For me, music and gaming have always gone together in a BIG way...
Asia, Human League, Duran Duran, Haysi Fantayzee, Adam & The Ants, Sisters Of Mercy, The Cult, New Model Army; they have all played a big part in my life and I can tell you exactly what I was gaming or painting to each of them.
But, without a doubt the bands which fuelled my creativity and imagination the most were Rush, Marillion and Yes.
To Yes, I painted ECW and scratch built mecha. whilst to Marillion, I painted some of the most intricate Samurai I ever turned out, and then along with Rush they got me through exams, arrest for assault on a kid who was kicking the shit out of me, and the angst filled later teen years during which I painted hundreds of fantasy figures and actually completed armies.
Of course Marillion split, but lead singer Fish continued to write and perform some wonderful stuff. This week I'll be watching him perform the entire Misplace Childhood album on it's 30th anniversary as part of his musical exit strategy which culminates in his planned retirement from music in 2017.
Yes, are still touring but after the untimely passing of bassist and co-founder Chris Squire earlier this year, the future of the band is uncertain.
And now, in the year which sees them celebrate 40 years of filling stadia to capacity the world over, Rush drummer Neil Peart has announced that he is effectively retiring, although the latest buzz is that this is only from touring.
This has left me wondering if it's time to throw in the towel with wargaming (just as I was actually starting to rediscover gaming and really get over all the fuckery of the past couple of years with my old club and mourning the loss of lifelong friendships) and plan my own exit strategy from my lifelong hobby.
It's funny how things like that come along, but I guess there is a time when you have to look around you and ask whether it's prudent to have piles of unpainted lead and plastic all over the place.
So, what I think I will do, is buy a couple of 'must have' armies and get someone else to paint them by 2018, at which time I shall be 50.
50 indeed... where those 35+ years of gaming gone? It'll be 39 by the time I am 50 and it has just shot past me. It's almost as if you get up to make a coffee and a decade has just gone by...