I'm just me. That's just fine. I found myself  deeply infatuated with the MJ sound even before I found Floyd in my life. I just hadn't thought seriously about making my own music at the time. Once I found that I could possibly do my own thing, Michael was one of my first targets for emulation. 

While I never try to copy any other artist with my writing or performance, I realized that my shy nature needed a bit of a buffer if I was ever going to do anything on a stage. I learned a lot from watching, listening to, and absorbing Michael. He helped me through a lot of my fears while I grew as a musician, and as a person. "Blame it on the Boogie".

A big reason I'm so moved by the soulful side of music has a lot to do with this lady. Anita Baker has a voice and style that I consider to be nothing less than ethereal. I'm caught up in the "Rapture" of Anita.

I've loved so many styles of music throughout my life. I play and write mostly in the rock genre. But so much of what I do has a touch of jazz in it for a little extra flavor. Much of that came from her.

I could listen to "Fairy Tales" a thousand times over and never get tired of it. I'm pretty sure I've gotten close. When I listen to her today, I do so with the "Same Ole Love" I had from day one. I doubt that will ever change.

I've written a few songs that I had to scrap because I realized that they were copies of Anita Baker songs that I just hadn't listened to in a while. I wondered why they sounded so familiar. 

It's funny to think that that the vast majority of music that I create sounds nothing like the people that inspire it. There are the exceptions. But, more often than not, my music goes in a very different direction that