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My Music Influences
Several artists have influenced me in my lifetime. My music loves, my instrument preferences and so on have all been influenced in one way or the other by many other artists. I loved Peter, Paul and Mary when I was between 8 and 12 years old. I loved the style of American Folk music they did. I loved the freedom and the down-to-earth image that they presented as well as the music itself. It was the music I first learned to play--all very easy three-chord songs. Below is one that was a favorite of young and old alike. This video is one of them performing much later on--after their "heyday", but still with that unmistakeable Peter, Paul, and Mary sound.

Then later I, like many, liked the Beatles, but I would not say I was a Beatle-maniac. I liked others as well such as Peter & Gordon, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and the Dave Clark 5. Later I also loved Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Buckinghams, and many many others.
But in my early days of rock, there are only a few that I used to listen to, who I still am heavily influenced by today. One of those was The Byrds--specifically Roger McGuinn. Roger's style of play on the 12-string Rickenbacker guitar that he owned was one of the greatest influences in my musical pursuits. Roger has performed solo recently on assorted benefits (PBS Fund Drives) and other small venues, and his playing style today (he is in his 60's) is every bit as captivating to me as it was in the 1960's. Here is an example of Roger's talent as he continues playing to this day.

Another band that I enjoyed in the 70's and 80's was Kansas. I particularly was drawn to the musical talent of the band's brains--Kerry Livgren. Kerry wrote or co-wrote most of Kansas's greatest songs, including Dust In the Wind--a personal favorite. Here is a video from YouTube showing the later Kansas performing the song. When the group split later Kerry followed his Christian heart and started a band called AD. The group released only a few albums--but there was the unmistakeable sound that made Kansas the success that it was. Kerry later started a new band called Proto-Kaw. Because music is a business, and businesses are always founded to make money and protect their interests, licensing agreements signed by a very young Kansas group disallowed any of them from playing Kansas songs or using the Kansas name unless associated specifically with the endorsed Kansas band. So Kerry ingeniously named his band Proto-Kaw. Proto is the word for original (like "Prototype"--also meaning "the first of its kind"). The second part of the band's name "kaw" is a native American word meaning "Kansas". So Kerry's band is "The Original Kansas" or "The First Kansas". Most of the members in Proto-Kaw are from the original Kansas band. The Kansas who occasionally shows up at state fairs and such venues is not the original band--although they are the ones under contract by the owner of the copyright and music of the original Kansas band. Check out "Proto-Kaw". I think you'll be glad you did.
Mean time, here is the song Kerry wrote, performed by the orignal band: