Tonight I was asked by a friend if I had gone to school for music. In a way, this sort of surprised me. Very seldom does anyone make mention to me of the origin of my musical knowledge that spans genres and decades beyond what one would expect of an early 30-something. I’ve had a few tell me that I am, indeed, more up on music than they are. Personally, these statements are nothing for which I’ve asked. And I certainly don’t need to hear them. Music has been there for me for a long time. Music took center stage for me in so many situations.
It was a long ride to mom’s house on the turnpike. I was four years old. Counting the tall lamps along the way. Getting lost in the nighttime ballads on Warm 103. George Michael.
Further into the 80s, despite FM and cassettes being mostly how my dad listened to music, I still couldn’t stop bugging him to listen to vinyl after the first time I heard the needle drop. I even started buying vinyl myself at the flea market just to say this is “ours! Let’s go home and play it!” The golden cover of the Grand Funk album in a nice sleeve.
Hearing my mother sing in the car as we zoomed around the curves down to the quarry. She sounded just like Mary Wells! And sometimes like Bonnie, too.
Even now in sobriety, the itch to find an unoccupied jukebox sometimes overwhelms me. If I ask you what you want to hear and you say, “Play whatever,” I will ask the person next to you. I am a DJ for the people. And people who truly know me these days call me that, years after being off the air.
Listening to music now is so much sweeter. That I can dance without a drink and without a care. And I can go to a show solo and stand in front of the stage in the pouring rain. Because I love when you play your covers of “Band on The Run” and “Don’t Change”.
Today I pulled out some of my dad’s old vinyl. Always an exhilarating experience, save for the fact that I still do not have a turntable. Albums that have been around for decades still feel like the new shoes (every time) that I was not allowed to wear out of the store. Currently listening to something I don’t have on vinyl anyhow. Does anyone have “Waiting for Columbus”? Oh please, oh please… I’ll be your Tennessee Lamb!