I just finished reading the graphic novel, or series of comics “Watchmen”. The writing and artwork were both really great, especially the writing. It was really thought provoking and paints great images when reading. When I got to the end I thought it was pretty good, but I had seen it somewhere before . . . “Heroes”.  Now, I like the show, but “Heroes” totally ripped off the ending to “Watchmen”, thus diminishing the ending once I got there.  That kind of sucks, because I would have to assume that when the comic was actually published, and the ending was a far more original idea, its impact would be amazing and an instant classic. But since I had seen the first season of “Heroes”, which relied largely on the same idea, except with the opposite result, it didn’t excite me as much.

I find this exact same scenario to be true in music today. What if the first song you ever heard was “Karma Chameleon” by culture club, or the first guitar solo you heard was in a Metallica song.  What would that say about your perspective on music. You would have no frame of reference of what came before it, what was better, like The Zombies or Jimi Hendrix.

Being a musician I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  I want to compose songs like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles or Bob Dylan.  There is a certain period that is considered “classic” in the history of pop or rock music and that is largely the 60’s and 70’s. There is so much music out there today, and so many styles it is an overload. No one is writing music like that anymore because it isn’t “new” to them. What if the first song you ever heard was “Crossroads” (Robert Johnson).  What kind of song would you write after hearing that? “Voodoo Chile”? “Spanish Castle Magic”?  What if you were a contemporary of Hendrix, what would you write, “One of These Nights”, “Hotel California”? Musicians are influenced by their peers and what they hear in their time and we’re losing touch with the greatest music.

In reaction to this I have decided to remove any music pre-1980 from my iPod in an effort to let classic music affect me and my writing. I’ve been largely influenced by Dave Matthews and John Mayer, and I think I need to change that.  So pre-1980 is really the only criteria.  I may have to develop a few exceptions (Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Police, U2, Ryan Adams, Keith Urban) for groups that are considered classic but post-1980, or great modern songwriters, but I’m going to attempt to only listen to “classic” music as if I lived in a time where there was no music beyond that. Great composing, great songwriting. Clearly there is great music today, but there is something about that time that needs to be revived. I guess we’ll see what happens.


I was just thinking its funny that I don’t listen to the Beatles, can anyone tell me why?

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One Response to “Watchmen”

  1. ashley Says:

    Just out of curiosity and as a Reeds fan, was your ban of post-80s music before you finalized/produced the newest CD? There is definitely a difference in Bleed Lust and the Demos that I have… Again, just curious.

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