Thursday, 5 November 2015

Introduction: About Me and This Blog

Disillusioned by what one admin called ‘forum intrigue'(1) and the lack of a music forum with a satisfactory members’ journal system, I have finally set up this blog as an alternative, in which my intention is to continue writing what would have been my forum posts or journal entries.

Beginning with probably the two biggest progressive rock forums and driven out of both by a post which lamented that, with the mention of Foghat, the particular site had become more like a classic rock board, it took me a while to find a forum where I could settle. This was on one of the larger classic rock sites. Almost immediately, it was clear that an interest in classic rock did not preclude an affection for progressive rock, so I began conversing and posting in earnest, a process which lasted for several years and thousands of posts. Before long, I got to know the regular posters as well as is possible via a computer keyboard: the regular characters whose constancy gave the feel of a family, those that supported my more ambitious threads and others in whose own sites I became involved. While some contributors came and went, one appeared with whom I clashed, resulting in my first departure.

After leaving the classic rock organisation, I settled on a general site, which had an abrasive forum, but where I was drawn into a progressive rock album club and subsequently the members’ journals. Previously, my experience of journals was limited to a few YouTube clips and embedded Grooveshark samples of favourite tracks. On the new site, with encouragement and examples, a proper journal was established with fully considered album reviews and band biographies, painstakingly constructed. Best of all, the entries could be edited after an unlimited time, which was ideal for a perfectionist like myself. Eventually, however, the album club disintegrated, as is the way of these things, and the journal was never quite enough on its own. In the meantime, the forum was as fractious and lacking in conversation as ever, so the news that the troll had left the old haunt was enough to secure my return.

They say you cannot reheat a souffle and it is true. A year after rejoining, a classic rock moderator deleted one of my posts, without discussing it first, and I departed for the second time. With the exception of a few PMs and contributions to birthday threads, this was the final farewell.

With hindsight, a meaningful journal on the classic rock site would have kept me out of trouble, but the realisation came too late. At the point of leaving, I considered concentrating on my first blog, which I had run on-and-off for several years, but my initial enthusiasm had gone. After a break, I searched for a fresh journals sub-forum without success, so I began requesting them and/or starting my own journal-like threads – with an equal lack of success. Out of utter frustration, and after reading former NME journalist Stuart Maconie’s biography, came first the writing of a private diary, as an outlet for my musical observations. This, in turn, led next to the consideration of, and experimentation in, several new blog sites, including this one. After a while, both diary and blog were constructed in parallel, until they could be merged.

Cider with Roadies by Stuart Maconie was inspirational because the author could plot the course of his life by the music he heard at various important stages, rather like myself. It was essentially biographical, but also took the form of diary, anecdotes, background information and journalistic articles. Another inspiration came in the guise of a member of the general site, who worked tirelessly on his continuous stream of journal entries, while attracting a huge cult readership.

One of my problems as a forum member has always been perfectionism, which resulted in articles of which I could feel satisfaction, but which also inhibited the rate of my output. For a while, at various locations, I experimented with deliberately short articles, although I never felt happy with them. This blog represents turning over a new leaf, as I feel I must set myself the target of one article written per day, even if it is not posted immediately . . . or if it is far from perfect.

(1) With thanks to CRF

Written 06.09.15/ Posted 10.09.15

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