Musical History 101

Okay, party-blogger people! I return with the pizza. And this party shall continue, headache be damned. How’s the punch? Take the edge off? Yeah, I’ll bet it did. How ’bout I turn on some tunes? You can’t have a party without tunes!

Unfortunately for you, I get sole decision in the choice of tunes. At least for now. And this is where you learn a little something about me. My favourite band is the Dave Matthews Band. I love and adore DMB. I’m listening to them right now. Coincidence? I think not. I first became aware of them thanks to my old man. It’s one of the greatest things he’s ever done for me. Not that it’s a long list. But I won’t bring up daddy issues here. Not today.

Anyhows, as I was saying…

My old man introduced me to good ol’ DMB. It was 1998. He had their new album, Before These Crowded Streets playing in his car as he drove me to my music exam. Okay, a quick explanation is required here, so please forgive the upcoming tangent – again.

I played the trumpet through high school and shortly thereafter. So, for some eight years I suppose. I haven’t played in years. I keep saying I should, but it never happens. It’s a shame. I do miss it. Anyway, I took it seriously enough to work my way through the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) exams, both theory and practical, all the way up to grade 7. Grade 8 was as about far as you could go, with the only thing after that being some form of diploma. So I did alright. I could technically teach trumpet if I wanted to. Might have been a good idea in hindsight.

So, my father was driving me to my AMEB exam, and Before These Crowded Streets was playing. I enjoyed it, and couldn’t help but notice the absolutely awesome use of saxophone on the album. And as a kid learning any form of brass or woodwind instrument through school, you held onto hope that the opportunity to play with rock bands existed, because lord knows we were so bored of the classical orchestra and all the likes. Even the jazz band was boring because it was too much of the same structure. And it just wasn’t cool. I wanted to play in a Ska band, or Rock band, or jazz trio, or something like that. And so the use of horns in popular music filled me with hope.

But back to the story at hand. I was worried I was going to fail. I suppose Dad had more faith in me than I did. So he bribed me. He suggested that if I passed my exam, he would buy me any music album I wanted. It’s amazing the effect that has on a kid. I was no longer worried about failing my exam. Suddenly I was focused on playing the best damn music the panel had ever heard in their lives. Instead of thinking about what happens if I failed, I was thinking about what happens if I succeed. And I did. I was magnificent (as I remember it). I probably wasn’t. But I passed. And so Dad took me to the music store.

They had one lonely Dave Matthews Band album in the whole store. Before These Crowded Streets. And just the one copy at that. I decided that was it. That was going to be my reward for playing my own music as well as I could.

And I loved it.

I treasure that album. Nowadays I label it my favourite album of all time. I think it’s perfect. And from there I checked out more from Dave Matthews Band and fell madly in love with the band. Their songs have gotten me through every little problem I’ve encountered in my life. They feel like a family to me in a way. The collection of DMB albums and merchandise and all that I own, feel more like sentimental belongings than actually part of my music collection.

But that’s probably enough of a history lesson about my musical tastes for now. I am going to go enjoy some more DMB.


Let me know, how did you first come about your favourite band/artist?


One thought on “Musical History 101

  1. Pingback: Music That Makes Me, Me | Whimsical Eclecticist

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