My relationship with this album starts way back in early High School. The first Yes song I ever heard was of course "Owner of Lonely Heart", which is 100% the opposite of all things that Yes actually are (I do love it though..and you do too). When faced with what to get next in the Yes catalog one was faced with a hard choice. Sure, they all had covers that had the most awesome space whales (see Roger Dean's work here..omg..I actualy wasn't prepared for how awesome that site is) that were available commercially at the time (I hear the black market space whales were EXQUISITE) but in the end they all looked the same, so it came down to a choice of quantity over quality, and running a RIDICULOUS 2.1 hours over two discs, "Yessongs" certainly had that. But it had more. It's the gateway to Yes. It covered all of there "hits" and some of their weirder stuff along the way. In short, IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME. ESPECIALLY for a 16 year old dood. I'm pretty sure that I listened to it at least once every day while doing my homework (which could explain a lot) for the remainder of my High School years and to say those were the my best memories of being a kid and listening to music would be a huge understatement.
Jump now to college and my friend Chico. To say he was a stoner would be putting it mildly, but beyond that he loved good (stoner) music just as much as I did. And he had a copy of Yessong TOO. The last year at Tech we shared a house together and I can assure you that more often than not that album was playing in the back room where we played Nintendo and took bong hits...or didn't because smart people don't do that, right.
Jump forward to the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel in Richmond. I shared a house with the Wards for a good while, me living downstairs and them up, and we had a pretty sweet backyard until the storm came through. It left us with a giant tree in the backyard and no fence. To say that house was a party house would be putting it mildly, and many (most nights) at least one or all of us could be found downright drunk in the backyard. But one of my favorite nights in the backyard was after we had returned from who knows where (probably the Taphouse) and decided it would be a GREAT idea to put Yessongs on at an UNGODLY volume and go hang out on the tree in the back. I'm quite positive the neighborhood loved us for that, and, in fact, am surprised we weren't arrested for disturbing the peace, but we weren't and it was awesome
Jump forward again to last August. I think I had known Andre for about a year at that point and we had always talked about playing music. I hadn't played in years and had my trepidations but I pulled the trigger anyways. We huddled in his basement with Bryan and Andrew and at first just tried to learn Andrew's songs, but quickly realized that there were other, stranger creative avenues to be traveled. In short, we became a band. A band that fucking LOVED music. When we weren't playing were talking about, listening to, reading about and generally thinking about music all the time. We all came from different backgrounds but all loved what we were doing equally. It didn't matter if it was more hippy, more canadian, more classical or more punk...it was all music. It was (and is) fantastic. And it only got better when I dropped the "Yessongs" bomb. First they heard it. Then they saw the artwork, then they lost there MINDS. It felt like high school again were you were free to nerd out and nert out BIGTIME. And everyone got in the band that this was CAPE ROCK. It was so bad it was good, but once it got under your skin it was GREAT.
The point of all this rambling is really the point of Rocktober this year. If it's not completely obvious to you after reading all of these stories, I reached out to a bunch of people and asked them to contribute, the only stipulation be that the album they pick have some real meaning to them, a story, and that they be able to convey that story. If you're on this list or are reading these emails I can be sure of at least one thing about you: You love music. We ALL love music. No matter how different we are from each other or how different the life I live is from yours or your neighbors or whoever you can think of, we all can sit down at the table and tell a story about why we love a particular album or band or just music in general. It can do something as huge as saving your life as small as putting a smile on an old friends face. It can make you dance around like a fool or shed real tears at the hit of a chord. To me personally it means everything. And it means everything to me that the people I know, are friends with, and love are just as excited about music as I am.
Rocktober is over folks, but that doesn't mean that you need to stop telling your stories, stop sharing your music, stop letting people in on what makes you, you. I know I sure as hell won't, though you likely won't be getting an album a day like this till next year. Sure you may get an occasional poorly written email about some album that rocks my face off, but more than likely i'll be waiting to hear from you as I'll be busy making music...or at least trying to. And if we're very VERY lucky someday soon someone will see fit to send an email to all of their friends just to let them know that hey, THIS FUCKING ROCKS, and keep the whole thing going.
Until next year