I’ve written before how music influenced my early life. When I was just a teenager, it wasn’t just famous bands that colored my early world, but some local bands as well. One of these bands was called “Snopek,” named for the genius musician Sigmund Snopek.
While his music isn’t just confined to this one band, it was this band that I went to see at least a dozen times in my youth. Some of the songs that remain in my mind to this day are “Hamburger Holocaust” and “First Band to Play on the Moon,” as well as “Kathleen.” There was a twist of humor in many of the songs that led me to look into this musician further at the time.
I remember my excitement when I scored an album called “Virginia Woolf” that was composed by Sigmund Snopek. It remains one of my favorite albums to this day. The intelligent intertwining of the instruments created an eerie sound that appealed to me so much. It was obvious that this musician had great talent beyond a local garage band. This was proved when I learned he wrote entire classical compositions that were performed by symphonies. In a nutshell, God gave this man a talent that went beyond Milwaukee. He definitely became one of my favorites.
Unfortunately, I left Milwaukee at a young age and never saw him perform again. Lately, now that my years have advanced some, I have searched for him on YouTube and found a wealth of music with him involved. I was pleasantly surprised to find he performed with another favorite Milwaukee band “Violent Femmes.” I have spent hours combing the internet for his music and have not been disappointed.
Along with his serious works, this man has found a way to spin his humor into many compositions. I love his humor. I know if I ever had the chance to see him perform again, I would do it. Since I now live in the Pacific Northwest, those chances are slim if even possible at all.
If I ever had a chance to express my feelings to him, I would tell him how his music played such a big role in my young life and the joy he brought me and my friends when we needed joy the most. I only wish I could’ve seen more of his musical genius live when I had the chance.
In closing, I’d like to talk about how his band closed with a song he didn’t write but made his own in his own way. Almost every performance back when I was younger was finished with a Beatles song “I Am The Walrus.” It’s easy to get into this song while listening to it on an album, cd, cassette, internet, or whatever, but to see it performed live and performed very well was priceless. I knew I would never see the Beatles live because I was too young for that, but Snopek always granted my wish by making it a highlight of their concert. I think one of the best parts was when we, as the audience, would chant “everybody smoke pot, smoke pot, smoke pot” during the chorus. Good times.
Mr. Snopek, thank you for being a part of my life that I remember so fondly. Even though you are not internationally known by everybody, except people who know talent when they hear it, you should’ve been. Thank you for sharing the genius you were given.