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"Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" and my flying feet! 

image courtesy of Wikipedia

        Released on November 18th, 1990 C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” hit the airwaves and began a huge sensation. My legs were moving and grooving to that tune in a funky fresh 1990 way! My legs were going from left to right at a frenzied pace. I would dance out to this hit at home from my small Casio cassette tape deck as the song blared out of a little tinny speaker from a blank cassette tape which had a few popular songs which I had…

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Iron Maiden's "X-Factor" Reflections - 1995 Autobiography Excerpt 

       Iron Maiden was one of the very first bands I can say I was a fan of with the very first cassette tape purchase of my own being Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind. By 1995 I had become very familiar with all of Iron Maiden’s albums up until that point and had grown very accustomed to Bruce Dickinson as the lead singer. The news of his departure from the band in 1993 was of course a bit shocking and disappointing. Naturally I, along with Iron Maiden fans the world over, were very curious as to whether or not…

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2003 Excerpt - Autobiography - My Life in Context (1980-2020) 

2003 would be the year that I graduated Brooklyn College. My intended 4-year plan had inadvertently turned into a 5-year plan more or less due to my lack of carefully planning ahead and my absorption in classes that interested me over required classes. It would be my very last of 10 total semesters (not counting a few summer and winter semesters along the way) as an undergraduate that I would spend at Brooklyn College in the spring semester of 2003. And I while I did have a case of extended senioritis of…

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2000 Excerpt - Autobiography - My Life in Context [1980-2020] 

            The year 2000 was quite an interesting time for me. First of all, I welcomed the year by attending Billy Joel’s The Millenium Concert[1] at Madison Square Garden just hours before midnight with some friends on the evening of December 31, 1999. It was truly a spectacle!  

            In college I was really diving deep into my musical studies especially composing. As musical composition was my major it felt great that developing my composition skills was in line with my educational goals…

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1985 Excerpt - Autobiography - My Life in Context [1980-2020] 

1985

Historical and Cultural backdrop:  

Movies: Back to the Future, The Goonies, The Care Bears Movie, Cocoon, Day of the Dead, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, Fright Night, Ghoulies, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, Return to Oz, Rocky IV, Silver Bullet, Teen Wolf, Transylvania 6-5000, Weird Science 

Television: Thundercats, Mr. Belvedere, Ewoks, The Golden Girls, It’s Punky Brewster…

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1981 Excerpt - Autobiography - My Life in Context [1980-2020] 

1981

From all accounts that I’ve received from family and friends and through going through old photos, I was apparently a fairly happy-go-lucky baby. I always felt special and well-loved as a child. Perhaps I received some extra attention since I was the first grandchild on both my mother and father’s side of the family which may have endeared me to some for that reason. I don’t know.  

In the cold winter month of January 1981, I began to live my life as this human being who would be called John Henry…

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1998 Excerpt 2 - Autobiography - My Life in Context [1980-2020] 

By June I was gleefully handing out homemade Beauty & Chaos cassette tape demos to people at school and in any social environments. The three songs on the demo consisted of “Beauty and Chaos”, “Life” and “Grim Reality”. It was a somewhat diversified collection of songs featuring heavy riffs, melodic guitar lines, vocal harmonies, hardcore influences, fast tempos and guttural growls. We continued to play in clubs. We played at least one show without a bass player and then we asked Jeremy to come back and…

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1998 Excerpt 1 - Autobiography - My Life in Context (1980-2020) 

I was flourishing in Madison high school as a central guitarist in the school music program. My romantic relationship with Ella was in full bloom and apparently healthy. While I did have a slight case of senioritis, I basically did my best until the end of the school year without pushing myself too hard or overly stressing out. My melodic metal band Beauty and Chaos was underway recording its first official demo. This would also be the first official release of my “musical career” as well. I couldn’t wait…

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1994 Excerpt 2 - Autobiography - My Life in Context [1980-2020]  

By the beginning of 1994 I had begun jamming with my neighbor Jack Longman. I’d play guitar and he would play drums. We called ourselves Impact. These jam sessions were fun and while he was newer to playing music than I was, we were managing to work together and create some pretty cool sounds. “Jam sessions” as we called them, would often take place on Saturdays although weekday jam sessions were also known to happen on occasion. At that age, Friday the 13th was a big deal since we loved the horror movie…

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1994 Excerpt 1 - Autobiography - My Life in Context [1980-2020] 

In June of 1994 I graduated 8th grade from St. Thomas Aquinas school. I know it was bittersweet for some to part with old friends and a familiar place. I don’t recall feeling much emotion about ending my time there however. I was anxious though about going from a familiar and relatively small private school to a huge and utterly unknown public high school. As I had heard many stories through word of mouth over the years about the reputation of public school, my main worry was that I would be picked on and…

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