This is another one that stems way back from hearing it for the first time at the Blue House. This time, however, was different. I was lying in bed, supposed to be asleep while Dad and Mom had some company over, and Angie and I had been sent off to our room for the night. I remember hearing a song about a "lucky man" of some sort, and then the song dissolved to a siren-wailing Moog synthesizer, with the drums carrying it along, until they both collapsed in a heap at the end. I liked what I was hearing...the only bad thing was, I had no idea who it was!
Sometime later, at the Red House, Dad pulled this one out, with three guys on the front cover, who seemed to be Siamese triplets, gazing into a setting sun on the back cover. He played "From The Beginning", which was very impressive, with awesome acoustic-guitar figures, wonderful vocals, and--again--with fizzy, gurgling Moog sounds bringing it to a close.
This was another one that intrigued me, but had never heard. On the outer front cover was a gallery of gold picture frames with nothing in them, but on the inside, they now contained some pretty lurid images of strange landscapes and structures. What could this sound like? Now that I knew how to use the turntable, I put it on one afternoon, and had to hear what it sounded like. From the start, it was a live album, recorded in front of a loud, cheering crowd who definitely loved their heroes.
I had never heard anything from Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition, and this was my first introduction to a major piece of classical music. Although the music was written by a Russian composer, it was like a little trip to Europe, as listening to the music filled my head with images of castles and cathedrals. The sounds coming from the synthesizers and Hammond C-3 organ hooked me in, and I couldn't believe that it was just three guys making all of that sound. I loved the entire album, and it was soon one of my most-played and well-loved albums.
Brain Salad Surgery had not only the strangest title, but also a suitably strange album cover that opened up down the center in the front. The first thing that Dad had played for me from it was something called "Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression", a 9-minute epic that almost sounded like the soundtrack from a Superman movie, with frantic tempo changes, churning organ solos, and a bizarre synthesizer loop at the end that spewed from speaker to speaker. This became another favorite as well. The keyboards sure sounded like a fun and interesting instrument to play someday, with limitless capabilities to them.
As the years went on, I still played them regularly, but eventually wondered what the bands that the three members had once been in sounded like. That led me to seek out some albums by The Nice, King Crimson and Atomic Rooster; it was all great stuff, and the latter two would have immeasurable influence on me as both a player and a writer.