Obsession. It’s a great episode of the original Star Trek series. Who doesn’t love vampire clouds?
Anyone who knows me even a little bit, knows that I tend to get obsessed with various bands and artists. In high school, I was utterly obsessed with the Moody Blues. So much so that I wore a Moody Blues pin every single day, no matter what I was wearing. I type this, knowing that if and when my kids ever read this, they’ll get a good laugh at my expense. What can I say? I was obsessed with their music. It seemed so much more interesting and complex than the current songs on rock radio at the time. Nothing against .38 Special and the like, but there wasn’t much deep or meaningful about that music. The Moody Blues were contemplating the universe and looking for deeper meaning. Or maybe they just took copious amounts of LSD. Regardless, their lyrics were just what this future English Major was interested in. And the music! This was not simple guitar, bass, and drums. They used instruments like the harpsichord, tambura, oboe, flute, french horn, cello, and my favorite, the mellotron!
I spent countless hours of my life listening to their core seven albums. When Long Distance Voyager came out in ’81 and actually hit #1 on the album charts for a week, I couldn’t believe it. We saw the band many times in concert throughout the 80’s and early 90’s but the first time is the one that sticks out in my mind the most. October 19th, 1983 is the date I’ll always remember. Touring in support of The Present, the band played the Buffalo Aud, with Stevie Ray Vaughn opening the show(strange combo but it worked fine). I knew the guy who worked at record theater in Midtown Plaza and hung out there the morning that tickets went on sale. He kept “hitting the button” for me as the clock ticked down to 10am. The second it hit 10, he scored 5, front row floor tickets for me! Try doing that these days! McCartney sold out in 4 minutes, thanks to scalpers and their “bots” ordering tickets for resale.
I remember walking onto the Aud floor with C & G and their friends and almost being embarrassed to keep walking closer and closer to the stage. We were front and center! We were 6 feet from the stage as SRV was playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back. It was unreal!
And then, finally, the band that I had been obsessing about for the last three years hit the stage. I’m fairly sure that I can still name every song they played that night. John rocked out on Ride My Seesaw, Sitting at the Wheel, and Just a Singer. Ray was spot on with Veteran Cosmic Rocker and Legend of a Mind. It was the Justin songs though, that were always my favorites: Tuesday Afternoon, Gypsy, Question, Nights, The Story in Your Eyes, The Voice. Their voices were still in tact and their harmonies were perfect. Among the instruments that Moraz played was a keyboard that he strapped on like a guitar so he could run around the stage as he played it. The show went by in the blink of an eye and I loved every minute of it. And just like that, it was over. I had finally seen the band that I had obsessed about every day.
There are many other bands and solo artists that I’ve obsessed about over the years. Three stand above the rest though, as far as my level of obsession. You just read about the first one. Stay tuned for the other two in future posts(anyone who knows me can guess very easily who the other two are).