I played the drums growing up, which led me to listen to very technical music with syncopated rhythms and lots of heavy hitting. My favorite of these groups was Dream Theater, who I would argue has the best rock drummer (and possibly guitarist and keyboardist) in the world. Listening to a Dream Theater album is an experience; it's like reading a good novel, taking the audience through a colorful and richly detailed world. You can't listen to single tracks on a Dream Theater album by themselves -- that would be like reading a single chapter out of a book. The music is masterful and demands appreciation.
I shared my interest with a few of my friends, but due to the heaviness of the music and general pop-unfriendliness few became fans.
And then I went on a mission, and Dream Theater dropped from my thoughts for more than two years.
Upon returning, I find out that one of my friends to whom I introduced Dream Theater has become a superfan. Not a fan, but a fanatic. I spent some time with him and another friend last night. We played Risk, and whenever we weren't talking about our ill-fated strategies, we were discussing Dream Theater. Actually, that's not accurate. He was talking to me about Dream Theater. I listened, and the other friend ignored us completely, absorbed in his diabolical scheming to wipe the red and black pieces off the board.
After he successfully annhilated our distracted armies, my uninterested friend began to clean and I continued discussing Dream Theater with the first. After two hours, my friend's kitchen looked like an immaculate set on a cooking show, worthy of Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart. He had cleaned the floor and all the dishes until they reflected light and had began searching corners for lone dust bunnies. And still my other friend discussed the technical genius of Dream Theater.
I had many conflicting feelings that night. First, I thought, "neat, he's really taken my musical suggestion to heart." Then, I thought, "Oh no, he's really take my musical suggestion to heart!" The second feeling was reinforced when he pulled up his T-shirt and showed me the Dream Theater symbol tatooed on his upper back. "And it was all thanks to you!"
At 2:00 AM I finally pulled away and went home to sleep. I fell asleep quickly, but all I could dream about was a flower that grew taller than its gardener and became a weed.
And for some odd reason, I felt like listening to Dream Theater.