Musings from the new guy

Cheers, everyone. Since I’m the new guy, I thought I’d give you a short history of my love of prog.

My first exposure to prog, even though I did not know it was called that, was seeing/hearing Peter Gabriel’s video for the song “Shock The Monkey”. It was 1982, I was 11 years old, MTV was a toddler. I also had zero clue that Peter Gabriel used to be in Genesis. This video, and this song, left me feeling both slightly uneasy and highly intrigued. It was a little scary, but I could not look away. To this day, it’s a favorite of mine.

I’d like to say that, ever since, I have been immersed in the progressive rock scene and hold a virtual master’s degree in its history. I’d like to say that. The truth is, that until high school started for me, in 1985, I was essentially into whatever MTV was playing. So, aside from Michael Jackson and Culture Club, I also was exposed to David Bowie, Rush, Asia, Genesis, Yes, Toto…all in their early-80s incarnations. Once high school came around, I was full-on into the metal craze. Everything from Bon Jovi to Iron Maiden and everything in between. I drifted away from prog.

Fast forward to about 1990. I was in my first real band called Oracle. I’m a singer, by the way. I got turned on to Kansas by one of the guitar players, so I went out and got a cheap cassette of Best Of Kansas. I had heard “Dust In The Wind”, of course. But until popping in that tape, I had never heard “The Wall”, or “Song For America”, or even “Point Of Know Return”. I was blown away and to this day Kansas is one of my all-time favorite bands ever. But it would still be a few years before prog took hold in a deep way.

I was in my car heading home one evening and had the local college station tuned in because they had a Sunday night metal program. This was the first time I ever heard Dream Theater. “Pull Me Under” blew my mind. From that point, I was full on into anything I could get my hands on related to prog. Fates Warning to Genesis, King Crimson to Vanden Plas, Pink Floyd to Pain Of Salvation. I soaked it all in for several years. Wrote reviews for some websites. Loved every second of it. I also worked at a record store for a bit in the early 00s and discovered bands like Mogwai, Porcupine Tree, Explosions In The Sky, Red Sparowes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Mars Volta.

I have a tendency to burn out as well. And I did. I realized recently that I had really lost touch with prog. Not the old stuff so much, but with more recent bands. I got the inclination to begin exploring again and wow…I missed a lot. Anekdoten, Kayo Dot, Lonely Robot, Tesseract, Big Big Train, Beardfish, the list (thankfully) goes on.

So, anyway, looking around online for places to hear about new prog I discovered Proglodytes. Thomas struck up a FB convo with me after I added him as a friend (after I “liked” Proglodytes), and here I am. I look forward to the journey.

One comment

  1. Kansas has been my fave for years; but then, I specifically go in for violin rock. Unfortunately, that position seems harder to fill when there’s an absence. I wonder if there’s a different temperament and sensibility from what must often be a different scholastic background?


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