Monday, February 21, 2011

One of my "old school" influences growing up and searching for music...

Growing up around music was the way I came out of the womb. My brother, sister and I rocked on the family room couch from as early as I could remember to my father's record collection. Early on in life I had The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffet, John Prine, J.J. Cale and Fleetwood Mac embedded into my system. As a pre-teen I began to explore other types of music. Mainly whatever my friends older brothers were into. This is what I dubbed my "Heavy Metal Years". The likes of Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, etc. were tattooed all over my middle-school book covers. As I got into high school frequent trips to Berkeley were a routine procedure. On one of those trips I picked up "Cinema Verite" by Dramarama. I heard the hit "Anything, Anything" on Live 105 (KITS), but what I discovered with that purchase was a little more. True Rock and Roll was alive and well; a freshly packaged nugget buried in the mid-eighties synth-soaked MTV/NightTracks world. I promptly went out and bought their sophomore effort Box Office Bomb. I played these records incessantly. One of my favorite tracks was "It's still warm" on Box Office... It screams California. Here is a recent live sample...

In 1989 they came out with their properly released 3rd album, "Stuck in Wonderamaland". My brother and I journey down to the Cactus Club in San Jose, CA on a cold, December night the following year to catch their live show. When they came on stage I thought the lead singer/main songwriter, John Easedale was drunk because he was kind of stumbling around the stage. Then the music started. 90 minutes of pure rock and roll. This was the best concert I had been to yet, and that was just coming off seeing Jane's Addiction, The Pixies & Primus on one bill in SF just two weeks earlier.

Dramarama gave me my first true "discovery". It was like finding a new best friend. My Dad's friend, The Rolling Stones, was great and all, but as a young kid you are searching to define yourself. Dramarama did it for me. They are still one of my favorite bands. They have a wonderful catalog of great records. And they still, occasionally play today. Go see them and support good music.

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