Thursday, March 29, 2012

The first guest here at Chatter of Apes...Schatzie Guerra

1980 was my Freshman Year and everything old was new again.
At least half of the people I had attended grammar school with were going elsewhere and my social circle was easily halved. Time to meet new friends.
September of that year was to bring back the highly anticipated return of Led Zeppelin and the folks in my primarily hesher neighborhood were in 7th Heaven.
Now, up until this point, I had been exposed to the typical MOR format available from WLS and its Easy Listening dial-mates. There were occasional derivations, and I remain to this day a fan of the piano as 'band' and am particularly fond of Chopin, but-
The death of John Bonham put the stops on the Zeppelin tour and also as a functioning band.
My Uncle, being slightly older than myself had introduced me to some of the 'heavier' artists around on WLUP, your '70s staples - Hendrix, The Who, Aerosmith and the like; there was also something new happening and I admit to my curiosity being piqued.
'New Wave' was the term and off the top of my head, I recall Blondie's 'Heart of Glass' followed by 'Call Me', the latter having made the charts due to its use in 'American Gigolo'.
'Heart of Glass' had what I later found out was that Giorgio Moroder driving synth, the like of which I had never heard in a 'rock' song, disco being a significant part of the music scene also.
That synth...
Kinda like a piano, but not---I was fascinated.
Girls liked it, most of the guys I knew did not, it being too close to disco, and dancing
To them there was no difference between this style and say, KC & the Sunshine Band.
'Heart of Glass' was only the set-up for the knock-out punch delivered in late 1980 -
Gary Numan's 'Cars'.
"Oh, synthesizer you say? Well by all means, have some of this!"
I was awash in a Sonic Ocean and there was no land to speak of.
Keyboards WERE the band, certainly the other instruments were present, but now this was their time to shine, futuristic, precise and all consuming, I could not get enough of this song and I had to find more from this artist. Even the album, 'The Pleasure Principle' hinted at science and no emotion, purchased, I devoured it and then started on to the back catalog.
Eventually, it turned out that Messr Numan began as a punk rock musician and to my listening ear, had managed to go from playing an expression of raw emotion to a modular, self contained android which only served to heighten my admiration. I had to have everything Numan (even his stage moniker bespoke of a new type of humanoid) and furiously sought out whatever my budget allowed.
To this day, I remain a fan of his, although I did taper off after his transition away from the Man/Machine phase but still keep a high regard for his music.
I will still play and sing along to 'Telekon', 'Are Friends Electric?' and Tubeway Army recordings, fondly recalling the time my musical horizons expanded slightly wider and into a Future I couldn't clearly envision until the release of 'Blade Runner' in 1982, but that's a whole other Ball of Wires-

Thanks for putting this together Schatzie and glad you were the first guest here.

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