I have always loved music, from the earliest days I can remember. I believe that of all human invention and ingenuity music is the best. I listen to many different kinds of music, but mostly I like to listen to stuff that most other people do not. For this reason, I do not feel that I have great taste in music, but I like what I like, and I like it very much.
When I was very young, I can remember being frightened of the monsters in my closet. My dad came in and put on the radio to soothe me. The radio was playing ‘After Midnight’ by J.J. Cale and I thought I heard the lyric as ‘Captain Midnight’ and I knew I was safe. When I was in third grade I started to learn the trumpet at school. Herb Alpert who was very famous at the time inspired me. A couple of my friends joined me and we all had a great time. Later I joined the middle school band and orchestra. It was so much fun. I met a new friend who played trombone and was very musically talented. He taught us to improvise, which was awesome to me. While not necessarily so great at it, I immediately knew that this was something special.
In high school I got really into progressive rock. I always went for the really awful stuff that no one else could stand. It was so much fun, all the different bands and artists and how the artists would switch bands and play with other people over time. Towards the end of my high school years and into college I tried to teach myself guitar. I got pretty good at playing along with the radio, but never really got past the beginner stage. I just did not have the discipline required. I have always envied those musicians who have mastered their instrument and can enjoy playing with others.
When I was in college, some friends and I would sometimes have small parties where we would get together and drink and party and create a mixed tape. We would each take turns selecting a track for the tape until the tape was full. I still have a few of the tapes in my garage. I really miss those days.
When I got married and had kids in the late eighties I kind of stopped listening for a while. I guess I just did not have enough free time, but around the early nineties I started up again. I listened mostly to alternative rock. I would listen while I jogged or worked. It was always a big part of my life, and I can trace my own history though the tracks I was listening to throughout my life. In fact I once even created a life history mixed tape where I basically setup a sound track for my life from birth to the grave. It is a three-volume CD set. I still listen to it occasionally.
What I listen to now is mostly stuff I have dug up on you tube. It does not really fit neatly into one category, but is kind of scattered all over the place. It is fun to watch the music videos. It reminds me of the old days of MTV when music videos were something new.
Aside from vision, I think that hearing is my most cherished sense, and I hope to keep it as long as I can. There is always great new music around, and whenever I am stressed or feeling hopeless I know I can put something on that will help me turn things around. Music can soothe the savage beast; it can help you to understand your feelings; and can bring joy back into your life. It is quite possibly the greatest gift of human culture, so listen, play, dance and sing. It is freedom. It is life.