Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Under a Glass Moon by Dream Theater

I have been extremely busy lately due to baseball games and my birthday :) So Dream Theater is one of my favorite bands in the world. Mike Portnoy (the recently departed drummer of 25 years) has been a huge influence on me. That being said I do have a story behind Under a Glass Moon from the Images and Words album. Many fans consider this their best album but I respectfully disagree but that is a who another discussion. When I was in college back in the early nineties, I was in a math class with this really long-haired guy (his name escapes me). Over the course of the semester we starting talking and I found out he was a death metal drummer for a local band. Once he took me to one of his band practices and I was blown away at what he could do. On the way to the practice he put in a tape of IAW and played me Under a Glass Moon. For those of you who are not drummers, the drum beat for this song is one of his more well known creations. I was immediately impressed. The double bass patterns in that song are cool as hell. Only later would I full grasp the technicality of the song in terms of the huge amount of odd time that is in the song as well. Several years later I bought IAW and liked it but I did not like the vocalist at first. Obviously I have changed my tune on him and now Jame LaBrie is one of my favorite. I guess he just had to grow on me (a lot of people say that about Geddy Lee from Rush as well).

Now fast forward a few weeks and I had invited him over to my house to check out my set and jam a bit. It was a cold rainy November day and we drove in his car. We got off the freeway to avoid the congestion and head up National Avenue. While heading towards home, a car pulled out in front of us, hitting the rear quarter panel of the driver side. The car we were in started to swerve from the impact and the fishtailed back only to have the guy nail us in the passenger side rear quarter panel. The same guy hit us TWICE! It turns out the guy was in his 80's at least, and upon further review had alcohol on breath. Luckily no one was hurt, although the second impact did jolt me pretty good. We waited forever for the cops to get there. While we waited the guy was so scared and/or drunk that he actually told me that it did not look that bad. Both quarter panels were smashed in!!! I felt bad because I got picked up before the cops showed up. He never did get a chance to come over again. We laughed about the old guy but it sucked that his car was messed up. So whenever I hear Under a Glass Moon I think of that day and the accident.

Do you have any memories for this song? Please let me know.


  1. To be honest with you I don't remember this band. I do like the song you have on here.

    Happy Belated Birthday!♥

  2. Tender Heart Bear, they have been around since 1986. They are the premier progressive metal group that all others are compared too. You should check them out. I admit it is not everyone's cup of tea but I love them.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  3. I fully concur with you that this is not their best album overall. I will say that lyrically however it is certainly one of their best. While Jordan Rudess is a better keyboardist than Kevin Moore I don't think DT has ever fully recovered from the loss of Kevin as a songwriter. For me it's a toss-up over whether this or Awake is their best album lyrically. Musically it's no contest which their best album is (imho at least)-- Train of Thought.

    I don't have any memories specific to this song. My emotional ties and memories are much more tied to the Awake album.

    Before I met my wife I was in love twice (I dated about 5 girls semi-seriously to seriously before my wife but in hindsight I was only in love with 2 of them) and had my heart broken both times. Steve Lukather's Luke album helped me get over the first one and Dream Theater's Awake helped me get over the second one.

  4. Perplexio, thanks for the story. I love Train of Thought as well. I think my favorite is Six Degrees. there is just so much on those 2 Cd's to love. I am really interested in hearing DT sans Portnoy. I hope they let Myung get more involved. He has written some great songs like Lifting Shadows off a Dream.

  5. The thing I miss about Kevin Moore isn't just his songwriting, I really felt he elevated the other songwriters in the band. I'm not sure if it was intentional or his presence subconciously made them challenge themselves to be better songwriters but even Portnoy, Petrucci, Myung, and LaBrie's lyrics seemed stronger when Kevin was around.

    I also dig his solo work (as Chroma Key) and his work with Fates Warning's Jim Matheos in OSI.

    I'm also interested in hearing DT sans Portnoy as well as hearing more of Portnoy sans Dream Theater (I've heard his work with Avenged Sevenfold and was underwhelmed but some of his other "extra-cirricular" material over the years has been pretty good).

  6. Perplexio, Thanks for the birthday wishes. Have you heard OSI at all? The first 2 albums are Moore, Matheos, Portnoy. Portnoy was then replaced by one of my other favorite drummers, Gavin Harrison form Porcupine Tree. I have not heard the 3rd or 4th albums, but the first two are pretty cool. Way different than you expect.

  7. Is the 4th album out yet? I have the first 3. Honestly I was underwhelmed by the debut, But I loved their 2nd (Free) & 3rd (Blood) albums. I think Free is the best so far but Blood is a close 2nd. And even though I'm a big Portnoy fan, I think Gavin Harrison is a better fit for OSI. Their forays into "ambient metal" suggest more Porcupine Tree than Dream Theater and given Harrison's background he's a better fit for their style than Portnoy.

  8. Perplexio, no the 4th is not out yet. I was reading about it and did not realize it was not out yet when I wrote to you. I need to both Free and Blood. I think I have 1 or 2 songs from Free and have heard others. Whenever I get money to buy a CD I never think of OSI for some reason. I just got Redemption's first album and Porcupine Tree's Signify (I am replacing my burned versions). I have been digging Brother Ape lately as well. Have only heard them on streaming radio, nothing owned yet though. I am also buy Spheric Universe Experience who are from France (very DT-like).

  9. While there was some good stuff on OSI's debut I felt it largely lacked a consistencey of quality. The quality of the material was somewhat uneven, especially when compared to both Free & Blood. If you liked their debut you'll LOVE Free & Blood especially if you dig Fates Warning & Porcupine Tree. The influences from both bands are more than obvious on both those CDs.

    Have you picked up any of the Chroma Key CDs that Kevin Moore released in the late 90s-early 2000s? Some of it I really dig, and some of it I don't care for (I loathe the last track on Dead Air for Radios but I dig the rest of the album quite a bit).