Monday, April 12, 2010

My Favorite Music "The Begining"

OK, below are some lists of my top 6 bands in different categories. I will elaborate why certain bands made certain lists in the days, weeks and months to come. I will also be adding specific lists of songs and why they are on their lists as well. I want to put one caveat on the lists below because I know I will get flak from some people for leaving people off the lists. These lists are bands only, not individuals or duos, they must be known as a band. This has caused me to exclude some individuals and I will deal with individual artists at a later date.

Making lists is an interesting experience because it makes you re-examine why you listen to certain bands and what they mean to you. These lists are in no particular order after the first band. The first band stands alone in my musical love and always will. Remember these are my lists not yours and I will accept criticism and opinions but they will not dissuade me from my list.








TOP 6 CANADIAN MUSIC GROUPS of ALL TIME(I have excluded any bands who appear on my TOP 6 of ALL TIME)








U2 (14 times I have seen them)

METALLICA (8 times I have seen them)

THE TRAGICALLY HIP (6 times I have seen them, maybe more can’t remember)

KISS (3 times I have seen them)

AC/DC (2 times I have seen them)

HEART (3 times I have seen them)

And now to delve a little into each list with some background on why certain bands are on my lists and why some people were left off.


Anyone who knows me at all knows that those 4 Irish lads from Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin will always be #1 in my heart. They came from humble beginnings and from the time I heard the EP “Under a Blood Red Sky” I was hooked. This is a band that combines raw emotion with ever changing musical influences and they do to this day. They are one of the few bands that can truly play a stadium and make everyone there feel like their playing to them. I know they are known for political causes and everything to be they will always be 4 angry young Irish lads just trying to make enough money to get out of Dublin and see the world. They have been labeled as selling out which most successful bands get which is unfortunate because any band who has changed their style as much as U2 has is not a sell out. Their music reflects the music they are listening too and enjoying but always done U2 style.

I was in my 20’s when the NWOBHM happened and for those who don’t know that acronym it stands for New Wave of British Heavy Metal and one of the bands on the fore front was Iron Maiden. With album covers that would drive parents crazy and the typical long hair and blue jeans and T-shirts this was a band parents hoped would die a quick death. If they had looked a little closer they would have seen a band that was heavily influenced by classic literature, amazing and skillfully designed stage shows and a work ethic that bread success. It has been over 30 years since they formed and 2010 is the 30th anniversary of the first Iron Maiden album and they are still going strong. I have loved their music from the beginning and can proudly say both of my step-kids are big Maiden fans. They have put out albums based on famous science fiction authors, introduced 2 generations to poetry without even them realizing it and through all of this had a mascot “Eddie” that has thrived. A high light for me was an early concert of Iron Maiden headlining their Number of the Beast tour with Girls School and the Scorpions opening for them.

I will admit I was a little bit slow to catch on to The Tragically Hip but once they have a hold of you it is hard to let go of that melodic hard driving rock and roll. They have been called the poet laureates of Canadian rock and roll and it is a title I think fits. I have seen them everywhere from a bar where I sat on the stage while Gordie sang and had trouble standing to seeing them headline a 35,000 person Roadside Attraction and also a little intimate gig called Woodstock 99 where they opened the main stage on Saturday morning. I have rarely been prouder to be a Canadian as I was that day when they strode out in 100 degree temperatures to a sea of flags and applause. Gord Downie looked very dapper and sophisticated in a suit to lead the band through a hectic set not even seeming to sweat in the heat. This band has made a career of intelligent lyrics, crafted through and around intricate and catchy melodies without ever losing their Canadian heritage. If you listen to “Lonely End of the Rink” you will understand what it is to not only be a hip fan but also a Canadian.

What can I say about those 4 mop tops from Liverpool that already hasn’t been said. I have been to Liverpool seen Abbey road, done the pose thing. I don’t think they even knew what they were doing at the time, changing music, changing the music industry, changing culture and yes even changing the world forever. They seemed like 4 guys who until the end just loved playing and making music, there will never ever be a band like The Beatles. My mother used to tell me I was a huge Beatles fan when I was a toddler and this was in Germany in the 60’s when The Beatles were first starting out, she told me we had all the records and 45’s(mom why didn’t you keep them :)). I guess I had good musical taste back then. It does not matter who the artist is, country, punk, heavy metal, ask them about influences and invariably those 4 lads from Liverpool will be mentioned. I can’t imagine a list of musical greats in this or the last century that would not feature The Beatles.

When I was about 11 or 12 my older brother was in the 14/15 range and he would come home way past my bedtime and wake me with this group or that group that I just had to hear. It would usually end with our dad yelling a great deal and me being introduced to a new and exciting band, from The Who, to Deep Purple and one night it was Led Zeppelin 3 “The Immigrant Song”. This was 3 minutes of loud and heavy music that would forever change my life. Since that day I have been and always will be a Led Zeppelin fan and still dream that one day I will see them perform with Jason Bonham on drums with the remaining members. The Beatles may have changed a generation but no band has had such an influence on music in such a short period of time. In today’s world a band takes 1-3 years to make a record if you are lucky, if you happen to be a G’n’R fan well you might want to stop reading, Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin 1 and Led Zeppelin 2 in the same year. That’s right Communication Breakdown, Good Times Bad Times and Heartbreaker, Living Loving Maid all in the same fucking year. It is staggering to think of that. They were only together for 10 years and from the beginning it seemed they were the band that burned the flame bright and always, there was no half way with Zeppelin it was 110% from the music to the rock and roll lifestyle.

OK I know what you’re saying why the hell does Trooper deserve to be on a list with the likes of Led Zeppelin, U2 and The Beatles? Well, remember it is my list and growing up in Canada no band was more influential and more popular than Trooper. It seemed every summer on the radio from the time I became a teenager till the time I was driving my parents car there was a Trooper song on the radio. From the beginnings with General Hand Grenade to Two for the Show and then their popularity sky rocketed in Canada with Were Here for a Good Time not a Long Time and Oh Pretty Lady. This band has seen the music industry move on but every year Ra McGuire and Brian Smith the leaders of Trooper get in a van and from their homes on Vancouver Island they tour this great country and play to thousands of fans. If I am having a bad day and need cheering up well nothing makes an old Canadian feel better than The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car. If I ever win a lottery rest assured I will be having a beach party some place and I will be having Trooper play all weekend and you know want you can book them from their web site apparently. This is a Canadian rock band that loves to play rock and roll for the fans, in 2003 I saw them at a cabaret during Grey Cup and after they played Ra and Brian then came and sat at a table and signed autographs and drank beer with the fans, only in Canada.

OK that’s it my 6 favorites of all time and I have been lucky enough to see 4 of them in concert multiple times. Well in my next blog we will discuss my 6 favorite Canadian bands of all time.