When considering the moments that served as the catalysts for my lifelong love of music, I can think of three that events that truly lit the fire:
1) My father's endless spinning of Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run in the late 70's and 80's. From "Meeting Across the River" to "Jungleland," these songs summoned something in me that previously lay dormant. The life within these songs brought out a life in me.
2) The exact moment that I heard the first notes of "New Madrid" by Uncle Tupelo. Sitting across from my college buddy Brian on a Saturday afternoon, we were both blasted into a world of music that would change our lives. Literally.
3) March 28, 1995. On this night, the same Brian mentioned above, and I, would head to Tower Records in Boston at midnight to claim our copies of Wilco's first record A.M. Following our introduction to Uncle Tupelo a little less than a year earlier, we'd spent a good part of the past six months diving head first into this new genre, or sub-genre, called alt.country. We'd discovered The Jayhawks, The Blood Oranges, Richard Buckner and many more. But Wilco, which was comprised of most of what had been Uncle Tupelo, likely represented something different. And on this night, after each picking up the CD, we sat down, cracked what was probably the first of 12 beers each, and played the record over and over. We both quickly concluded that this wasn't as good as Uncle Tupelo. But not many records in our entire collection were. It was pop music layered with country. The songs were good but sorta half baked. But man did they show promise. Jeff Tweedy was just getting comfortable fronting a band. I never, ever could have imagined what this band would become 20 years later. What a ride it's been.