Friday, September 04, 2009

A life in music

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine included me in a Facebook distribution of "50+50 bands/artists I have seen live." Normally, I ignore just about everything that comes to me through Facebook -- the annoying quizzes ("Lowell just took the, "What kind of nuclear weapon are you?' quiz. Lowell is a 100 zillion megaton nuclear bomb."), the creepy "updates" involving the young children of new parents ("How come I'm tired after 47 straight hours of watching Courtney throw up on me? Hmmm . . . sounds like a trip to Starbucks is in order!!!" or "For the first time, Austin got his first choice for third grade teacher. Woo-hoo!!!" and, most frightening, "Buster has a fever of 101.5. Any suggestions?"), the navel-gazing, acid-flashback induced rhetorical questions about life's limits and possibilities ("Am I the only who noticed that Tide's new environmentally-conscious reduced plastic packaging didn't come with a reduced cost, just less detergent?").

Thanks for sharing. Really. Just so, so interesting . . . what would I do without all these important updates into the lives of little kids and their pooping habits or why, no matter when you go to the grocery store, you always get stuck in the worst line with the cashier who's new but trying.

Sitting down to catalog all the artists and bands I've seen over the years was something I should have done a long time ago. Since I'm not really the type of person to write things down, much less make lists, I saw this as a somewhat work-related task -- to improve my organizational skills; to think through the different periods of my life when I saw a particular musician, and where I was in at that point in my life -- thus justifying an exercise that, for people who are required to be accountable in their jobs, would just be a sneaky yet enjoyable form of procrastination.

So I put together a list and posted it on Facebook. Judging from the non-response, no one cared. Perhaps I should have prefaced my list with something like this, "I just discovered my son is making crystal-meth in our basement and attempting to pimp out his sister. Suggestions?"

Here is my life in music (not necessarily in chronological order):

1. The Beatles (really)
2. The Osmond Brothers (sad but true)
3. Janis Joplin/Jimi Hendrix/Joe Cocker (free!)
4. Yes
5. Genesis
6. Emerson Lake and Palmer
7. Jethro Tull
8. Aerosmith
9. Pink Floyd
10. Led Zeppelin
11. Bad Company
12. Kansas
13. Allman Brothers
14. REO Speedwagon
15. Rush
16. Cheap Trick
17. Donovan
18. The Who
19. Weather Report
20. Pat Metheny Group
21. Dixie Dregs
22. Sea Level
23. Renaissance
24. Gentle Giant
25. Jackson 5
26. The Temptations
27. The Spinners
28. Gladys Knight and the Pips
29. Diana Ross
30. Brand X (with Phil Collins)
31. Michel Petrucciani
32. Lyle Mays/Marc Johnson
33. Wynton Marsalis
34. Branford Marsalis
35. Kenny Kirkland Quartet
36. Dizzy Gillespie
37. Gary Burton
38. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
39. Steve Kuhn
40. Cedar Walton
41. Buddy Rich Big Band
42. Art Ensemble of Chicago
43. Bill Bruford
44. U.K.
45. Ahmad Jamal
46. Joe Zawinul Syndicate
47. Paul Bley Trio
48. Keith Jarrett Trio
49. Don Byron
50. Dave Holland Quartet
51. Dave Holland Big Band
52. John Scofield Trio (w/Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart)
53. John Scofield Quartet
54. Aquarium Rescue Unit
55. Derek Trucks Band
56. Caribbean Jazz Project
57. Steely Dan
58. Donald Fagen
59. The Syn (w/Chris Squire)
60. Todd Rundgren
61. The Police
62. Sting
63. Andy Summers
64. Roy Haynes
65. Christian McBride
66. Wayne Shorter
67. Terrence Blanchard
68. Benny Green
69. Kenny Garrett
70. Jeff Watts Quartet
71. Mike Stern
72. Dave Weckl Band
73. Niacin (w/Dennis Chambers)
74. Jon Faddis
75. Herbie Hancock
76. Freddie Hubbard
77. Wallace Roney Quartet
78. McCoy Tyner
79. Pat Metheny Trio (w/Antonio Sanchez and Christian McBride)
80. George Adams/Don Pullen Quartet
81. David Murray Octet
82. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
83. Paul McCartney
84. Brad Mehldau
85. Billy Joel
86. Stevie Wonder
87. Asia
88. The Pointer Sisters
89. The Rock 'n Soul Revue (with Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald)
90. Jean Luc Ponty
91. Stanley Clarke
92. Cassandra Wilson

and hopefully many more to come.


Jeremy said...

3. Janis Joplin/Jimi Hendrix/Joe Cocker (free!)

You were at Woodstock?

Will said...

Prof. Ivers,

I always thought you were cooler than I was, and now I know for sure. Seeing the Beatles live must have been amazing.

Hope all is well,
Will Haun