Where did the music come from?

To me, being introduced to the rave culture was like discovering an incredibly delicious ice cream flavor. Sometimes, you experience a new flavor, a sensation and you know you're hooked! I never knew what a rave was until I came to Phoenix. But, I know I've been a raver all my life.

I grew up with Persian music that goes back two centuries. I was raised by my grand parents till I was 8 while my parents went to school in the US. My grandfather used to play his treasured records on his ancient phonograph when he got tired of playing his Tar (an old Persian musical instrument). I used to sit in his room and listen to the old muffled music that carried a soulful, bitter-sweet melody. Great singers, men and women, would croon and whale about lost loves and new found hope. That early spiritual encounter with great music sat the tone for the taste I developed later in life towards all forms of art.

When my parents returned home, we all moved to Shiraz. I was introduced to western music and culture through their collection of records of the '50s and '60s. A lot of Connie Francis and Tom Jones as well as Simon and Garfunkle and some western movie theme songs with a few odd rarities like the King and I and Englebirt Humperdink (that name always kills me).

As I entered Junior High the modern Greek music was the fad. Early '70s sounds of Demis Rosses and Niel Diamond. Then, there were the Beatles and Elvis. They didn't become as popular in Iran as they did elsewhere. Iranians were still too subtle about their music and too isolated from the rest of the world. But, my friends an I still listened to the King and the Fab Four and appreciated them a lot.

When I first came to US, it was the eara of Saturday Night Fever craze and I got into the disco scene with the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson and the rest of the mutant gliteroids. The closest thing I came to soul was Billy Joel. When I moved to Iowa, it was a mixture of Hard and Psychedelic rock from AC/DC to Hendrix which later evolved into bands like Yes and The Who.

A few years later came the blues faze with Stevie Ray Vaughn, BB King, Robin Trower and a host of obscure blues players from Chicago and San Francisco and New Orleans. Then came the alternatives and punks and punk alternatives and industrials and later, modern folks. I even got heavily into Mellisa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls. Yes, I was standing next to bra burning, army boot footed women as we all screamed for Miss Etheridge to do another song.

One of the groups that was most influential in my spiritual growth and musical interest was Pink Floyd. Their sound was fresh and unbearably potent. I was introduced to them by a young, up and comming modern couple of the late '70s who used to throw great parties. It was at one of these parties that I heard the album "Wishing You Were Here." I didn't even know what the album was about then. Couldn't even understand the meaning of the words. But, I understood the music very well and it stayed with me. Pink Floyd has been in and out of my life ever since. I finally got to see them in Ames, Iowa in 1994. Gilmore had long silver hair and I realized how much I wish I could have seen them play years earlier. How I wish I were there.

With cousin

Bush Gardens

Fort Lauderdale

Disney World

Beer Face

Livingston House

1983 Year Book Photo

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