I often get asked about what inspires my art. There are lots of things that I draw from, of course, but one of my biggest influences and inspiration is music. I love music! All kinds for the most part (I mean, really, if one’s honest they don’t always love everything that is out there).
My earliest memories of music and how it influenced my mood, my thoughts and my life was listening to my dad’s old Beatles, Buddy Holly and Elvis records. My dad was a huge lover of Rock ‘n Roll and having grown up in the 50′s and 60′s he was the first generation to see rock music explode. It seemed that my dad and I loved the same kinds of music, too. We would listen to all seventeen plus minutes of “Inagaddadavida” by Iron Butterfly (this drove my mom crazy), sing The Beatles songs at the top of our lungs and do Elvis impressions together. He introduced me Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Stevie Nicks and more. My dad and I bonded over music and I always felt close to him during those times. When I was alone with my music I was happier, too. Music made cleaning my room a hell of a lot more tolerable!
I remember the first tape player I got. I think I was about 10 and the first tape I bought was Duran Duran’s Rio album. “Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand…” Yeah, I was in love with them. Wore that tape out. Not too long after that our cable company started carrying MTV. Oh…My…God! Music was never the same for me as I watched Madonna dance to “Lucky Star” and pair up neon cuff socks with pumps in “Borderline.” Oh! and let’s not forget Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. The music was beyond incredible, but pair that with the amazing videos Michael made and you had mind-blowing for a preteen kid.
Enter puberty and the adolescent years and add to that a new town and a new best friend. My friend, John, has added more to my music repertoire than any other single person in my life (minus my dad). John also loved The Beatles and Michael Jackson. We spent hours and hours of seventh and eighth grade listening to both artists along with a slew of others. When high school started we ventured into the world of Alternative Music adding bands like Depeche Mode, R.E.M., The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Erasure, 10,000 Maniacs, Sinead O’Conner…I could go on and on because music was that important to us. It was nearly all consuming. We never went anywhere without a tape (and later during the high school years a CD) at maximum volume. If we couldn’t have our music on, like at school, we sang at the top of our lungs. Like when we would go hand-in-hand down the halls of Marion High singing, “I’m taking a ride with my best friend. I hope he never let’s me down again. Promises me I’m as safe as houses. As long as I remember who’s wearing the trousers….” Yeah, we got stares and they were only partially due to our new wave haircuts.
John and I still exchange music, but now it’s over the internet by sending links to favorite videos, songs or artists. I have branched out on my own as well and I have another friend, Mark, who sends me playlists of artists I never would have thought to listen to. Oh, and I can’t possibly forget to mention my teenage daughter, Gloria. She has opened my eyes to another generation of music with dubstep, screamo, new punk and various indie bands. I take it all in and I revel in it. My most essential piece of equipment in my art room is the stereo that is connected to my computer where I can access dozens of gigabytes of music on our digital library.
All this being said, I would like to share my music with you. This page will feature my Musical Muses at any given time. I won’t critique a song, album or band — that’s not my thang, ya know? I will just lay it out there for you to take and enjoy. Should any artistic endeavor come from a particular piece of music I will try to attach that, too. Music connects people, and I love the experiences and relationships that are created through music. I hope by letting you have a window into my Musical Muses we can connect, too.
Music: Never leave home without it.