FIVE FIRSTS: Aaron Smith of Scientific Maps

AaronSmithNAME: Aaron Smith

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … This is a fuzzy one, but I believe the first full-length album I bought with my own money was a new vinyl copy of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” at Rotterdam Square Mall. I was angry because it didn’t come with the cutouts or the psychedelic album sleeve like the original pressing did. I played it constantly anyway. This was also the first CD I ever owned.

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2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … My first big concert was Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band at SPAC in 1987(?). I went with my dad and two of my friends. I remember laughing at how Ringo kept persuading the crowd to chant his name between songs. “What’s my name?” “RINGO!” What’s my name?” “Ringo!!!” This continued for what seemed like forever, as my friends and I grew increasingly embarrassed for our least favorite Beatle. The show was fun, though.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … a black and red Washburn A20-V electric guitar. I think that’s the model. It looked a lot like something Dave Mustaine would play. Or at least someone in a Megadeth cover band. I loved it and played it all of the time in my room. It’s around somewhere. I should dig that fantastically ugly thing out.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … That would be “God Bless Us Everyone” in Draper School’s K through 12 production of “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol”. I was a 6-year-old Tiny Tim. There is video of this somewhere. I should not dig that out.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … I’m going to be honest and I’m sorry to have to say that the name of the band was Afterbirth. I was in the 10th grade, and all the other guys were seniors. We mostly covered bad classic rock songs or whatever was featured in Guitar Magazine that month. One year, we were, for some strange reason, chosen as the house band for the school’s talent show. I remember putting up fliers for the show all over the school and then being told to take them down by the school principal because the name was too offensive. Too offensive for fliers, but not to be “house band” for the talent show which would be attended by all students and faculty. Whatever, principal. Our now-bass player, Jason was in that band too!

Aaron Smith and the rest of Scientific Maps are scheduled to perform on the Townsend Park Stage (at the corner of Washington Avenue and Henry Johnson Boulevard, Albany) at 1:15pm on Saturday, September 19 as part of LarkFest. Admission is free.

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