~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Monday, July 06, 2009


Long-time readers will remember that I grew up in a relatively small town in upstate New York where we didn’t get MTV for the first few years of the channel’s existence. I even remember asking Sarah (in one of our exchange 40-page-leters-every-two-weeks) what the hell this MTV she was babbling about was?!

In very great hindsight, I find myself wondering whether this ended up being blessing or a curse. If we’d had MTV, would I have tuned in to MuchMusic on one of the Canadian stations we were able to receive? Because if I hadn’t, I never would have seen the glory that was the “A Criminal Mind” video (complete with shots of Gowan, as he was then known, in a cage—my 17-year-old hormones didn’t have a clue what to do with that, but now we understand, oh, do we understand!). And goodness knows that was instrumental in leading me down the road that leads right smack dab to here. (When Styx announced Lawrence as their new keyboardist, I believe my response was “My Lawrence Gowan?!”)

But I digress. I’m not really here to talk about Styx (at least, not tonight). I’m here to talk about seeing Yes, with Special Guest, Asia, at the Anaheim House of Blues Sunday night.

I admit it, what I really wanted to see was Asia. I was listening to them while I was writing, I believe it was Thursday night, and some part of my brain blipped to the forefront and said, “Didn’t we hear something about them touring?” Honestly, I hadn’t followed the band’s career, didn’t know much more than the first couple of albums. But I had the power of the Internet at my fingertips, and lo! they were opening for Yes, and as the House of Blues is GA, that was the show to hit this week in the area.

I don’t have time to review the whole show here; I just want to say this: The highlight of the night—the highlight of a good chunk of my life—was when John Wetton said that these were the first hands ever seen on MTV, and Geoff Downes started playing a song from another band he’d been in.

The Buggles.

That’s right, Asia played “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

I didn’t get to see it launch MTV, but I got to see and hear it live.

(FWIW, because I’m also a band geek, my runner-up highlight was “Fanfare for a Common Man.” I am a total sucker for rock bands who do a stellar job of reinterpreting/reimaging classical music.)