Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Discoveries: Empty Pages

Traffic: Empty Pages


I hope FiL doesn't mind me copying his flow chart - a good idea is a good idea, so here's mine:

Bee Gees / Elton John > The Clash / The Specials > Dylan & the 1970's > Everything Else

Each of these periods has discovery moments that I could write about and talk about for hours. For this post I'm going to focus on the third phase of my musical development. I was introduced to the music of the late 1960's and early 1970's when I was a freshman in college. I had been steeped in all things punk, post-punk, and new wave for the previous several years, and it was time for a change. The music scene was getting stale as the edge wore off of bands like The Cure and R.E.M. and other bands like The Smiths simply broke up.

At this time a couple of us took a road trip to Salt Lake City to visit a friend who had previously lived in my hometown of Fresno, California. While we stayed at this friend's house we got to know his incredibly cool father. I couldn't believe a dad could be like this! He watched the best movies, he listened to great music, and he had an excellent and decidedly irreverent sense of humor. He may not have been the best dad in the traditional sense, but he sure was fun to hang out with.

At one point during our visit my friend's father gave us a cassette tape of Traffic's album, John Barleycorn Must Die. As we drove north on I-15, at almost exactly the point pictured above, we slid the cassette into the car stereo.

Most everyone reading this is familiar with the feeling that you occasionally (rarely, actually) get when you hear new music: Oh man, this is good. I'm going to want to pursue this!

That's the feeling I got when I heard track one of John Barleycorn. I purchased the album the moment I returned home. This album led me to Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young, The Who, and eventually to our blog-mother Joni Mitchell. I spent the next several years listening to music produced from about 1968 to about 1974. John Barleycorn was a deep vein that paid dividends for years to come.

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