1. Have you ever played in a band that performed original material? If no, then stop. We’re probably not musically compatible.
2. Name ten bands that have influenced the music you’ve played/written in original bands, in no particular order. For example, mine might be:
Lou Reed or maybe more like Iggy Pop
If you don’t match at least three of these, stop. We’re probably not compatible.
3. Name at least 3 bands not listed above whose style you’ve considered, but never had the opportunity. For example, mine probably would be:
X, Yes, Blondie, the Damned
If you don’t like at least one of these, stop.
3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important are the lyrics of an original song you’re performing? If less than 6, stop. We’re definitely not compatible musically.
Even though they’re not necessarily my “favorite bands of all time” there is certain music I’ll never turn off if it comes up in rotation (on the radio, on a random play through my collection, on internet sites, in a friend’s car, wherever). Because for whatever reason, their music is infinitely interesting to me. I’ve discovered that this music, with the exception of the Beatles or Lou Reed (who I’ll listen to anytime), is largely alternative-goth-post punk oriented, strangely enough. Well, maybe not so strangely. The greatest band (in terms of the enjoyment and creative juice I got from it) I ever played in was a post-punk LA band called Faith Assembly. So maybe the music I listened to extensively during that period still resonates strongly with me:
Gang of Four
Love and Rockets (including Tones on Tail, David J and Bauhaus)
and let’s not forget:
The Chameleons UK
The Jazz Butcher
Siouxsie and the Banshees
If you thought the eight-track list was bad, check out the albums I owned in 1978-1979:
The Eagles – Greatest Hits 1971-1975
The Beach Boys – 40 Greatest Hits
Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire
Elvis Presley – Gold Records No. 1, 2, 3 and 4
Kiss – Double Platinum
Kiss – Ace Frehley
ELO – Out of the Blue
The Bay City Rollers – Greatest Hits
Queen – News of the World
Roy Clark – The Everloving Soul of Roy Clark
Linda Hargrove – Music is Your Mistress*
The Blues Project – Reunion in Central Park*
Freddie Hart – His Greatest Hits*
Maynard Ferguson – Chameleon
Columbia Jazz Sampler – 1958
The Music Goes Round and Round – Decca Vol. 1 – 1951-1954
The Music Goes Round and Round – Decca Vol. 2 – 1955-1957
The Music Goes Round and Round – Decca Vol. 3 – 1958-1959
* These I actually won in the fourth grade from a WKTN radio station contest for writing a Halloween essay.
So here’s the rundown on my eight-track library circa 1978:
The Yardbirds – Five Live Yardbirds
The Yardbirds – Greatest Hits
Carlos Santana and Alice Coltrane – Illuminations
The Beatles – Love Songs
The Beatles – Live at the Hollywood Bowl
The Beatles – Rock and Roll Music
The Beatles – Singles*
Todd Rundgren – Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren
Boston Pops – The Best of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops
Various Artists – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack)
The Beatles I got courtesy of my cousin, who transferred these albums from his vinyl collection to eight-track for a Christmas present one year.
The remainder were acquired in Kmart and various drugstore sale bins in and around Forest and Kenton, Ohio.
I listened to most of these albums A LOT. One bit of evidence of that is: I loaded up this Rundgren album and listened to it today, and knew almost all the words and every one of the vocal nuances. The piano songs and vocal style in particular were a huge influence on my writing at the time (1977-1979).
So here’s the deal. I play in a band right now, but it’s more or less a wedding and bar band that plays soul, r & b, blues, zydeco and occasional rock covers. We’re a great band IMHO. I play both bass and lead/rhythm guitar and sing lead and backing vocals. It’s a good thing. But there’s something in my soul that cries out for a little more. Something original. Something that’s closer to my own groove, my own thing. So if you’re in Natchitoches (or nearby) and are into, and can play, like the following albums, drop me a line and we will definitely get together.
The Pretty Things: Parachute
Badfinger: Straight Up
The Yardbirds: Shapes of Things
Eric Burdon and War: Eric Burdon Declares War
The Band: Songs from Big Pink
Bob Dylan: Oh Mercy