Portrait of an addiction

The multiple forms my addiction to music takes. Every object in this image has meaning to me, or is a memento.

  • The Cherry Sunburst Les Paul is the guitar I dreamed of playing when I started learning to play. Ace Frehley of KISS famously played one.
  • The Beatles Box Set in Mono: represents my love of The Beatles, as well as a certain elitism on my part (I’m one of those assholes who claim The Beatles in mono is tremendously better than in stereo)
  • KISS Alive!: The first album I ever got (although that was on LP. Oh I regret to have gotten rid of it!) as detailed in a previous post: You Never Forget Your First… Record
  • The 78 RPM is an Elvis record I got from my dad as a child as detailed in a previous post: You Never Forget Your First… Record
  • The microphone represents live music, and studio recording.
  • The drum sticks represent my love for drums (I’m a wannabe drummer). They were caught at concerts (Heart and The Australian Pink Floyd Show)
  • Green pick: From Scott Ian of Anthrax. White pick: From one of the guitarists of Death Angel. The Beatles picks are a birthday gift from my friends Martin & Stephanie, and again represent my love of the Beatles.
  • The MBOX Micro: (the blue USB-stick look-a-like) represent Pro Tools as a recording tool
  • The iPod (one of the many I own) is my lifeblood.
  • The concert tickets represent my love of live music. At the bottom is a ticket from Iron Maiden’s World Slavery Tour in 1984. It was my second concert, and is the oldest stub I have (I lost the one from my first show). Iron Maiden is also the band I’ve seen the most often in concert (17 times). Other tickets are Paul McCartney (best show I ever saw), Stevie Ray Vaughan (top 10), Porcupine Tree (top 10), Alice Cooper (1988. My son Vincent is named after him, or rather his birth name of Vincent Furnier) and Rush’s 30th Anniversary tour.
  • VIP passes from when I met Dream Theater and Iced Earth.
  • Orchestral score to Harry Potter, representing my musical education, my love of movie music and John Williams.
  • The soundtrack to Star Wars, which started my love of film music.
  • Pictures of myself playing with one of my former bands.
  • The necklace: I caught it at an Alice Cooper concert in Ottawa,while my wife was pregnant with our son.

Music for me is really an addiction. I keep listening, I keep buying, always in the hope of reliving that first “rush”, that feeling of getting your mind blown away by a piece of music that connects with every fiber of your being. The way I felt when I heard KISS, or Iron Maiden or Metallica for the first time. The way I felt when the music blasted during the opening credits of Star Wars in that dark theater, just a 6 year old boy with his dad.

Or the way I felt at my first concert, when I realized that these rock gods weren’t images anymore, but playing in front of me, in the flesh.

Like a junkie I keep looking for that first hit. And when I find it again, I try to cherish it. This blog is my way to share this quest, and my attempt at keeping these memories alive.

Jean-Frederic Vachon
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