Through Sound and Time pt 2: 1995
Skipping forward a bit. 3 years to be exact. Christmas I received a few albums. But the top two by far were 1. Presidents of the United States of America Eponym album (I rocked that Album so much it stopped working. A few years ago and I had to buy it on Itunes. My teenage years certainly had a soundtrack!) and 2. The Empire Records Soundtrack. I remember thinking I sure wish I could work some place like that. Where all these characters hung out and waxed intellectual about music and stuff like that, and then caught shoplifters and stuff like that (I’d later get my wish.) This was about the same thing I started playing Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. The Rocker Tycoon wasn’t just a music geek, I had my hand in many pots, stirring things up.
Empire Records had a ton of great music:
1. Til I Hear It from You – Gin Blossoms
2. Liar – The Cranberries
3. Girl Like You – Edwyn Collins
4. Free – The Martinis
5. Crazy Life – Toad the Wet Sprocket
6. Bright as Yellow – The Innocence Mission
7. Circle of Friends – Better Than Ezra
8. I Don’t Want to Live Today – Ape Hangers
9. Whole Lotta Trouble – Cracker
10. Ready, Steady, Go – Meices
11. What You Are – Drill
12. Nice Overalls – Lustre
13. Here It Comes Again – Please, Please
14. Ballad of El Goodo – Evan Dando
15. Sugarhigh – Coyote Shivers
Not all of it I’d claim to be a huge fan of now. But I can listen to that album still front to back today and remember what it was like to be fifteen and it makes me smile. Songs like Ready, Steady, Go a Billy Idol cover by the Meices and I Don’t Wanna Live Today by the Ape Hangers were the beginnings or my punk rock influence.
So what was I reading then? I had picked up Homeland by RA Salvatore. The Legend of Drizzt. Say what you will about the classics, but to me this will always be the book that made reading a pastime for me. I was whisked away to Faerun’s Underdark into the City of the drow. The main character was an outcast in a city of a treacherous malicious race of evil elves. This was a standard fantasy novel. Swordplay Magic Political intrigue. This was the first time I really got to understand allegory and how it could be used to open a mind to the world around it. I start paying more attention to the ways of people.
I’d say this book and it’s two sequels are responsible for my acute judge of character and for a fair amount of my attention to detail. Salvatore’s battle sequences proved to me that you could imagine a scene far better than any movie could convey it. I hold that truth today whenever I write. I still have an overactive imagination to this day, and anytime I’m alone in the dark I like to imagine I’m stalking the halls of Menzoberranzan, sword in hand, out to defy the Spider Queen herself……. Whoa! Sorry, there I go again.