There were several times yesterday when music generated an emotional reaction from me. The songs were not related to a specific time, feeling, person, or event. They were just songs that caused an unexpected emotional response. Music often stirs up memories. As I write this I am listening to a recording of one of the best concerts I ever saw with Neil Young & Crazy Horse from the early 90′s. I cannot listen to this concert without thinking of that time in my life and the people who attended the show with me. It also reminds this nearly 67 year old hippie that I was a young fortysomething at that time. I was still dangerous.
I received my first transistor radio in the early 1960′s. In those days no one had the fancy and sometimes expensive ear buds of today. Most music was heard in mono so you only had one ear plug. I would go to sleep at night listening to AM radio and the hits of the day. If my friends and I spent the night together on a Friday night we always listened to the weekly Top 40 countdown. It was on one such night that I heard the Beatles for the first time.
Around this same time period the older, teenage sister of one of my childhood friends took us to my first concert. It was the original Beach Boys and they were a huge act at the time. When they came out on stage with their matching outfits and guitars I was hooked for life. It began a lifetime of attending live concert events that continues to this day, though I admit it doesn’t happen as frequently as it used to happen. A few bands have eluded me but over the years I have seen most of the greatest musical acts of my generation including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and the Doors. The bands I have seen the most are the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Moody Blues, and Pink Floyd. There were also many other artists and bands I saw multiple times.
All in all, music has been the best and most reliable friend I ever had. Music has been there for me in good times and bad. If I am sad, it can make me happy. If I am happy, it can make me happier. Sometimes it be an out of body experience that transcends time and space. As David Crosby once sang, “Music Is Love”.
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