Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I remember as a teenager, just being completely obsessed with a few, select record albums. (That term, alone, dates me). I would find an album I liked and listen to it over and over and over, getting to know every note of it, every word, and every nuance.

That just doesn’t happen anymore. I wish it did. I received a piano scholarship to study music and whenever I go home to Texas, I still have piano lessons with the same teacher I’ve had for thirty years now.
Maybe I’ve become jaded.
Maybe I’ve just grown up.

Here are some of the albums I was totally obsessed with as a teenager.

Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. It was also the theme to The Exorcist and I identified with everything “Linda Blair” when I was fourteen. (Our birthdays are actually just a couple of days a part) I thought it was the most brilliant piece of music ever written. I learned to play the main theme on the piano and wanted to play it on a recital. I knew that if I ever met Mike Oldfield, we’d be soul mates. I had it on an 8-Track tape, played it every moment in the car and drove my mom absolutely insane with it. I listened to it a couple of years ago, and it’s the most infantile piece of crap ever written. You know those gold records that are awarded to recording artists? They’re not gold, but are actually spray-painted vinyl LPs; probably unsold Mike Oldfield stock.

Brain Salad Surgery by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I first encountered this album on the bus to church camp when I was fourteen. This really cool guy on the church bus was listening to it on a portable 8-Track tape player and he was swaying his shoulder-length blond hair to this really far-out music that had lots of synthesizers. We became friends and would listen to Brain Salad Surgery over and over and over. I would play air-keyboards and he would play air-percussion. I was so obsessed with this album that (I’m really embarrassed to admit this) I actually read some of the lyrics in a high school poetry contest!
Cold and misty morning, I heard a warning borne in the air about an age of power where no one had an hour to spare. . .
God! That was lame!

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath by Black Sabbath. Also a church camp 8-Track tape. I would have been a Goth but this was waayyy pre-Goth. I was ahead of my time.

Janis Joplin Live by Janis Joplin. This was my introduction to dear Janis and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. “Be yourself, and then some” became my motto only I was too insecure to actually do that. But Janis did.

“The Fourth Album” by Led Zeppelin. The album was actually untitled because Led Zeppelin was so popular by then. It’s the one that has Stairway to Heaven on it. I listened to this during my “wild year” in high school when I was sixteen. Once, I scored my first joint, drove my mom’s car out on a back country road, got stoned out of my freaking mind and drove back home at 10 mph listening to this album the whole way. I liked this album much better with vodka or tequila. Grass just wasn’t my thing.
Good times. . .

Oh, and remember the cool guy with the long blond hair? We’re still friends. 35 years now.

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At 3:44 PM , Anonymous Bro said...

I loved side two of tubular bells where just kept playing the one song over and over and alternating the melody between different instruments. At each change-over they would announce the instrument..."flute"..."Oboe", etc. ad nauseum, and then finnaly, with great enthusiasm..."Tubular Bells!" That was great.


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