Reno’s Rant: Musical Influences Vol. 6 That Rocks, Brother (In My Best Hulk Hogan Voice)

So we’ve come to the end of the year and the end of my blog series on the musical influencers of my life. The last is another special one for me. It’s about my little brother Adam!

There is about a 7-year age difference between my brother and me, so growing up he was always the little kid brother that wanted to tag along. Most of the time he did. Living on a stretch of road where we were the only kids around, you had to learn to play with your siblings or entertain yourself. I was pretty good at keeping to myself but when Adam came along, a little brother is like a built-in best friend. When he was old enough, I taught him a love of Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers and He-Man action figures. I also taught him to keep all the weapons that they come with, in a little box so they don’t get lost!

I remember spending Saturday afternoons in the woods behind our house, with Adam and my best friend Tyson, playing commandos or in our bedroom and the backyard with action figures making up elaborate stories. Sometimes the three of us would just sit on the bedroom floor repeatedly asking each other, “what do YOU want to do?”

But through all of these blog posts about the people who influenced the music I love, Adam was always there in the background. If he wasn’t there sitting with me listening for that one song to tape off the radio or checking out my new Cinderella tape, he was experiencing the residual effects of those who influenced me by listening to the things I was listening to.

But he wasn’t only playing with the action figures I played with or listening to the music I listened to, when I got older, he was finding his own versions of those things to call his own. He was of the age where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the big thing and he had a TMNT collection to rival my Star Wars collection. He still loved the bands I loved, like Lillian Axe, but he was finding his own favorite bands like Trixter, Firehouse, and Ugly Kid Joe.

After our parents split up and he went to live with our mom, I bounced around doing my best Kato Kaelin impersonation and we didn’t get to hang out as much, especially when I moved back to Pennsylvania. Through his high school years, Adam really got into the alt-rock of the late 90’s early 2000’s…bands like Blink 182, Disciple, Incubus, Third Eye Blind, New Found Glory, SR-71, Matchbox Twenty, etc…While, at the time, I wasn’t really into a lot of those bands, I was a fan of Matchbox Twenty and Adam introducing me to SR-71 became one of the first bands he turned me on to that I listen to, to this day!

It was in Adam’s college years that he moved to Pennsylvania and moved in with me. It was at this time that I really discovered Adam had a love of discovering new music, much like I did in my teens and 20’s. With the advent of Napster and downloading sites like that, while I was downloading things I knew, Adam was looking for something different.

Adam got married to my sister-in-law Amy and in visiting them, I soon realized that they were listening to some really good music. I loved sitting at their dining room table, playing games and listening to bands like Marvelous 3/Butch Walker and Blue October. 2/3 artists that I love and still listen to all of the time!

When they moved back to North Carolina it was heartbreaking for me. I lamented all of the time that I took for granted and could have spent with Adam, Amy, my nephew Zeke and niece Aubree. Sometimes things that seem so important at the time, really aren’t important at all in the grand scheme of things, especially when those unimportant things cause you to sacrifice time with the important things, that really matter, like family.

But life goes on and Adam has made a great life for his family in North Carolina and I couldn’t be more proud of him. It also gives me a great excuse to visit and try excellent new restaurants to write about on my food blog at foodpocalypsenow.com. I also get to listen to all of the cool new music that they have discovered! Charlotte has a great music scene and between shows, satellite radio and Spotify, they are always checking out new artists and tunes. In recent years Adam has turned me on to bands that I otherwise may have never listened to like, The Royal Concept, The Dangerous Summer, Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, just to name a few.

There is so much more about my brother Adam that I, like my best friend Tyson, wish I had the time or the words to write it all out. But if Adam taught me anything about music, it’s that I should never be content to only listen to just what I love and know. He taught me and teaches me to listen outside my comfort zone because there is a lot of great music out there if you only dare to give it a listen.

So there you have it! Not necessarily ALL of the musical influences in my life but certainly the most profound! The ones who affected my life the most. Thanks to all the people who influenced the music I love to this day and thank you for taking the time to read my musings over the past year. I know I haven’t been on-air as much as I wanted to in 2019. Medical issues, time slot changes, time management with my other responsibilities have all played a part but I’m not going anywhere. As much as the suits would like me to go gently into that good night, I’ll be back with a vengeance in 2020.

So thanks for sticking with me! Have a safe and Happy New Year!!!

Until Next Time…Cheers!

Reno