Sunday, September 04, 2005

and the beat goes on...

Music. Certainly the most influential force on my life has to be music. Nothing is as evocative. Scent comes close, with the whiff of cinnamon bringing back a dozen memories, from Christmas to apple pie. Music, however, has the ability to transport... to move... to change. Music can make you lost and find you again. Music can make you love some time.... some place... some one, and it can recreate those feelings again and again. I cannot listen to Tennessee Waltz without crying, as it was my father’s favorite song. I have it on one of my Cd’s. I listen. I cry.

I am in the process of putting together several compilations of music for my trip. I somehow acquired way to many CD’s that have one... maybe two songs that I love, and a dozen I cannot tolerate. This, of course, before I got a computer that has the capability of making Cd’s. So I am bunching music that has specific purpose. I have a CD that will wake me up and make me dance as I travel across country... if you see a little blue van that’s bouncing for no apparent reason... that’s me! Music has the ability, more than just about anything, to make me happy... or sad... or thoughtful... or mindless. All this for just pennies a day...

My father whistled. My father whistled all the time, and I have inherited that ability and joy. In a good mood one day in Von’s market, I had no idea that I was whistling New Orleans Jazz riffs until people started following me around... seriously. I can WHISTLE! I’’ve got some old lady wrinkles around my lips to prove it.

My mother had a Hammond Organ. She would sit in the living room and play song after song and my father would whistle. I learned to play the piano because of my mother. I don’t think I thanked her enough. I now play (or did): piano, hammered dulcimer, banjo (some), fiddle (a little), autoharp and, of course, my second musical love... guitar.

I can also sing. Or I could. I sang at school. I sang at Church (!). I sang on the Milton Berle TV show. I sang in college. I sang at the Hollywood Bowl. I wanted to be a folk singer. I went to College instead. I learned that i wasn’t driven enough. I ‘worked’ for a while for Randy Sparks, who had a club in Westwood. I saw some extremely talented people filter through that organization. I learned that I didn’t have the drive... the spark... whatever. I sang for free. I still sing for small children, who don’t care if I have the drive or not. My voice, once a dark alto, has segued into a whisky tenor, no... make that a baritone... a low baritone. My speaking voice is also low; so much so that I think that someday it will eventually rust... and stop.

Not the worst thing I can think of...

...as long as i can still whistle!



At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From one music-lover to another, I dig your heart and know where you're coming from. And I ain't got fuckall to sell here, gawddamit.


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