Pepper’s Ghost: My First Music Family

We just got back to sunny California from our weekend on the East Coast!  The trip was built around the reunion of my first favorite band, Philadelphia’s Pepper’s Ghost. It was quite the excursion! It’s nice to be back in a place where my face doesn’t go numb every time I go outside, but whenever I go back east, I remember how much I miss living there and all the people still there that I love (many of whom I was able to see on Saturday…it was quite the reunion!). Pepper’s Ghost was actually the band that brought a lot of these people into my life. It was the band around which I formed my first little music family.

Any music lover knows what I mean by a music family, right? Those people that you get to know/grow to love by going to the shows. They generally form around a particular band…but sometimes around a group of bands or a type of music. Sometimes they consist of people that you already knew but to whom you grow closer due to your shared love of the music (it’s a lot easier to find time to hang out when you all want to be doing the same thing). Sometimes these families consist of people you only see at shows…you may not even know where they live or what they do for a living, but you know if you go to see a certain band, they will be there and together, you will rock out.

There is something about a shared understanding of the love of live music, or of a particular band, that really brings people closer together. It’s a powerful  bond that pays no attention to geography, age, social status, ethnicity, etc.  Not everyone understands why you want to go out and see the same band week after week, so when you find those people who do, you have a great foundation for a strong friendship. Then, at some point, you realize that seeing these friends is just as important as seeing the music! A show feels incomplete without them. You start traveling with them for shows, organizing pre or post-show dinners, staying at their homes when you go to an out of town show…you become more than friends, you become a family!

And that, my dear readers of this blog entry, is one of the reasons I love live music so much….and one of the reasons that Pepper’s Ghost is important enough to me that I would travel across the country to see them play. Saturday night, my little heart was just a burstin’ with love; love for the music, love for the band, love for all the people I know who were there (and even some who weren’t). It was a family reunion over three years in the making!

I realized it would be awhile before I get to the footage we took from the  shows Saturday night, but I wanted to post something. Someone at The Grape Room recorded one of my favorite Pepper’s Ghost songs, “Friday Night in Philadelphia”. This song is particularly relevant for this post because it served as an anthem of sorts for my little Pepper’s Ghost family. When I was in college, my roommate and I would blast this song Friday nights as we were paper writing and studying.  Anytime it would play, a sing-along would most certainly ensue.  Years later, the song still symbolized those college days (some of the best of my life), never failing to bring back a flood of memories and a giddy smile.  Somewhat recently, my former roommate called me and left a message on my phone…the message consisted only of her singing the chorus of this song…I knew exactly what she was saying.

~ Kristen

more footage and pictures from the show and from the trip to come…