I love music! I especially love to listen to it. Once I played the trombone, fairly well, but a traffic accident in which I split my upper lip ended my ability to play it thereafter. I never tire of listening to good music, be it classical, jazz, pop, country or whatever genre. I am also envious of those who are able to play musical instruments or sing well. Listening to them gives me goose bumps just as when listening to the performances of professionals. Each time I always wish that I had been blessed with those abilities.
My mother could play the piano and my father could play almost any music by ear. He could not read sheet music, but if he heard a song, he could play it on the piano. And he could also sing well, which made him very popular. In the days before karaoke, piano bars were popular. These were usually cocktail lounges that had a piano. Usually they had hired performers, but my father loved to be allowed to sit at the piano and bang out popular songs and sing to them. Growing up in his shadow was difficult because others would always ask, “Rick, why can’t you play like your father?” Unfortunately, it was not a talent I was born with and I was so bad at singing that it was said that I “couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.”
Almost every day, usually at night, I listen to music clips on YouTube. The type of music varies according to my mood; sometimes it is oldies which were popular during my youth, other times it might be classical music, and still at other times music sung in foreign languages such as French, Italian, and Japanese. No doubt my brief stint working for an impresario bringing foreign entertainers to Japan influenced me in that respect. I particularly enjoy the music of Charles Aznavour and the one time I had the privilege of being his road manager during his tour of Japan in 1970 was especially memorable.
It’s hard to say what genre is my favorite, but if I had to choose one, I would probably choose the Blues. I liked B.B. King and also think Eric Clapton is a fantastic musician. In high school I especially liked Bob Dylan, and also Joan Baez, though all the other popular groups of the late 60s, I liked equally as well.
Listening to music transports me to another world, a world of memories and imagined fantasies where I can lose myself for hours on end. My appreciation of music helps make passing the time, isolated at home, easier to endure.