A Musical Saga (of sorts) -- John W. Patterson (the little guy in the middle) I grew up relatively poor and never lived in a house*. My father was a hardworking, blue-collar income guy. We dwelt in probably, the lowest middle-class echelon Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland offered. I longed for other places*. Naturally, music lessons were out of the question. My creative energies were expressed in art and writing then and continue unabated to this day. But at the core of my being dwelt the Muse of Song. I heard it nonstop, in phrases, passages, riffs, drones, and endless rhythms. At twelve years old, after years of Top 40 pop's mindless banter, I heard Blue Cheer, Hendrix, then Cream, Jeff Beck, Led Zep, Grand Funk, and so forth. I bought the guitar and the amp. I would seek to emulate the heroes. Not so. Friends of mine with musical training took off sailing as I stumbled along "fretting". They formed bands, played at high school dances and well -- I sold all my gear and said forget it.
I continued listening, dreaming, and discovering new sounds. Whether it was Tonto's Expanding Head Band, Delius, Horslips, or Captain Beyond -- it was all a fascinating beauty. I have spent thousands of hours in record shops, flea markets, yard sales looking for "just one more" and then I'll stop. Yeah right. One day a close musician friend of mine loaned me Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Birds of Fire". He said this was "where it was at" and told me to give it time to "sink in" and push aside all the other "rock" in my head. He was right. Soon I was snapping up all the jazzrock fusion and progressive rock I could find. Having a well-to-do friend in college who later opened a high-end stereo store helped immensely in my exposure to imports as well. I never looked back. I even went out and grabbed another guitar not long after hearing Mahavishnu John McLaughlin burn the frets on "Inner Mounting Flame". I still seek that liquid legato 25 years later. So here I am now, reviewing my favorite music and inter-networking with artists to see them get the exposure they deserve and need. I hope to see "killer fusion" make a comeback and witness progressive rock make a monster return as well. The 21st century is lookin' good for great music.
(11/27/2000: Two years later, after first writing this, I see fusion being very healthy so now I seek to lift up the mysteries of AMBIENT SPACE music. What's next after that? Unknown . . .) JwP
I'll continue to riff away the minutes here and there but mostly enjoy the "soul-fire" that burns all around me in listening to music that matters -- music that goes a step further. *-These "ancient" photos, circa 40s and 50s, are from another state,
North Carolina, from where most of my fondest childhood memories arise.
My childhood visions of suburbia Marylandia are a jumbled mosaic
of asphalt, bricks, apartments, crowds, and a longing for the
mountains of North Carolina. Few photos remain of Maryland
therefore I substituted others which I still connect with fondly.
I eventually settled in NC.