(fa ra ra ra ra...)
WARNING: THE SURGEON GENERAL HAS CONCLUDED THAT EXTENSIVE LISTENING TO PROGRESSIVE ROCK MUSIC CAN CAUSE INTENSE PLEASURE AND CRANIAL OVERDEVELOPMENT, WHICH MAY OVERWHELM THE MENTAL CAPACITY OF SOME LISTENERS.
I love music. I am obsessed with the nearly undefinable genre usually called progressive rock, although I like a lot of different types of music (including a lot of rock, a bit of country, a little bit of house and techno, a fair bit of alternative, some Christian, a flavoring of folk, some acoustic gee-tar, I appreciate good reggae, and who knows what else!!) My consuming obsession with prog rock started innocently enough when I was in 8th grade, when (I now shudder at this thought) I saw that old Michelob ad with Genesis's "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" on it. I got the Invisible Touch album because of that, listening to it several times a day. Over time I bought more and more Genesis albums. Foxtrot and Abacab were among those early tapes for me, as well as a few Phil Collins solo selections. As I went to high school, I continued my Genesis fandom, although there just wasn't anyone else who was into them much at all. It was frustrating, especially since in high school you think you're in your own little isolated world, but now I don't care if I'm the only one in the world who likes the music I do. Fortunately though, I know that there are others! J
When I went to Georgia Tech, one of my first friends in the infamous Techwood Dorm was Chris Giddens. It seemed that everytime I was near his room, I heard unfamiliar but interesting music. Chris turned me on to bands previously unknown to me, such as Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Rush... as well as some of the Genesis I didn't know about like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Eventually I discovered the Internet and joined band-oriented mailing lists, which opened up a whole bunch of new doors for learning more about music.
From that unremarkable start, I now amaze my friends by the level of my obsession. I have a reputation for being to connect any person, place, or thing to Genesis or Yes. I own every Genesis album ever officially released on CD, except for the atrociously butchered Atlantic remasters, and have many tapes, quite a few LPs (mainly because of the incredible artwork that is conspicuously missing or reduced on the CDs of today) and quite a few bootlegs. I have become about as much of a fan of Yes as I am of Genesis. EL&P and Rush continue to be favorites, as well as other bands I've discovered since then - Camel, Kate Bush, King Crimson, Marillion, Pink Floyd, and Alan Parsons. I've become a fan of many solo members of those bands, particularly Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, and Peter Gabriel of Genesis; Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, and Rick Wakeman of Yes; Robert Fripp of King Crimson; and Fish from Marillion. I have a Fragile CD signed by Steve Howe himself on his solo tour in November 1994, and at the time I asked him what the most unusual thing he ever signed was. H said that the guitar made out of matchsticks was "pretty awful". I got Steve's and Billy Sherwood's signature on a t-shirt in August 1998 when I saw Yes in Tampa and forgot to ask him that again to see if he'd say the same thing! (See the Brushes with Greatness page for pictures.
Other artists that I like which aren't traditionally labeled "Progressive" (which is silly because in many ways all these bands are quite progressive) include They Might Be Giants (the most fun live band ever), Phish (I was the most normal person there, probably), The Moody Blues, Queensryche, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Jars of Clay, Supertramp, The Who, The Buggles, Frank Zappa, and The Police.
I haven't found the time to learn to really play any instruments (unless kazoos, armpits and nose-honking count) but I really get into synths, Mellotrons, Moogs, and bass guitars.