Everything Has Changed Everything Has Changed

Good Morning, Mackrophiles,

I’m listening to the last couple of Peter Gabriel studio albums this morning. It wasn’t part of my plan. I tend to start with something a little more rocking to get the blood pumping, but it was just sitting there calling to me, so I put on Scratch My Back, and now I’m feeling expansive and clever. Peter has that effect on me, which makes it surprising I don’t play the stuff more often. The interesting thing about Peter’s music is that you can hear the progression from album to album as if he made them back to back, instead of over a thirty five year period. His voice has changed slightly over the years, but it’s still him, and his musical muse still shines through, from start to finish.

I guess some people think Peter is overrated, but he’s been a lyrical and musical touchstone for me for decades. It’s safe to say that, if there had not been a Peter Gabriel in the world, I wouldn’t be nearly as good at making music myself.

Mind you, that goes for pretty much every songwriter who came through Genesis over the years. Even Phil has been an influence and inspiration. Tony is a huge influence, as are Mike and Steve. Ant holds a special place in my musical pantheon as well, being perhaps my favourite songwriter and composer of all. It started with Phil, but I got to Genesis through him, and through them Peter, and then Ant and finally Steve. Genesis is simply the most important band to me. The Beatles are really, really important to me, but I draw most of my passion for music from Genesis.

Put Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush and King Crimson up there, and you start to get a better picture of where my muses live. Slip in Queen, Saga, Styx and Asia, some UK, The Police, XTC, Gowan, Spoons, David Bowie, 70s Elton John, Billy Joel, Missing Persons, Frank Zappa, Dream Theater, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Steve Howe, Van Halen, Prince, early Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, some Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and WASP, some Whitensake and David Lee Roth, and finally, quite significantly, The Cure, and you get… well, you get quite a mess, really. But they’re all in there. Even Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong, believe it or not.

It’s quite a melange. Something new crops up in my musical journey all of the time. Barenaked Ladies, Big Wreck, Derek & the Dominos, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, the Kinks, the Stones, The Black Crowes, Train, Tori Amos, Jane Siberry, Heart, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sarah McLachlan, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, the Eagles, Cheap Trick, Kiss, Sparks, They Might Be Giants, Soundgarden, Jellyfish, Jason Falkner, Roger Manning, Jonathan Coulton, James William Roy, Jen Flook, Lyndsay Blanch, Muse, Sigur Ros, Broken Social Scene, The Polyphonic Spree, The Rest… they’ve all taken a turn on my stereo or WinAmp list. So much music. So many ideas. And then I turn my back on all of it and try to make something of my own.

But I don’t think it occurred to me that I wanted to make really good songs with intelligent lyrics until I developed my love for Peter Gabriel. Then I kind of starting putting a lot of pieces together. But it started when I put Shock the Monkey together with In the Air Tonight, Synchronicity II, and A Day In The Life, which got me at age five, listening to Sgt. Peppers with my dad in the early hours of the morning. It’s a long, unbroken thread of musical discoveries that lead me here. This is a huge part of who I am, even as I make art and write novels and do other things that have little to do with music. Music is at my core. Everything I do has music in it.

So can somebody please tell me why Youtube won’t let me monetize my most successful video? 😉

Uncle Eddie

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.

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