On vacation I finally had time to update my music using itune’s Genius recommendations. I stayed up really late because I was having such a good time discovering Emily Bell, Ed Sheeran, The Peach Kings, Kim Logan and my favorite Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound. Reading Keith Richard’s biography reminded me of how I’ve made the mistake of allowing music to be shoved to the bottom of my priority list.
I loved his passion for music that began by singing in a choir where he learned so much from a choir director who had been kicked out of Oxford with a questionable background. This made me laugh, because when I joined Girl Scouts in 9th grade, our leader was an alcoholic & she was also wonderful. I learned a lot from her while the ice cubes swirled in the glass she always held. The Director of our summer church camp was also an alcoholic who taught me to truly love nature……we weren’t so protected back then & still learned a lot at the same time.
Keith also addresses being bullied as a significant part of his school life. My family moved in the middle of seventh grade which set me up as an easy target & it was Diane Butler who terrorized me. Even today, with public support, it’s hard to deal successfully with bullies.
Music was a central anchor of my life growing up in the cauldron of the 60’s. Keith says playing guitar was more important than getting laid. I remember how inspiring music was & is. I played my first 45 (Petula Clark’s “Downtown”) so many times over & over, I thought my Father was going to lose his mind.
The first serious purchase of my life with my rolled up quarters, nickels & dimes from waitressing was a stereo from Radio Shack. How that money was spent so “foolishly” shocked my Mother so much she used it as a rationalization to steal my tip money from me.
My love for music had to overcome my elementary school beginnings with music. I attempted to play the Flutophone (plastic recorder) and completely failed. I begged my music teacher to believe me before the big concert & she laughed with disbelief. Only Kyle Cook who sat next to me, in the concert, figured out I was not blowing into it, just moving my fingers aimlessly.
It is still a mystery to me how anyone can read music without writing the letters underneath. I won’t even begin to describe my middle school struggle with the violin.
I’m so lucky that music has provided the drummer’s back beat to the rhythm of my life growing up. The exciting pulse of rock along with the raw edge of the blues. I still remember the glory of the first time I listened on a boyfriend’s headphones even though I don’t remember the boy.
I’m sorry I lost track of keeping current while raising children & fell out of the habit of pursuing sound. I’m grateful Keith brought me back. Music is so much fun, why do people my age get stuck in the old & familiar? It’s being open to new possibilities that helps us age a touch more gracefully.
Music can shift my mood in a heart beat & if I exercise without it I don’t try as hard.
More about Keith: I’m really glad he doesn’t credit his past drug use with his creativity. He comes across as genuine & blessed with passion. Anyone who plays guitar would gain from reading his book Life. He goes into great depth which gave me even more respect for his talent. Really a solid read, very enjoyable.