20 YEARS LATER (by Spauldazzio)
It seemed innocent enough. By the fall of 1994 I had been to dozens of concerts, so driving 100 miles south to Louisville was no big deal. What was a big deal was that unbeknownst to me my music and life trajectory was about to take a major turn.
You see, the 80ís were fraught with big hair, spandex, and loads of makeup. And thatís just the men. However, thanks to my two older brothers and a really cool neighbor bands like REM, U2, The Cure, and the Talking Heads had managed to find their way into my cassette player. As enjoyable as those bands were, they werenít mine. They belonged to my brothersí generation.
When the 90ís started to take off I began identifying with a newer crop of artists. Ritual de lo Habitual was released in August of 1990. The first time I heard the words, ďAt this momentÖ you should be with us,Ē all the big hair of the 80ís blew away in the breeze of Perry Farrell's voice. These songs werenít about cherry pie or roses and thorns. They were a visceral attacks on my senses. THIS was art and I was so happy to have finally found it. The momentum of music from that point on is well documented, so thereís no need to rehash it here. However, by the time we approached the mid-90s things began to get pretty dark. Janeís Addiction had broken up, Kurt Cobain decided eating a shotgun was better than being married to Courtney Love and NINís love song, Closer was rising up the charts.
None of this jived with me. I was happy-go-lucky, didnít take things too seriously. But I still loved to rock. All this gloom and doom was bringing me down. What was everyone so angry about?
So when I found myself on 4th Street, weaving my way through a drum circle, passing a guy selling veggie burritos, and entering into the stunning Palace Theater that night, I knew something was different. These people seemed happy.
The music was in a word, confusing. Rock, bluegrass, funk, and at some point the drummer played a vacuum. They covered a Boston tune and closed the show with a song they had already played earlier in the evening (I was later to learn this is called a Reprise). Although baffled by the music I knew one thing. I had to see it again. This was a celebration of ALL music styles and a celebration of life. I was hooked.
Little did I know the adventures that awaited me and the friendships that I would make. And as much fun as the music and the adventures are itís the friendships I cherish the most. Thanks to each and everyone of you for being a companion on this ride.