Picture, if you will, the epitome of a band geek/pop radio listening teenager. Oh yes, that was me. Bedroom wallpapered in NSync posters. Britney Spears albums on rotation. A collection of "Now!" albums (how are they up to Now 48?!). I loved Top 40 radio, what can I say. Then I went to college, my iTunes full of the latest hits and no desire to listen to anything else. I made a good group of friends, some of which were musicians. One in particular is responsible for opening up my eyes to everything I never knew existed. I remember we used to sit on the hill outside of the on-campus apartments, and he would play his guitar. He often played and sang this song, and I remember feeling like I needed to know it:
This is one of the single, most important occurances that changed my life as a musician.
Slowly but surely, I left behind the popular stuff and started listening to bands like Copeland all the time. I started checking out other musicans and went to new concerts with my friend. Let me stop for a minute and say that he is one of the most talented guitar players I've ever met. All the people he introduced me to were his personal influences. And you don't develop too much skill by playing covers of Ryan Seacrest's Top 40 list. After a while, I never went back to strictly popular music. My iTunes swapped the Britney for Bleach (look up "What Will Your Anthem Be").
This Throwback Thursday is to say that I am forever grateful to my friend for changing my view of music. I had no idea would matter so much. It's the reason I play music the way I do, the reason I am still listening to these bands I love seven years later, the reason I go to shows and meet my now-favorite musicians, the reason I began playing guitar in the first place, the reason I have this blog. It's the reason I record and write and sing, and it means everything to me.
Don't get me wrong... I still jam out to Ke$ha in the car with my roommate. I'm not a Top 40 hater by any means. But I know that it wouldn't have inspired me to pick up a guitar and start something new. I wouldn't have gotten where I am today with that. My friend and I haven't spoken in years and truthfully, I'm not sure where he is right now or if he's even okay. But I hope he gets to read this one day and know that he revolutionized a really big part of my life... because I owe one of the most important parts of me to that afternoon on the hill and a Copeland song.