Restless are we all until true freedom is realized......

I'm sure I've written about my favorite non-Beatles album before, but there could never be enough words to describe its impact in my life. Sure, there's only one album (well, two, but I can't find the other one since it's out of print) and the band is no longer together, yet whenever I think about the music that has really helped me through some of the biggest moments in my life, this band is it.......Jupiter Sunrise.

I remember the first time I had heard their music in 2002. I was a sophomore in college, still in the midst of figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I was also still trying to gain a social life. At the time, my friend Colleen was interested in this guy who happened to be a roadie for the band. Since I wanted to get out and expand my horizons past the halls of Marymount, I agreed to go with Colleen to a show at the Empress Ballroom in Danbury, CT. Little did I know this would change my life forever.

Before the show, Colleen had given me her copy of a now out of print Jupiter Sunrise album. I later bought my own copy, only to have it go missing over 6 months later. I was excited about getting to see a new band and try something different from my normal routine.......and it was worth it. Within a matter of hours, Colleen and I were rocking out at the show, enjoying a pretty awesome collection of bands in a dimly lit industrial-like setting. After seeing Jupiter Sunrise play, I knew I had to get an album and poster (and a t-shirt). At their booth, the first band member I had the chance to meet was Ben. 

Ben definitely set the pace for just how kind and gracious the band really was. With his funky glasses and unruly curly hair, I thought of him as a cute, nerdy type. I could tell he really loved what he was doing with music, especially when onstage.........and that translated into his kindness with all of his fans. All of the band members gave off a similar vibe. 

Mark was the next one to walk up to us......and he was ALL about the hugs! I complimented his Weezer shirt, he gave me a hug. I told him how much fun I was having, he gave me a hug. And just for the hell of it, he gave me a hug. Mark definitely wanted to make you feel like you were more than just a fan of the band.....you were a friend. 

Chris was what I believed to be an all-out rocker. Of course, what would you expect from a drummer with long hair and the best rock faces when he was behind that drum kit? While listening to other bands, Chris and I shared in a "rocker hair" moment, which I will always remember and cherish as one of those simple, yet meaningful memories.

Aaron always appeared to be a more shy and quiet type to me. While we never had many conversations, I will always appreciate the fact that when I saw him, he always greeted me with a smile and kind words. But one thing is for sure........his curly hair was quite awesome!

About a little over a year had passed when I would see the band play again......this time in NJ! At the time, I wasn't really feeling like myself. My bf at the time broke up with me, stating that he didn't feel he could be with me anymore. Needless to say, I was beyond devastated......and lacking in sleep and any form of a social life. I felt like a shell. Colleen, as always, was willing to embark on an adventure to NJ to come see me......and kidnap me to a Jupiter Sunrise show in Montclair, NJ.

For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the place or where exactly in Montclair it was located, but I know that at that moment, I needed out of my house for something fun. It even helped when I decided to style my hair all curly and wear a fun new outfit out to the show, just because. And as I had hoped, when Colleen and I walked into the club, we were greeted with the same love and kindness from the band members as before.

That day had taught me something important.........that even in your worst of times, you can always find something to make you smile. Those guys made me smile for the first time in a long time. I forgot about my breakup for a while and enjoyed the music, company, and random moments that the night had had to offer. I could not have asked for a better night, even as I told the band members how much their show had helped me smile and relax for the first time in days. I was thanked with hugs and the opportunity to hang out with the band members at a diner afterward.

Originally, the band had had only four members when I met them. But when Warped Tour came around in 2005, I would learn that a new member had joined the band: Amanda. While not very talkative, Amanda definitely helped to create one of my favorite shirts. She took a band t-shirt and when asked, cut it up to create a cute shirt that was all ties in the back. Even now, I save that shirt to wear for whenever I just feel like cutting loose and being sexy!

Aside from Colleen, this band held bearing with my previous relationship as well. As my ex and I had started talking about marriage and a future together, he had decided to bring my favorite band into the most awesome marriage proposal (to date) I could have ever imagined. A year's worth of planning and scheming with the band to determine when it would happen and how, utilizing my favorite song, "Steal Me," to capture the perfect moment. In May 2006 at CBGB's, my marriage proposal became a part of the band's and bar's history. I was so excited, seeing my favorite band in a place that I had always wanted to go, and them being a part of a big moment in my life. I never ended up getting married to my ex, but the scrapbook I created from that night I will cherish for the rest of my life.

There were two more shows that I had had the chance to see before the band members went their separate ways and Mark continued the project with new members. One was a an outdoor show in upstate NY, while the last one was at The Chance in Poughkeepsie. If I had known then that that was the last show, I probably would've given more hugs, shared more smiles, and rocked out even harder than I was. But at least in the end, Mark got to see the finished scrapbook, which I know touched him very deeply that I considered that a valuable treasure.

It's been about 3-4 years since I've seen any of those guys, but their music still impacts my life.....even now. Because when I feel alone or sad, I'm always able to put on the album "Under a Killer Blue Sky" and relive some of the most touching moments of my life. Within those 12 tracks, I get to be back in college with my friends or just dancing to the beat of my own drum. I can put that album on in the car and not care what I look like when I sing along loud and proud to it.

It's my personal freedom, a link to the me that I like and know that I can be. Whether I'm singing along about x-ray vision or paper tigers, I can relate to the words and the melody.......because it's the melody of my life.

I know that not everyone is going to understand why I love this album or what makes it so great to me, but I know. It helped me bond with friends in ways I could have never imagined. It got me through some of the most wonderful and heart-wrenching moments of my life. And most importantly, it introduced me to five of the most talented musicians that I know.

If you're reading this (Mark, Ben, Aaron, Chris, and Amanda): thank you for creating such wonderful music to the soundtrack of my life.

~Jenny Rockstar

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