Monday, July 21, 2008

Messin' My Mind Up

I was 14 in 1971 and in 9th grade. My family had moved away from my grandmother's house in Mt Pleasant, two blocks from the National Zoo to far Southeast near the Maryland line. I watched a lot of TV because I didn't have much else to do. I stayed up late on the weekends because that's when the horror movies were on and I didn't (and still don't) sleep much. One Saturday night I came across a show on one of the UHF channels that used a Jimi Hendrix song for it's opening theme. I think the show was called "Turn On" and they played the above video and I was awestruck! All my life I had been listening to what my Mom listened to: Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Brook Benton. I was a casual jazz listener from being at my Dad's apartment and because my Uncle Hank used to play Coltrane really loud and scat over it.

But Dr. John was like nothing I'd ever seen or heard before. I realised there was some other kind of music "out there" in the world that was from an artistic space that I never knew existed. This was music that you couldn't find in S. Klein's (I think they're K-Mart now) or Woolworth's or any of the department stores that had a small record department.

A year later, Dr. John was still in my head and I was in high school. I used to hang out at the public library wth Mark Puryear because he was the coolest guy I knew. Mark changed my life in that he opened my ears to some of the most amazing music ever. He introduced me to the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, Traffic, and Dr John the Night Tripper. We would pull records at random just to see what they were.

Thanks to Mark for my eclectic taste in music and for pointing me towards Washington, DC's hippie culture mecca (at the time), Georgetown, where I met the other huge influence on my musical mind, Rick Carlisle the owner of Orpheus Records and one of my best friends.

Currently on the Turntable in the MondoCave!
Teena Marie - Robbery
Ultravox - Lament
Danny Elfman - So-Lo
Jack Jones - The Impossible Dream
Stabbing Westward - Darker Days

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