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Drew Fisher

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COLLABORATOR: Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

Member since: 1/25/2008 • Forum posts: 4686 • Last visit: 2/19/2024 5:50:59 AM EST
Location: Wisconsin

Progressive Biography

I've written several autobios for this spot on PA's profile page but have mysteriously and frustratingly lost every single one of them when trying to save it.. This time I'm writing it in a place that I can save the document.

When I stumbled upon PA in 2007, I had been 15 years without alternative music, living with the misconception that prog was dead and gone. This lapse in time was due to my commitment to family and parenting. (I also missed 15 years of sports!) When I was introduced to the Internet--forced to use it as part of a board of directors I had volunteered for--my girls were becoming independent, freeing me up to "resume" my life as an individual and, with it, my preferences in music and entertainment. Also, about the same time, my brothers had been tossing albums my way from bands like Stereolab, The Flaming Lips, and a weird and wonderful new band, Porcupine Tree. With my entry into the world of the Internet, I decided to spelunk around the world wide web to see what I could find in the way of "new prog". This caused me to happen upon awesome songs by The Reasoning, On the Virg, The Tangent, Pure Reason Revolution, The Mars Volta, and Magma (among others). Searching for more info on this amazing new music from Magma, I came upon PA. Lo! and behold! I was suddenly made aware that not only was prog alive and well but that there had existed--and continued to exist--a whole international scene (as well as multiple sub-genres) of artists and music that I had never known about from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s!

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, USA, during the 1960s and 70s, I was attuned to the Soul/R&B dominated pop scene of radio stations there--until the appearance of album-oriented FM stations like WABX and WRIF. My brother came home from his first semester of boarding school with a buttload of new music--and with one record in particular that changed my life: URIAH HEEP's Demons and Wizards. This album was the first album with which I became aware of a sonic consistency while expressing a kind of concept. (Sgt. Pepper's and Magical Mystery Tour still felt like a collection of songs to me, despite their continual bleeding of one song into the next.) He also had albums by NEKTAR, ROBIN TROWER, and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT that all seemed to contain a spacey, etheric sonic experience--something that, apparently, I had been craving. Soon came Days of Future Passed, Inna-gadda-da-vida, Jeff Beck, Yes Fragile, Houses of the Holy, What Were Once Vices, Are Now Habits, The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get, and One of These Nights to go with my Stevie Wonder Talking Book and Innervisions, Marvin Gaye What's Going On, and Temptations' Papa Was a Rollin' Stone. When I told a friend in high school that I really liked Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Blue Collar" and Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets", he invited me over to hear Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. (It was okay--though I immediately loved the tune, "Any Colour You Like.") My weekly visits to the record stores saw me switching from my rather excessive 45 collection to albums. (My allowance must have increased.) I joined the Columbia Record club and was introduced to Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, and Devadip Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu John McLaughlin's Love, Devotion, Surrender.

And then we moved to a new town in which the best record store had two owners who were album- and rock-oriented, not pop/radio. Enter Supertramp, Genesis, more Yes, more Floyd, more Nektar, and Focus. College brought me to Boogie Records and something new: the "cut-out" section. There I learned to take risks on albums according to artwork, titles, contributing artists, length of songs, even record labels. This is where I learned to give a chance to the solo careers of Jan Akkerman, Anthony Phillips, Steve Hackett, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, as well as bands like Brand X, Alan Parsons Project, Gentle Giant, and so, so many more.

By now my brother (himself a drummer and thus drummer-centric with his musical tastes) was venturing more into the realms of Jazz-rock fusion, introducing me to Return to Forever, Al Di Meola, and the gang.

As you can see, however, my musical exposure was still quite limited. Even graduate school and Ann Arbor's Schoolkids Records (and a new exploration of Classical music and, later, jazz) didn't help me discover the contributions of great bands and music from the rest of the world--from non-Anglo record labels. Now an avid student of all that ProgArchives' much-esteemed experts and other music lovers write about, I've grown to love my exploration of everything Prog Folk, Zeuhl, Canterbury, RPI, Crossover, Post Rock/Math Rock, RIO/avant, as well as Eclectic, J-R Fusion, Heavy Prog, Prog Electronic, Neo Prog, and Experimental/Post Metal. (Still not as keen on the metal categories or Psych/Stoner rock or the weirdly mislabeled Krautrock and Indo-Prog/Raga Rock sub-genres.)

After it was discovered that I had started a prog blog (entitled "Prog Is Alive and Well in the 21st Century"), my local community radio station encouraged me to consider hosting a radio music show--which I did from 2016 till mid-2019 (the show's 200 episodes are still re-broadcasted weekly in my old Sunday night slot) a show that has only recently been resuscitated in 2021 as a syndicated program.

In 2016 or -17, I joined the Canterbury/Jazz-Rock Fusion team before realizing how in over my head I was (both computer/web skills and musical knowledge were vastly inferior to my esteemed colleagues.) Still, I am honored to be included in the site's list of collaborators--something that I feel I may be entitled to if not for my brief service to the betterment of the site, then for the number of years of participation and number of reviews I've posted.

Since 2016, I have published nine Visionary/Metaphysical dystopian novels on Amazon Kindle. (I love conceiving of ways to destroy our current version of humankind and our modern systems and ways of life.)

I love correspondence and usually get back to you in 24 hours. Curious by nature, I love learning new things as well as sharing my opinions.

Reviews distribution by sub-genre

 Sub-genreNb of reviewsAvg rating
1 Crossover Prog4243.66
2 Symphonic Prog3373.65
3 Neo-Prog2673.49
4 Eclectic Prog2673.76
5 Jazz Rock/Fusion2154.08
6 Psychedelic/Space Rock1793.71
7 Prog Folk1754.05
8 RIO/Avant-Prog1323.91
9 Rock Progressivo Italiano1233.95
10 Post Rock/Math rock1133.90
11 Progressive Electronic1123.94
12 Heavy Prog1033.69
13 Progressive Metal953.69
14 Canterbury Scene883.75
15 Experimental/Post Metal783.81
16 Zeuhl534.06
17 Tech/Extreme Prog Metal473.77
18 Prog Related443.91
19 Krautrock323.94
20 Proto-Prog164.13
21 Various Genres93.89
22 Indo-Prog/Raga Rock64.17

Reviews and Ratings

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