25 music notes that don't make a song
Random music facts.
Inspired by the “25 random things” going round on Facebook and noticing in my 25 random things there was a predominant musical theme, I thought that I would make a 25 random music facts about myself. Not that anyone really cares, but I’m self-indulgent that way, and I like to take things 1 step further sometimes anyways.
1. I can always remember loving music, even as a child. There was something about it that touched my soul. Mom liked ABBA, The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Dad listened to old Country, like Charlie Rich, Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline. My oldest sister, Liz, was big into the Disco era and LOVED Donna Summer, who actually lived close by us in Hidden Valley. My dad knew her – but Liz never knew it. My brother listened to hard rock, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin. To date, I still love all this music.
2. The single biggest musical influence on me was my brother, Carl, who is 9 years my senior. We spent a lot of time together since we shared a room and my brother played a lot of great music for me in the in the 70’s. Thanks Carl.
3. Led Zeppelin’s drummer, John Bonham, is the reason I started playing the drums in 1985. I’d been through piano and guitar – never good at either – (because I had a shitty guitar, probably), but something about that beat did it for me. Zeppelin wasn’t the only great drummer I was turned onto, as Carl also listened to ELP, Rush, etc., but it was Bonham that made me want to play. Later I picked up guitar, piano, and bass again. Even the mandolin while I was living in Italy.
4. My best friend growing up, Robert Jacquet, and I used to try and stay up all night listening to music. His older brother, Darren, was also a rocker and listened to Zeppelin, Sabbath, and the like, reinforcing my love of rock.
5. In 1980 when I did my brief stint in the Mormon church I bought (somehow) into this ridiculous idea that some of the music I listened to was “devil” music and destroyed my Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell 8-track tape in the street in front of my house. Robert came by on his bike and asked what I was doing. When I told him, he was hurt that I hadn’t just given the tape to him. Fortunately my holy wrath ended then and there, and I think it was because explaining it to Robert made me feel foolish. Thanks buddy!
6. I own 5 guitars including my ’78 Fender Jazz Bass.
7. In recent years my father, who just joined Facebook (Hi Dad!) has really surprised me with his passion for music. I think it was always there, but I buy CDs for him now of people that I like and he’s into it.
8. I mentioned in my other list that I have recorded 4 CDs with 4 bands. The last CD was with The Bad Directions, and it was the first time that I tried to use a ‘click track’ in the studio. The click track is an auditory metronome that clicks along in your headphones so that you can keep time. We tried for 30 minutes or so and I was fighting with it and finally I had to turn the goddamn thing off. Fortunately I have a really good sense of meter and if you listen to any of the CDs, you can’t tell that I didn’t use one.
9. Adrian Conner, the guitarist from the AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles and her own band Adrian and the Sickness is one of the best guitarists I know and is hands-down the most energetic stage performer that I have ever seen. Even at mile high, she doesn’t slow down at all, and with all the running around and head banging she does, is still a surprisingly clean player. Rock on, sister.
10. I have 6 Tori Amos bootleg CDs that I paid $50 for. Each.
11. I suffer from a genetic seizure condition (thanks Grandma!) and even though I have only had 3 grand mal seizures in my life, I can’t help but wonder what song would be playing if I were watching myself have a seizure in a movie. What’s my twitch track? Suggestions?
12. I know my Dad loves music, but other than a few bars of “Happy Birthday”, I have never heard him whistle, hum, sing or otherwise carry a tune in any way for my entire life. He doesn’t even mouth the words.
13. I have 2 drum sets, one a Pearl set that I have recorded all my CDs with, and the other a Pacific (a lower end DW). I bought the Pacific set 5 years ago so that I could leave my Pearl set in Denver at Jamie’s apartment (where we were practicing). 13a. For some reason I can’t refer to my drums as a drum “kit”. It just seems wrong to me somehow, and I also don’t say “kick drum” or “tom toms”. Saying tom once is enough
14. I can’t count how many live shows I’ve been to, but the return visits are as follows: Rush 4 times, Dream Theater 4 times, Nina Storey (I lost count years ago), Hell’s Belles (I lost count), Tom Petty 3 times, Melissa Etheridge 3 times, Boston 2 times (R.I.P. Brad Delp), Metallica 2 times, Beth Quist 3 times (once with Sherefe), Yes 3 times, Queenryche 3 times (my first show at Red Rocks!), Tori Amos 4 times, Suzanne Vega 2 times, Michelle Shocked 2 times, Grateful Dead 2 times, Fleetwood Mac 2 times (and Stevie once solo), Loreena McKennitt 2 times, Sara McLachlan 2 times, Indigo Girls 5 times, Dixie Chicks 2 times, Allman Brothers 2 times, Michelle Malone 6 times, Concrete Blonde 4 times (and Johnette solo once), Sun 60 2 times, Wallflowers 2 times, Jewel 2 times. If I think of others, I’ll add them later
15. I own a Musikalia brand mandolin, which is made in Italy but I bought it in Greece since it was much cheaper there. Musikalia1 is also my aol email address. One of them, anyway.
16. When I was a teenager I had Led Zeppelin posters all over my bedroom, including 3 that were blacklight posters. On my closet though, were magazine cutouts of Lita Ford, whom I had a major teen crush on. She was hot and was a rocker. Funny enough, I recently found a photo showing the Lita closet and my largest Leppelin poster.
17. I had one of the first CD players in the early 80s when they were REALLY expensive and I wore it out, twice, and had to find someplace to fix it. The servo motors shit the bed because I listened to it ALL the time, even at night while I was sleeping. I still like to listen to music when I sleep, which will eventually kill my iPod.
18. When CDs first came out, I used to cut the cardboard covers off the front and hang them up over my closet. This was a short-lived hobby, but because of it I can still remember the first 3 CDs that I bought. Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti, Rush 2112, and I, Robot by The Alan Parsons Project.
19. I used to record videos off of MTV and had whole tapes of them. Usually the videos were missing the first couple of seconds unless I got lucky. I miss MTV.
20. My brother Carl’s Black Sabbath Vol.4 record turned up one time with a HUGE, I mean GRAND CANYON-sized scratch in it one time, and my brother came to me PISSED OFF asking me if I did it. I was hurt. “Carl! I cried in my own defense, wounded, “You KNOW I love Black Sabbath! I would never do that!” Of course it turns out that Michele had done it, but I don’t remember why. We were like 8 and 9 at the time.
21. My sister Liz used to disco dance in the living room at night and have Michele or me flick a flashlight beam across her while she was dancing so it looked like a strobe light. Ah, the low-budget 70’s.
22. Liz played the piano beautifully as a young woman, and Michele took piano lessons too, but as it worked out I’m the only musician in the family. We all love music, for me though, it’s personal. Oooh, that sounds like a bad movie line.
23. The single biggest inspiration to me as a musician is my very dear Jamie Nova, who was the singer of Hell’s Belles for nearly 6 years. She has her own band (Witchburn) and a solo CD as well. We were in a band together called Lickin’ Lolli from 2003 to 2005 and I have never been so in love with a musical project before or since. I love what we created and I put everything into that band. She is a great singer, a great songwriter, and in fact we once wrote a song in an afternoon based around a guitar lick that our guitarist Kei had come up with. She said “Keep playing that” and wrote the lyrics right then. I wish that we had recorded more of it, as there are good songs of ours that are lost forever. Jamie will always be my muse, and I can’t imagine not having her in my life.
24. My very first live music show was The Oak Ridge Boys when I was about 7 or 8. I think it was at Knott’s Berry Farm, or maybe Magic Mountain. I remember being vehemently opposed to it and giving my parents all kinds of guff about it. That’s right, I said ‘guff’. It turns out that they were fantastic performers and after sitting there like a whiney little bitch for about oh, I don’t know, 2 songs I think, I had a great time. I practically skipped out of there with the tunes dancing in my head. My brother, Carl, took me to my first rock show, however. It was Y&T at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, on September 6, 1985. I was totally into them at the time since I was just starting to play the drums. I saw them again in the summer of 2010, and I met the Singer/lead guitarist Dave Meniketti after the show. I told him, his wife, and the other guys in the band that it was 2 months shy of 25 years since I saw them at my first rock concert. Surprisingly, they were almost as stoked about it as I was. Good times.
25. A lot of people I know only listen to only one type of music. Country people listen to Country, Metal people listen to Metal, etc. I just can’t do it though. Everything that I grew up with is a part of me and to tell someone I don’t like a certain band or singer out of some pride or machismo is disingenuous, and I’m really only lying to myself. My music selection is completely dictated by my mood and I’m not always in the same mood. To listen to only one thing limits me, and I don’t care much for limits. I have enough of them as it is, being in this ever-aging body, but I can’t limit my mind and feelings too. No way. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.