I’ve always considered the power of music to be extremely therapeutic. It is different things for different people. For some it may be background music…music to drown out what is going on around you. For me it has always been a way to Comfortland. I can remember discovering different artists and genres while sitting in my living room at home. We had a turntable or record player (stay with me millenials) that was on a tall brass stand. I’d flip through my parent’s albums and listen to all sorts of their faves. I grew up with Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams. I would repeat my turntable rituals at my grandparent’s house in Brooklyn every week with selections from Perry Como to an Irish folks singer who’s name I just can’t remember at the moment. The point being is that I was lost in music. It was fascinating to me and allowed me to think and just enjoy.
As my love of music grew through the years, I developed an appreciation for the artist and musician. This happened early on when I discovered that I cannot carry a tune. Sure I pretended to in chorus classes but the truth is I am just not a singer. I’m not good by any stretch of the imagination. I never let this deter my love of music appreciation. Hey, I was a good singer in the shower. Aren’t we all? Don’t even get me started on Karaoke. I’m a star on the Karaoke (or Karenoke as we later called it). This friends is another story for another blogspot.
I discovered concerts. Andy Gibb was my first concert at Nassau Coliseum when I was in 7th grade. Jean Daly and I were dropped off (yes, dropped off in 7th grade. That’s right. Don’t call CPS on my parents – it was the time and we as 7th graders were mature beyond our years) and enjoyed nearly 2 hours of Andy belting out tunes like “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” and “Love is Thicker Than Water”. I was hooked. It would be the first concert of many throughout these years. Sometimes seeing your favorite artist live was a religious experience while other times it was not. For years (don’t you dare judge me) I would sit on my gold/yellow flecked shagged carpeting in my room with ALL of my Barry Manilow albums around me. I’d read every single liner note on the album insert while listening to Barry belt out tunes as if they were written just for me. Years later I had the chance to finally see Barry at Jones Beach. He took the stage and I literally burst into tears. Suddenly I was ten again watching my idol sing those very songs to me. It was magical. One of the best performances ever in my mind. Ernie and I have seen Billy Joel 13 times and each time was a different yet religious experience. A few years ago however I found myself ten feet from the stage at Webster Hall. I had waited years to see this artist. I listened to every song he’d written…watched every show and movie he’d been in. He was my modern day Andy Gibb and I adored him. Ok, ok I even fantasized about him at times My ideal. I nearly passed out when he took the stage and seemingly looked down at me from his mic. Yes, the moment was here when I was eye to eye with Lenny Kravitz. After he took a swig from a huge unlabeled green bottle and stumbled that I realized that he was so drunk and high that he barely made it through 9 songs. I became disillusioned. Ernie called him a skid and I can’t say I didn’t agree. I still listen to his work but quite frankly I could care if he lived or died at this point.
One of the greatest inventions in my mind is the iPod or my iPhone in my case now. You could download music to a playlist. It is our modern day cassette tape. How many of us (I will slice those who cannot relate) sat for hours creating the best tape to reflect our moods? Ok no one? Come on. We all did. I dated a guy once who made me a bunch of “love” tapes that reminded him of our times together. Fortunately the relationship did not work out but those tapes were gold. I’m still making tapes…errr playlists to reflect moods and fave artists. I have my Training list for the gym, a Sunday list that I play while having coffee and watching the sun come up, Hamilton (sheer genius if you ask me), and a vintage Karen list.
Everyone has their own form of therapy. For me, it is the gym and music. Sometimes I combine the two. Music in my world is normally played at a ridiculously loud level. I’ll belt out a few tunes on the way to work after leaving Starbucks. Again, I can’t sing but that’s ok. I could care less. That’s the problem of the guy driving next to me.
Have a good week everyone…