When i was 12 years old my best friend was Carl. We used to call him Beaky partly because of his big nose and because that reminded us of a song in the charts at the time called Captain Beaky and his band; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SE08AXk0jU) Captain Beaky was some kind of bird.
One night Carl invited me over to his place ( he lived just across the street ) to listen to a new album he had. It was Jeff Waynes ' War of the Worlds ', you've probably heard of it? a Musical adaptation of H.G. Wells 1898 breakout novel of the same name.
The music kicked in and our conversation turned to speculation as to the likelihood of a Martian invasion and what it might be like. My imagination has always been vivid and by the end of disc one i was gripped by terror, convinced that an alien invasion was imminent! shakily I made my excuses and ventured home my eyes probing the skies for looming gigantic tripods bent on eating me. At home i prepared for bed in a distracted daze. In bed that night i couldn't sleep i was so stricken with terror. It was the same for many weeks, me watching the skies and unable to sleep at nights.
At the time it was horrible, odd and funny as it sounds now it ruled my life for a long time. But i do suppose it was that intense imaginative experience, fueled by Jeff's music, Mr Wells fantastic tale and Carls goading that combined fostered my embyonic love of horror.
Horror exists at that counter-intuative intersection between fear and fascination; We are terrified but we cant help enjoying it, it's dicing with death (but in a safe way). As HP Lovecrafts once said; 'horror is mans oldest and strongest emotion'. He was right.
Even though that experience terrified me as a kid im grateful for the experience, im convinced it sparked my imagination and desire to create fantastical art and in a strange sort of way led me into a career as an artist, someone who makes a living from being imaginative.
Carl died in a parachute jump 2001. We had long since gone our separate ways after school and i only found out about it when my dad gave me a newspaper cutting on his death now many years ago.
I'd just like to wrap this post with a thanks to my old friend Carl, and to Jeff and to Herbert for their excellent creative works. :)