Monday, 22 May 2017

Tough Question - Mangled Answer

The question was simple, the answer proved not so.

So much to consider before providing a clear, concise and articulate response.

After all, what can be so hard, apart from the fact it is one rarely asked, of me at least.

Is my difficulty the result of having lived through the period that has seen such huge growth, diversity and development. What was almost an elitist industry when I was born became somewhat mainstream just 10 years later. Colour television brought it roaring in to our lounge rooms and exposed us to such a variety, and from all around the world.

I was surprised it was so hard and shocked by the multiplicity of my answer.

I was at my favourite Saturday cafĂ© and placing my order. Music was playing and a song I really like was playing. While I may Iike the song, and can describe the features of the artist, their name is one I can never recall.  I told Jackson, the Barista, how much I liked the song and he agreed with enthusiasm., which surprised me given he is in his late 20’s

And then it happened, he asked what music I like and I stuttered and stammered saying I am ‘old’ so there is much to consider. He pushed me, an answer was demanded.

I thought out loud saying that as a teenager of the 70’s, I grew up influenced by the Black T Shirt Bands, Deep Purple, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Slade, Black Sabbath, Bad Company and the like, but also loved the Beatles at a time you identified as a Beatles or a Stones fan but never both but then I went to see the Stones on their last tour.

Then there is Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, Bowie put on the equal best show I have seen and there are the products of the great live music scene that was Melbourne in the 70 such as ACDC, Men at Work, Skyhooks, TMG, Thorpie and Lobby Lloyd.

I explained about Countdown and while I scoffed at the soft pop of many of the hits, I bought the 20th anniversary CD’s and each song prompts a memory and embarrassingly I know all the words. I have bene to several John Farnham shows (don’t tell anyone), LRB are a long standing favourite and I have enjoyed John English live on some 4 occasions. Van Morrison, Eagles, Dobbie Brothers, Joplin, Cocker, Elton, The Oils, Queen, the Peppers and then there is Robbie Williams and of course, Paul Kelly.

I said I like Courtney Barnett and Ed Sheeran and have recently purchased Jay Z music. And my youngest son rotates different artists through my CD player in the car so I don’t get stale, most I enjoy, but can’t say who they are.

I also recently bought ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ via ITunes making it the 3rd time I have bought it. I have the Vinyl and lost the CD.

Jackson asked me a about “Journey”. Have you ever tried to describe Rick Wakeman’s solo work to someone who has never heard of him? Take a moment and imagine what you would say.

I explained the recent purchase of a box set of solo piano tunes I play regularly, particularly when writing, and I listen to ABC Classical regularly.

My somewhat long answer sounded so ridiculous even as I was spurting it out.

He asked me about Jay Z and what appealed to me and I talked about the stories his lyrics tell. He agreed, he is a great story teller.

Try and answer the question – what music do you like and see if you can provide a more coherent answer.

I ended up saying that I really don’t know what I like, it depends on my mood I guess.

And when drinking my coffee, I wondered to myself, “does the music we listen to depend on our mood, or does our mood depend upon the music? That is a question for another day.

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