In the old days, when I was young and foolish, I used to listen to the Backstreet Boys and the like. This was about 10 years ago. I used to truly like Backstreet Boys, really. I even bought a few albums, I knew their songs, I even used to sing along once in a while. Then on a drive my dad put on his music. It was a song called My Generation. This was then followed by a song called I can see for miles. I was in love. This band, The Who, was awesome. My reaction to the fact that this band that only 4 people playing instruments and singing was that of disbelief. Imagine this band makes mind blowing music while the Backstreet Boys have 5 people to just sing! I started going through my dad’s enviable music collection of over 300 cassettes. I came across several bands from that era, the Stones, the Beatles, Cream, Eric Clapton. Rock became my life. I even insisted on my dad taking me to a Deep Purple gig in Bombay. It was freaking awesome! I then started experimenting; I listened to GNR and loved them. Then a friend, Masoom, got a cassette to a school camp (yes, we had those things called a walkmen in those days) and made me listen to a song called “Aces High”. The band was Iron Maiden and the album was Live after death. I borrowed the cassette and listened to it for weeks. Then I bought the Iron Maiden album, Brave New world. Maiden swiftly became by favourite band. I then got into metal. Judas Priest, Metallica, Diamond head and what not. This was around 10th standard. In my junior college I started experimenting a bit more, this time with soft rock like the Grateful Dead, Simon and Garfunkel and the like. Then came Floyd and Led Zepp, the two bands which almost universally top every list of the greatest rock band ever. Led Zepp took me storm and I listened to everything they had ever recorded, all albums , random studio recordings, live concerts, BBC audios, bootlegs, everything. Basically to cut the long story short, by the time I was done with junior college, I was a die hard music lover. I listened to soft rock, psychedelic rock, blues, country, contemporary rock, and of curse hard rock and metal. You will notice that this was the case after 12th standard, i.e. 5 years ago. In my engineering I re-started learning the guitar, something I had left completely after a few months of training in 11th standard. Then i met a few more people with whom i started exchanging music and then i got into jazz and contemporary ‘technical’ music , progressive rock , Rush etc and several more new genres. Artists like Victor Wooten and Jaco Pastorius, Paco de Lucia and Al Di Meola, Virgil Donati and Dennis Chambers started catching my fancy. This was largely because by this time, I could actually understand music and thus could appreciate it. The last bit of my musical evolution came in my 3rd year of College when I tagged along with a few friends to attend The Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, arguably the biggest classical music festival in the world. Here i came across the magic of Indian Classical music, both Hindustani and Carnatic. I saw people like Shiv Kumar Sharma and L Subramanium and Hariprasad Chaurasia perform live. I was instantly transformed into a fan of classical music and started thinking like a music critic (this happens at Sawai Gandharva, which is said to have the most demanding crowd in the world. If you get a standing ovation at Sawai, that pretty much means , you have given the performance of your life). I then started going into western classical, listening to Mozart, Bach, Strauss, Paganini , Vivaldi and countless others.
In the last few years I have become a ‘gig parasite, I always land up anyplace where music is there to be consumed.
The whole point of writing this huge story was to show that it took me 10 years to develop my taste in music from listening to only pop music to listening to everything from Bach to Bodom. This range of music is not something everyone likes or can handle, but thats because they feel the transition is impossible because of the inertia. Some people can overcome the inertia, some choose not to, some don’t see a reason to. Imagine if I hadn’t started experimenting. I would hated my taste of ‘music’. So seriously, open your minds, and try out new genres and new bands. Actually, I would recommend to try to out old music and old bands. Ones you haven’t heard previously. You end up hating it and going back to listening to rap or pop. But there is a chance you will find the true meaning of music and trust me, you want to reach there you want to experience the highest forms of music. Its as close to heaven as we will ever get.
Any resemblence of anything on this blog to anything that can be classified as good writing is purely coincidental and deeply regretted.
In case you are a closet masochist, you may continue reading (at your own risk of course).
Any development of suicidal/homicidal tendencies and/or a general desire to punch the computer screen are not the responsibility of the author.
Thank you. Come again.
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