I don’t remember how I first found out about them. It’s kind of a mystery to me. I don’t remember ever buying the Spectres album, but there it was in my collection one day. It was just there. Of course, once I got my first taste, I could not turn back.
After that, I found the album that had the most songs on it. That was On Your Feet or On Your Knees, their first live album. The music was haunting and the lyrics cryptic. I noticed that on the back of their albums, they offered lyric sheets for any song in exchange for a SASE. I scraped up the coins and sent my envelope to the address. A few weeks later, I got a package. I opened it up. On the top was the sheet for my favorite song, Astronomy…
And the origin of storms
Just the place to hopelessly
Encounter time and then came me
I sought out the lyrics for the song that haunted me most: Subhuman. I couldn’t make any sense of the song. I found the sheet, put the record on reading and listening at the same time…
Hear them chatter on the tide
We understand, we understand
But fear is real and so do I
Reading through the lyrics, I saw a pattern emerging. A kind of story told over, under and between the lyrics. A story that transcended time. A ship wreck. An obsidian mirror. An ancient and powerful race called "The Invisibles." And Imaginos.
I could not make sense out of it all. Not all the songs spoke of the Imaginos Myth, but more than a few did. And, as the albums progressed, it seemed the Myth became more obscure.
For an entire summer, I became obsessed with all the invisible messages. I scoured the libraries looking for the book quoted on the back cover of Secret Treaties. It wasn’t until later I became convinced the book did not exist. (It would be later still that I convinced myself I should write it and release it under the pseudonymous author’s name.) Even still, I learned much from them. Because of their music and lyrics, I would find Discordia and Robert Anton Wilson and the Illuminati and the Assassins and the Templars and all the jewels they held.
Then, I found out they wrote songs with Michael Moorcock. I can’t tell you how many times I had to buy Cultosaurus Erectus because I kept practicing my drums along with Black Blade.
It’s death from the beginning to the end of time
And I’m the cosmic champion and I hold a mystic sign
And the whole world’s dying and the burden’s mine
And the black sword keeps on killing ’til the end of time
Rush will always be my favorite band. But in the dark corners of my heart, I’m swimming with the oyster boys.