Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Discoveries: Starship Trooper

Yes: Starship Trooper


Let me give you an abbreviated history of my teenage musical obsessions:

The Beatles -> Heavy Metal -> Prog Rock -> Everything Else

For this post, I'm going to feature the third element in this flowchart. It was 1986, and I was a freshman at Rutgers. I had been deep into heavy metal for the past two years, but college was already expanding my musical horizons. One of my dorm mates was, like me, not really part of the "in" crowd. And like me, he was very into his music. However, while I was banging away to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, he was deep into ELP and Yes. We both influenced each other musically, but i definitely got the better part of that deal. For while ELP have not aged particularly well, Yes has become one of those groups I always find myself going back to, like visiting an old friend.

And I remember the exact moment I fell in love with Yes: I was laying on the floor of his dorm room--possibly in a bean bag chair--with headphones on, listening to The Yes Album, bathed in the warm sunlight shining through the dorm room windows. No mood-altering drugs were involved, yet it all seemed so...blissful.

Fragile, Yessongs, and the then-recent 9021Live: The Solos soon followed, and I was hooked. I got my hands on every Yes album I could, then expanded into ELP, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Genesis, and King Crimson. And they led to the whole pantheon of "classic rock" and jazz artists that made up the bulk of my listening time in college. It really wasn't until the end of my college stay that I started getting interested in more contemporary music.

But so much contemporary music is "hear" today, gone tomorrow. A song like "Starship Trooper" I could listen to forever.

The photo accompanying this post is a shot of my dorm room circa '86-67. Hard to believe but at the time, those cassettes you see there were my entire music collection. Oh, how times have changed!

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