The first music I dove into was classic rock. I am the only person in the world who can say that. Pink Floyd, Beatles, Doors, Who, Sabbath. Just the most normie put on a pedestal stuff. It started because when I was 12 my mom showed me The Wall. The movie, not the album. At that point I was mostly into weird violent or dark movies, and Spider-Man. So my mom thought I would be interested in the cryptic and surreal stuff in the Pink Floyd movie. It scared me a lot and I didn’t know why. And then it was all I thought about. I watched it over and over and went online reading all about the band and getting all their albums one by one. My mom was excited and started recommending me old albums of hers. Some of them I liked a lot, like Tommy by The Who. Others, like Look What The Cat Dragged In by Poison, didn’t click with me. But I listened to all of it, usually more than once, and gave it all a lot of thought. I checked out probably a dozen or so books from our tiny school library about the “history of rock music:”. Most of these were written by people who clearly hadn’t listened to much of the music, they were just vague strung together descriptions of a band or subgenre. But they did list a lot of bands I’d never heard of. And I’d download every single one. And I’d find bands just mentioned here or there on various websites and download all of it. All at once I went from listening to nothing, to listening to Captain Beefheart, Leonard Cohen, The Residents, The Smashing Pumpkins, Dead Prez, The Clash, Ween, Velvet Underground, and a billion other artists. Gradually I was moving away from classic rock and discovering punk. Once that took hold it was all I thought of for years. This was my music, purely, and it was the only thing that mattered. I stopped listening to a lot of the classic rock stuff, at least regularly. Through punk I found free jazz and avant garde music, all kinds of different things. From the age of 15 to 21 I was constantly looking for experimental, confrontational, or emotional music that was part of what “punk” meant to me. I spent all my time writing lyrics, imagining singing in a punk band, practicing singing and moving and dressing as a punk singer alone in my room. Eventually, from the age of 20 (2012) to 24 (2016) I did manage to form a two punk bands that I sang and wrote lyrics for. We made some cool music that I’m pretty proud of. Started playing shows and actually getting kind of known and accepted in the Green Bay punk scene. Then all of a sudden I hated it. I hated the shows, I hated the town, I hated the way everyone just acted like more dumb old assholes. And suddenly, I didn’t care about the music. I wanted to listen to anything but punk, I felt suddenly disconnected from this thing that was really important to me. I still listen to some punk occasionally and still love most of the bands I loved in my teens and early 20s, I still think The Ramones are maybe the most perfect band ever. But I just can’t feel invested or close to it anymore. Idk. Idk what happened. Anyways, shortly after splitting Green Bay and leaving behind two bands, two bands that were the only things in my life I’d ever been any good at, I gradually started listening to more big bombastic, well produced guitar rock. And I gradually began diving into classic rock, both revisiting forgotten favorites and discovering new shit. I think it really began as my interest in punk was waning, when Bowie died. For all the music I was constantly listening to, I had only properly listened to 5 Bowie albums until his death; Ziggy Stardust, Scary Monsters And Supercreeps, and the Berlin albums with Eno. I had always loved Scary Monsters and the Eno collaborations, and for some reason when I was in 9th grade or so and heard Ziggy Stardust I didn’t really “get it”. No idea why. So when Bowie died, my girlfriend Tracy, who knows a whooole shit ton about Bowie, pushed me to go through and listen to all his classic albums. I did just that and as soon as I listened with fresh ears to Ziggy Stardust, and to Diamond Dogs and Aladdin Sane for the first time, I was amazed that it had taken me so long to listen to them. They were and are literally everything I like in rock, musically, aesthetically, lyrically. They’re quintessential and defenitive, but thorougly transgressive, too. And they sounded BIG. The guitars and strings and drums float and crater and pierce and crackle, all swirling around that manic voice singing those sometimes bittersweet, sometimes disarmingly cutting lyrics. From there it just built. I went through the discographies of Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, T. Rex, and revisited old favorites I had neglected for the last several years like Pink Floyd, Rush, Alice Cooper, and Iron Maiden. It’s kind of embarrassing. it’s spazzy and weird and I hate all those old white guys that prattle on about how GOOD the OLD ROCK was, man. I hate it I hate it I hate it. So that’s not what I’m doing. Instead, I want to go through and talk about these bands and artists as they sound and feel to me now, for good and bad. This is music that stirs up really big consuming feelings, and I want to think about why and how it does and how those feelings make this music fit into my life. I don’t really know how this is going to be structured yet. For this intro, I just sat down and started typing what I have to say. I figure that’s how I’ll do each installment. I’ll pick an artist from the CLASSIC ROCK GOD list I’ve made (I think it’s between 80 and 100) and just start writing about that artist and what they are to me. Really, this is about these massive cultural forces that will never ever be seen again, due to fragmented marketing and frankly, let’s be honest, that rock has been completely uninteresting on a massive level for over 20 years. This is going to probably be sociopolitical sometimes, sometimes very personal and whiney, and often might not make sense to anyone but me. But, fundamentally, this is about what we mean when we talk about”rock music”. Or at least, what I mean