I was born on August 28th 1979. As a kid growing up on Long Island, I was hungry for something meaningful to latch onto so I could have an identity or just to be a part of something.
It was difficult since I was a child of the eighties listening to “Huey Lewis and the News” and an assortment of atrocious hair metal bands. I needed an escape, since I felt isolated in my small Suffolk County. So I looked elsewhere for musical direction and that fortunately was as close as twenty feet down the hall.
My brother would help me to delve into a whole new world that would fill the void in my early existence. This world included speed metal legends such as “Metallica” and understudy “Megadeth” who tried to match “Metallica’s” thunderous no holds barred attitude as a result of a vendetta that Dave Mustaine had after being banished from “Metallica.” Let’s not also forget bands like “Anthrax” and “Slayer” who are still alive and kicking due to determination and love for what they do. These bands were like a gateway drug—they were a big enough influence that they made me a hard rock fan for life.
Hearing my brother’s speakers raised to ridiculous decibels and hearing walls shake due to the bass I could feel the electricity and power that gave me a sense that there was something larger than me in the music. I would feel chills crawl up and down my spine and it made me feel as if I was in a place that I have never been before and damn, it felt good!
Although I was a metal fan at the early ages of my life, I still wanted music that would speak to me since most of the thrash metal was a little over my head and was much too hardcore for my sheltered and shy persona.
They didn’t really convey sentiments that were present inside of me or most of the population since there wasn’t much of a universal message. The music was just basically about being anti-society and having a badass image so they can sell more records while maintaining credibility with the fan base.
That would all change as a music revolution was about to take shape opening up the flood gates of raw emotion running wild in the doldrums
of my soul.
Of course you all know I’m referring to the explosion of boy bands, ok bad joke, I am referring to the early 90’s Seattle grunge scene.
Even though there was an abundance of unfair press about that short-lived period that included how Sub Pop exploited these bands and how trendy it became to wear flannel, this music scene would change how I viewed life.
Not only did the music make you think but the individual talent of every member of each band would shine through giving you a sense of awe. “Soundgarden,” “Nirvana,” Pearl Jam,” “Alice In Chains” and “Screaming Trees” have and will always be relevant in my heart and integral in my overall makeup as a music lover.
These pioneers went beyond just a simple connection of an individual fan and spoke to a whole generation until their much too sudden demise. This would propel me on my way to become open minded to other forms of experimental music.
Bands like “Tool,” “Radiohead,” “Blur” and “Nine Inch Nails” were the final piece to my identity puzzle.
It is always difficult to connect with someone or some entity when your experiencing adolescence so it is important to find a voice or an outlet to sort out the mixed messages fed to youth everyday.
To this day, I still listen to early 90’s music and appreciate the guidance it provided me during a confusing time in my life.
Enough about my musical tastes since this my bio. After being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 3, I used humor to deflect attention away from my short-comings and draw attention to my sense of humor instead of my disability.
This carried over into my schooling. I was and always have been the class clown which really didn’t help my grades much, but made school much more interesting.
It didn’t always work as I would have hoped since I would still receive the occasional dirty look and sympathy from classmates.
Since I was diagnosed at such an early age and had a brother with Muscular Dystrophy, in a perverse way it didn’t bother me and have always accepted that it was a part of who I am.
When I started to attend Henry Viscardi High School, I felt less out of place since it was a school for the physically-challenged and I felt comfortable enough in my own skin too that I would evolve into the person I am now.
When I was about fourteen years old my parents would go through a divorce and would force me to leave Sayville and move to Massapequa. I respected what my mother was going through so my brother and I would support her decision to separate from my father and move on to a new challenge in our lives.
At that time in my life I began to dabble in poetry so I would have a platform other than music to express my frustrations.
I would publish them in the school newspaper along with music reviews and whatever else they wanted me to submit. This was the stepping stone that helped me to realize what is important in my life and what I wanted to do for whatever time I have left on this planet.
Writing will always be my passion and I will work as hard as possible to pursue that dream. Since that time I have, just like everyone else, had my unfair share of tragedies.
My brother, Brian, would pass away at the too young age of 27, and my grandmother would too, at the age of 80. Despite these setbacks, it is still so important to be able to accept what comes my way and live life to the fullest.
With that being said, always keep your loved ones in mind, no matter what kind of rollercoaster ride you end up on.
If you would like to send a comment about this article you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Online Forum.