The great awakening for me was at the age of twelve in 1970. Growing up on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, I had the privilege of being in the broadcast range of WBCN, which at the time was one of the groundbreaking 'free-form' or 'underground' radio stations in the country. (This was before the mass-homogenization of commercial rock radio in the mid- to late-70s). In a single hour-long set one could hear a range of artists from Robert Johnson to Lothar and the Hand People to Ornette Coleman to Dmitri Shostakovich, and I was an avid listener. One dark and rainy Sunday my Dad took me along for a drive up to Nashua, New Hampshire, where he was competing in a bodybuilding contest. Along the way I took ill, and ended up spending the afternoon in a fevered delirium in my Dad's Ford Falcon outside in the parking lot, listening to WBCN on the car radio. At some point during the broadcast this deranged, dischordant music came on that shook me out of my senses: a collision of orchestral fanfares, TV-theme jazz, demented Dixieland, sound effects, voices speaking nonsense slowed down or sped up on tape to bestial effect. The DJ identified the record as Lumpy Gravy by Frank Zappa. I special-ordered the record at a local department store and it finally arrived about six months later. In the meantime I bought Weasels Ripped My Flesh, the latest record by the Mothers of Invention, at the Turning Point (a local head shop / record store), and started collecting everything I could by Zappa. I read interviews with him in which he spoke of Cage, Varese, Eric Dolphy and Cecil Taylor, which led me to the frontiers of free jazz and the classical avant-garde. Captain Beefheart and the Velvet Underground further expanded my awareness...