All the music that influenced me most in life is music I can no longer bring myself to listen to.
by Danny Seim
I don't really understand this phenomenon, but I'd be willing to hypothesize it has something to do with tastes, maturity, and my fad-based environment at any given point in my personal history.
The first album I ever owned was "Welcome to the Real World" by Mr. Mister. It was a Christmas present from my sister in 1987. The big hit off that album had some vaguely Catholic theme, therefore the cassette was deemed worthy to be given to me in celebration of the birth of Christ.
Three things that were NOT deemed worthy to be given to me that year in celebration of the birth of Christ were the following:
1. Jose Canseco's Rated Rookie baseball card issued by Donruss (Too expensive...This card would eventually peak at a value of about $200, but by the time I finally acquired it, Jose was turning routine pop flies into home runs by bouncing them off his head and out of the park. The card now sits in my basement, in a box filled with thousands of other cards that I used to promise my wife would eventually buy us a house. Last time I checked a Beckett Price Guide, the total value of the box was somewhere in the $11.72 range. Thankfully, I didn't specify the square footage of this dream mansion. A tarp-roofed lean-to can still be a house, you know).
2. A new skateboard (My current board was a neon-pink Nash Executioner. Nash was a brand that Toys 'R' Us carried. This was awesome as a third-grader in 1985, but not so cool as a fifth grader in 1987. I wanted a Christian Hosoi by Skull Skates more than anything in the world, partially because of the sculpted "Hammerhead" shape, but mostly because his name was "Christian", and therefore seemingly easy to rationalize to my parents. They wouldn't budge. Ironically enough, they DID buy me a Natas Kaupas pro model several years later. Yes, his first name was "Natas". Re-read it while
thinking about backmasking).
3. A Nintendo Entertainment System (Ditto for Christmas 1988. In 1989 I finally saved enough of my paper route earnings to buy one for myself. My social skills have never fully recovered from that two-year lapse in coolness).
So you won the battle, Mr. Mister, but you ultimately lost the war. The only thing you influenced me to do (well, at least consciously) was to acquire more music. And fast. From that point on, every facet of my life has been frantically dictated by one new cassette and CD after another (musical obsession isn't just about pleasing your own ears. More often than not, it's about staying ahead of the taste curve. Which, I've noticed, can lead to a very unhealthy - or at least ultimately unsatisfying - way to experience anything). And now it's all MP3s. I've been trying to catalogue all of this music on my iPod and I'm running out of storage space quickly.
My whole life can be summed up by a dozen bands with a dozen albums. Even more psychologically revealing is the fact that it's incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for me to revisit these albums today. Just why exactly, I have no idea. Perhaps this residency writing project will show me the way.
Dear Soundcheck: Please help me.
P.S. If nothing else, at least buy me a Ryan Braun rookie. He's gonna be a big star someday. And it's cold out here under this blue plastic tarp.