Rock music and all the things that go with it have been a part of my life since I first started to play. I am a guitarist and I started playing back when I was a teenager. I play folk and jazz, but my first love is rock music. Rock is what I grew up with and it is the style of music that grabs me the hardest. I had posters, T-shirts, songbooks, and of course tapes and albums that commemorated my favourite groups.
Back when I was growing up in the late seventies and early eighties, there was a musical legacy from the sixties that was really amazing. Bands were experimenting, they were writing concept albums and they were all building on ground broken by the classic rockers of the fifties and sixties. Groups like The Who, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin were all trying to take music to places it had never been before, either through lyrics, showmanship, musical structure or combinations of the three.
When I first started to play, I did the same as everyone else: I learned how to tune the guitar, picked at a few chords and started trying to memorize scales. After a while, I ran into other musicians. Some were friends or guys (and girls!) that I knew from school. Some played guitar or bass or drums, some sang. All of them had different bands or maybe just one performer that they tried to emulate. The point is that we got together with our instruments and we jammed and tried to teach each other. We all collected their songs and their posters and we all wanted to be as good at music as they were. I have gotten most of my posters from All posters, and I highly recommend them.
Only a few of us, at first, could play an entire song. Most of us knew a chorus or a verse line or maybe a trademark riff that you recognized the song by on the radio. We traded riffs and showed each other how to play what we knew. Sometimes we competed to see who played the best, and sometimes we tried forming bands. The main thing was that we were all sharing what we knew and the techniques we had figured out from our favourite artists. It is the memory of all of us from that time, with our favourite bands or musicians, that led me to make this site.
I was thinking it over a while back and I realized that, out of all the bands that have been over the years, there were only about six or seven groups that everybody looked up to. They were the ones we all tried to imitate and whose music moved us the most. The interesting part for me in looking back is that they ranged right across the board in terms of when they were the most popular. We used to talk about them and they were a sort of musical “universal translator” that let us all understand each other. Maybe the bands mentioned here are not your favourites, but for us back then, these were what we lived and breathed for. For that reason, I want to commemorate them here.