The album that changed me. I was borrowing Steppenwolf 7 again from the free library as a young teen and I saw it. He looked really cool so tried it out. I'd been listening to my parent's stuff--Glen Campbell, Herb Albert--and had my little-kid stuff like Partridge Family and Monkees, so I wasn't off to a bad start. I borrowed Hermin's Hermits and hated it. Stanley Clarke looked so confident and cool on that cover. He did the horn arrangements, I read. I remember hearing tubular bells and horns as my life-changing journey began. Second later I'm thinking, "Who is this guy? Who's this drummer? Who's this keyboardist? Bass solos? With effects? How many fingers on his right hand are going? Stanley Clarke introduced me to fusion at a young age, as well as introducing me to Tony Williams and Jan Hammer. I owe Stanley Clarke big time. I had a firm grasp when School Days came out. At least I thought I did. His solo blew me through the wall into my brother's room. Stanley Clarke is the bar.
Thanks so much for your story, Matt! I'll keep on doin' it!