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My Musical Background & Influences

Just1L

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Since my earliest days I've always been in love with music but it wasn't until around 1976 that it really sparked my interest. I remember watching the Bay City Rollers on TV giving a concert (probably lip-syncing). Women kept running up on stage left and right. They could hardly control them and the screaming was crazy. This left a lasting impression as I thought they were pretty darn cool. Had I been born a decade or so earlier, It probably would have been the Beatles that got me going. I hadn't even heard of them yet though at this point, so it was the Bay City Rollers that got me going until my brother brought home his first KISS album. Holy Canoli, that was Rock & Roll to me. While I admired BCR and liked some of their songs, KISS showed me what Rock was all about (at least what I thought it was at the time.)

Around 1979 I went to my school picnic and it was the first one where I could walk around on my own. I found a game booth where you threw darts and if you hit a certain area you could win an album. At this point I had no personal albums. Everything I listened to belonged to my older brother. I spent all of my money in that booth and came home with my first set of albums:

Captain & Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together

Shaun Cassidy - ??

Bootsy Collins - These Boots Are Made for Funk-N

ABBAs greatest hits.

Not a rock song among them. Sadly, I didn't know many rock bands but the ones I knew weren't available so I chose these. Bootsy Collins was based solely on the really cool album art. But regardless of the type of music on the albums, they were mine-all-mine and I listened to them night and day and day and night. I always think of this as a blessing. They helped expand my knowledge of music in ways I may not have done otherwise. ABBA is still one of my favorite bands.

So I goofed around and pretended to be in bands in my basement. Asked for a guitar for Christmas and got one from Grandpa Pigeons. I started taking lessons but found them to be very boring and it didn't last too long… until the day I heard Eruption by Van Halen. The goosebumps that song gave me have stayed with me to this day. After listening to that song, and album, over and over that day I went and asked my parents if I could take lessons again and I did. It really gave me the same boring feeling though, but nevertheless I stuck with it for a while. I always hated going home and practicing what I learned at lessons. I did practice though but I goofed around on the guitar even more. The main thing was, I was playing guitar a lot and it made me happy.

After this time period I listened to just about everything I could get my hands on. Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, Ozzy, Def Leppard, more Van Halen, Rush, Motley Crue, Sex Pistols, Descendents, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Metallica, Suicidal Tendancies, Arlo Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Soundtracks to Musicals and on and on and on. I never really got into Country that much though. I liked the songs 9 to 5 and The Devil Went Down To Georgia but that was it as far as Country was concerned. At least until my later college days when I started listening to, and appreciating, some of the older country songs by Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and a lot of the other big names. When it comes to Rap music, I was all into it around 1988 when I got the EZE and NWA cassettes. Back around that time I really liked it a lot. Around 1991 though it got boring to me and I haven't really enjoyed it since. But an influence was left on me. What I didn't like about Rap music was the "gangsta" lifestyle it promoted. I like to have fun, out in the sun, with my friends laughing, having some brews, making great memories. Rap music kind of made me want to go out and steal car stereos, get hookers and make fun of people on crack. It was really at this point that I truly realized and appreciated what music can, and does do, to the soul and your emotions. While I realized this, I didn't tie it together with my own guitar playing.

While I'd written lyrics and poems since grade school I never even tried to combine them with the guitar until my junior year in high school. A buddy of mine made his own recording studio in his garage and I recorded one song back in 1987. I didn't write another song until 2008. I stopped playing guitar altogether after I got out of college. So from about 1995-2008 I did nothing musically until I realized I could record songs on my computer in Garageband. That revelation coincided with the "songs" in my head that seemed to keep popping up whenever I did something. I attribute it to my first job out of college. It was a so-so place of employment but the people were fun and we had a thing called "Sing-it Mondays." Mondays were always the cruddiest days and we had fun singing requests when we talked to each other. Singing "Steve do you have the FPO for Anheuser-Busch" was a challenge but was really fun to do and I believe it helped me to come up with melodies.

So that's the basics of how I got to where I am today. Which Ironically isn't all that far from where I was when I first started. I could interject multiple stories, more influential moments and more about different groups that made me who I am today. But I won't for now at least… Except for one thing! :) My username Just1L. Thought I'd say how that came about. My last name is Drilingas (Drill ing Gus). It's Lithuanian and apparently really hard to pronounce and even harder to spell. Ever since I can remember people have spelled my name with two "L"s in the middle and I'd always have to tell people "Just one L". It came to light again when my son was in school and I started seeing the two Ls popping up again. I told him to get used to it, it will happen forever!

Thanks for listening - over and out.

Randy (Just1L)


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1 Comment


Hey Randy, cool entry. I loved how you spent all your money in the one game and came away with your first albums! That ABBA record is still a classic! Never heard of Bootsy, but I remember Tenille! Don't remember the Captain though, lol!

 

The personal touches (like how Just1L came about) are great, and I'm looking forward to more.

 

Kel

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