Music that Moves Me

Growing up in the 60's and 70's in England, I grew up hearing what is now termed as Classic Rock. Although I also enjoy listening to newer music, the bands and artists I fell in love with in the 70's still feature among my favorites.

Unfortunately, I lost my large collection of LP's when I left my first husband decades ago. I am in the process now of slowly building a collection of CD's and MP3's of my most favorite music and, of course, there's always I Heart Radio!

Ian Anderson 1972
Press Photo, Used with Permission
These days, my car radio is usually tuned to 94.5 The Buzz, Houston's Alternative Rock Station. More specifically, I listen to the Rod Ryan Show on my morning commute. At other times, I listen to music on my phone, or MP3 player and on my computer.

Among my favorite bands, in no particular order, are Jethro Tull, who I fell in love with in 1969, when they released "Living in the Past" as a single in England. Somewhere back in the attic of my parent's home are a series of life-sized paintings I did of Ian Anderson (standing on one leg, playing the flute), Martin Barre and other members of the band.

I have actually only seen Jethro Tull once, several years ago at the Summit in Houston. My own tastes tend to lean towards their more acoustic numbers, such as "Life's a Long Song" and "Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day)" and I was disappointed, when I saw them, that their set was mostly hard-rocking numbers.

In the fall of 2003, I was lucky enough to get tickets to "Rub Shoulders With Ian Anderson" at the Verizon Theatre here in Houston. Ian is such an interesting person, with many and diverse interests. It keeps his music alive and always new. I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

David Bowie in Concert 1973
Photo © 1973
The life-sized pics of Jethro Tull graced my bedroom wall for several years before my passion for David Bowie took over in 1973.

I first got to hear of David Bowie when the album Aladdin Sane and the single Suffragette City came out and everyone at school was listening to him, but I soon found myself intrigued by earlier albums too, such as "The Man Who Sold The World," "Hunky Dory" and "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars."

I have seen Bowie numerous times, both in London, when I lived in England, and in Houston. The first time was at Hammersmith Odeon in 1973 (see picture). We stood on the arms of our chairs for the entire performance and this pic was taken by my friend Lorna, who held her dad's camera above her head and amazingly managed to get him in the shot!

While it's true to say that I am no longer a Bowie nut like I used to be, he was a huge part of my life for a long time and I still enjoy listening to his music. The man is constantly evolving and innovative and that's what has made him a lasting success.

Dark Side of the Moon Album Cover

My interest in Pink Floyd also began in the mid-seventies, when we would sit in the Sixth Form Common Room at Sunbury Grammar School on breaks and blast our brains out to the turntable in the corner.

At the time, Dark Side of the Moon had just come out, but as is customary for me, when I got interested in them, I delved into their older stuff and soon had a collection of albums such as "Meddle" and "Piper at The Gates of Dawn." Those are no longer in my collection, but I have replaced my lost copies of "Wish You Were Here" and "Delicate Sound of Thunder" with CD versions.

I finally realized my dream of seeing Floyd live in Houston in 1994, when they played Rice Stadium. It was a great concert, made even more memorable by the fact that a Texas thunderstorm approached throughout the performance, and the band had to duel with thunder and lightening, only stopping when their equipment was shorted out by torrential rains in the second half ! The show became known as the "Rain Like Hell" show, a take on their number, "Run Like Hell." It was a show I will never forget and Pink Floyd remain one of my favorite bands.

Yessongs 1973 album cover Another band I loved around the same time, is Yes. I have to admit didn't like the new stuff they were coming out with in more recent years, but I still love the old stuff, and when I was building up my MP3 collection, YesSongs was one of the first ones I added.

I've seen Yes three times over the years, once in London (a rather disappointing concert with someone other than Jon Anderson singing lead) and twice here in Houston. I've always been impressed with their keyboard player, Rick Wakeman and I think one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen was when I saw him perform "Journey to the Center of the Earth" at Wembley in 1974. The orchestra and band were set up in the middle of the arena, with an ice rink all round and as the music played, the whole story was acted out on the ice - absolutely amazing!

In addition, I met Rick Wakeman in person a few years later when I worked at Heathrow Airport and was able to get his autograph!

Crosby, Stills and Nash
Photo © Buzz Person
Crosby, Still and Nash are an enduring favorite, and I think I've seen them more times than any other band, except possibly Eric Clapton. I don't really have much to add about them, except to say one of the biggest thrills of my life was seeing the legendary David Crosby for the first time, right after he got out of jail. He was a surprise guest at a concert at the Southern Star Amphitheatre at Astroworld in Houston and his voice just blew me away to hear him live!

The aforementioned Eric Clapton has to go down as the artist I have seen most. I've lost count of the number of times I have seen him here in Houston, and every performance has been great. I'm not so much into the very bluesy stuff he does now, but he seemed to always put on a good show, with many of the old classics included.

The most recent show I have been to was someone I had never seen before -- Elton John. I had always liked his music, but never really considered myself a huge "fan". But his show at the Woodlands Pavilion earlier in 2015 was absolutely phenomenal! The music was great, his voice was pitch perfect and, perhaps best of all, the organizers allowed concert-goers to take in certain types of cameras. If I had a DSLR with a huge long lens I would not have been allowed to take it in, but my Nikon Coolpix was permitted, so I was able to get some photos.

Even though we were way up on the lawn, I was really happy with my photos.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

This first photo, taken before the show started, gives an idea of how far we were from the stage.

Elton John Show - Rocket Man under the Moon

I think this might be my favorite photo from the evening, even though you can't actually see the band. It just seemed so right that the moon should be right overhead as they were performing Rocket Man.

So by now you're probably wondering if I managed to get any photos of Elton and the band... Why, yes I did... here are a couple of them :-)

Elton John band on stage at The Woodlands

.. zoomed in a little bit...

Elton John on stage at the Woodlands Pavilion

... zoomed in a bit more...

Elton John on stage at Woodlands Pavilion

... zoomed in as far as I could...

Not bad, eh?

NOTE: All the Elton John photographs are © 2015 by Jayne Wilson and may not be used, copied or distributed without prior written permission.


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