Forgotten and Unknown Gems, courtesy of CLASSIC ROCK magazine

Most of us Music Heads — players or Professional Writers About Music (PWAM) or both — relish the idea that we "get it" far more than the casual listener.

What is "it"?

Well, if you're not sufficiently hip, you'll never know! See?!


Truth told: for kooks like myself, being a music geek has probably been a point of honor throughout our lives — and certainly in my case one of the few elements of whatever "image" I have of myself that isn't embarrassing or humiliating.

In any event, whatever it is about music that resonates or dominates our curiosity goes beyond the "Top 40 radio is fine with me" attitude most folks have.

Which is why the current edition of Classic Rock magazine is particularly intriguing. The theme of the issue is "The Connoisseurs' Choice — Rock's Lost Treasures: the Greatest Tracks You Haven't Heard Yet."

What the staff has done is ask a panel of musicians/experts to select "the real classics" in an all-encompassing menu of rock 'n' roll. In that spirit, for example, Joe Bonamassa chooses overlooked tunes by "Guitar Heroes." Al Kooper studies obscure but great "70s Rock." Scott Ian recommends "Thrash" artists and tunes you might not know. Joe Elliot does the same with "Glam Rock. Tom Petersson chimes in on "Power Pop." J Mascis shares secrets from "The New Wave of British Heavy Metal."

And so on — including other genres such as "Goth," "80s Rock," "Kraut Rock," "Alt Rock," "Singer-Songwriters," "Supergroups," "Duets," "Art Rock," "Power Ballads," Kraut Rock," "Southern Rock," "Instrumentals," "Punk Rock," "Melodic Rock," "Glam Rock," "Country Rock," "Garage Rock," "Proto-metal," "60s Rock" and "Blues."

The lists are great fun, enlightening and — to be honest — pretty humbling in terms of how much music is out there that I'm not particularly familiar with. Yes: I'm also sorta impressed at how much I have heard, but the point is that there are always galaxies as yet unexplored. Reach for the headphones and get to work!

Of course, through it all, as I read and listen, the instinct is to grab a pencil and start to compile my own lists — which requires sweeping through memory's cobwebs to remember tunes and artists across the years. Perhaps Classic Rock would like it if I submitted my own list of forgotten lore ... Or maybe not.

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