Musical Inspiration

I have been inspired by so many musicians and bands throughout my life.  I will never forget when I heard “Fly Like An Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band when I was 8 years old and falling in love with the synthesizers, drums and organ.  I had never heard anything like it at the time.

In the summer of 1977, George Lucas’ film “Star Wars” changed my life.  I immediately became a fan of John Williams and his classically inspired soundtrack.  In an instant, I was creatively moved to become an artist, musician and filmmaker in one gigantic sweep!

When I was 12, I saw the film “Chariots of Fire”.  I was introduced to the music of Vangelis and experienced for the first time the subtleties and nuances of an ambient and electronic soundtrack.  The main title was one of the first piano themes I learned and performed on early in my musical training.  His work on “Blade Runner” also became one of my favorites.  I also became a fan of the band Genesis and was blown away by Phil Collins’ drumming style and the unique sound of Tony Bank’s keyboards.  Their double concept album “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” completely blew me away, along with “Foxtrot” and “Selling England By The Pound“.

Early in 1986, I discovered Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”.  It was a perfect album and flawless in it’s sonic landscapes and engineering.  In the summer of 1986, I purchased a CD by Jean Michel Jarre entitled “Rendezvous”.  I knew nothing about him or his music, but the cover artwork intrigued me.  I was floored by the futuristic sounds I was hearing!  He instantly inspired me to create electronic music and I immediately sought out all of his albums.  It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college at The University of North Texas when a neighbor in my dorm turned me on to Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother”, King Crimson’s “In The Wake of Poseidon” and Frank Zappa’s “Apostrophe” that my life changed once again.  I was also introduced to the “spacey”ambient  soundscapes of early Tangerine Dream.

In the early 1990′s, I met a friend who had an encyclopedic knowledge of rock music and had over 5,000 albums on vinyl!  He introduced me to every possible band and musician and educated me on the history of all of them.  He showed me why each performer and their respective bands were in important in the musical tapestry timeline.  Over the years, I eventually surpassed him in my musical history knowledge.   I thank him dearly for being so influential in my understanding of the interconnectedness of the music I have grown to love and become inspired by.

In the summer of 1995, I wandered into a local independent music store called CD World in Addison, Texas. I was looking around for alomost 30 minutes and I realized that the music that was playing when I first got there was still playing.  And not only that, it was getting really odd and transforming itself into something new.  I asked what was playing and they said it was the new LIVE Phish album called A Live One.  I had to buy this immediately and dive in deep because it was calling to me.  My life has never been the same since, in addition to now knowing how to play 50 or so Phish songs on the piano, organ, and synthesizer.

In 1998, once I started playing live music in Magpu, I began to seek out live recordings of other bands through the taper community and liberated bootlegs.  Since then, I have amassed a live collection of over 700+ unreleased concerts ranging from the Allman Brothers to Frank Zappa and absolutely EVERYTHING in between featuring ambient/electronic, rock, metal, funk, jazz, fusion, blues, soul, classical, big band, pop, experimental, singer/songwriter and folk music.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of musicians and bands that have been major influences in my music throughout the years:

Alan Parsons Project, Allman Brothers, Art of Noise, The Beatles, Boards of Canada, Wendy Carlos, Cluster, Coldplay, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Claude Debussy, Elton John, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Brian Eno, Funkadelic, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Grateful Dead, Vince Guaraldi, Keith Jarrett, Steve Hackett, Jan Hammer, Herbie Hancock, Jerry Hunt, Jean Michel Jarre, Jethro Tull, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Quincy Jones, King Crimson, Little Feat, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Henry Mancini, Pat Metheny, The Orb, Ozric Tentacles, Phish, The Police, Return To Forever, Rush, Shpongle, Sting, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Tangerine Dream, Tortoise, Traffic, Vangelis, John Williams, Yes, Frank Zappa and many more!