Part 1: Beginnings…

I’ve written about this elsewhere but I’m going to sort of summarize things again for those who are interested…

First of all, to give an idea of my age: my musical heyday started in the mid-1960s. But to go back in time a little farther…I’ve always loved music since I was a child. There was a piano in my house when it was 8 to 10 or so, but I don’t remember that anyone played it. I think my mother was considering lessons but what with running a household and raising three young boys it probably never happened. I did like to fool around with it but never was serious about it. Nobody else in family, or even out to cousins and uncles, had much interest in playing or writing music so far as I know. Why me? Who knows. At least my parents did not squash my interest….

Somebody gave my parents a Bb clarinet when I was about that age and I started lessons. Did take them for a while but it made no impression on me.

Years passed.

Things are a little fuzzy now at this distance. No, it’s not due to ingesting of mood altering substances in the 50s and 60s. But the things I remember are these:

  • listening to Wolfman Jack on XTRA AM 690 (This is the “X” referred to in the ZZ Top song “Heard it on the X”)

  • Blue Cheer’s Summertime Blues (here’s a cute coincidence: I went to the great All-Music Guide website and the album of the day was Blue Cheer’s Outsideinside— also a cool record.)

  • Spending my allowance money on Elektra releases such as Clear Light, Love, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, and then, of course, The Doors.

  • One day I bought Cream’s first LP at the store that was by the bus stop I waited at to ride home from school. I had never really heard anything like that and played it over and over.

  • Probably the earliest LP that really expanded my mind was Hendrix’ Are you experienced?

This was all in the mid to late 60s as you may not know if you’re a young whelp.


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