Tall Drink of Nerd: I’ve Got the Music in Me
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
Music. It’s everywhere.
Every day music is all around you; morning alarm, drive to work, soundtrack under your fav TV show. Heck, Ernessa even does a daily blog about guessing song lyrics. Sorry cotton, music is the real fabric of our lives.
Today I’m wondering who your musical influences are. That’s a standard question usually reserved for rock stars when they make the cover of the Rolling Stone. They answer with timeless, occasionally obscure, musicians in history but what I’m wondering is who, in your life, has influenced your musical taste? Who introduced you to Opera or Punk or Reggae? Who took you to your first concert or gave you your first Parliament CD?
My Dad was my first influence. He wanted to be a crooner, like Eddy Arnold, but life didn’t work out that way. Though Dad’s job was construction, and being a father to 5 ornery Henrys, he had an overwhelming compulsion to croon. From the time my little pink ears could determine noise, I remember him constantly warbling snippets of old cowboy tunes or spirituals. He has yet to sing a full song, of anything, all the way through. He wanders around the house intoning the first verse of Peace in the Valley, and then hums a little before moving into El Paso. Because of him, I know half of the cowboy songs ever written. Or I should say, I know half of the lyrics to half of the cowboy songs ever written.
My siblings contributed to the play list in my brain too. My brothers brought in the 70’s roots rock, Sister #1 added Barry Manilow and Bob Seger then Sister #2 piled Styx and Journey on top of the list.
Sister #2, the ever-martyred middle child Janet, used to make up dances with me in our basement. Since I was smaller when I was 7 and she was 11, and she was much nicer, she let me be the girl and would lift and spin me. We were the definition of Solid Gold.
Various and sundry college roommates, boyfriends and girl friends brought in The Cure, The Smiths, Pink Floyd, Sarah Vaughn, Stephen Sondheim, Trip Shakespeare and a host of musical multitudes. Which brings me to the biggest influence on the turntable, my husband, Seen.
When I met Seen, he was a rocker. I was not. He understood Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. I mocked him for his “heavy” taste. Then I listened as he discussed the music and why he liked it; the history, the production, the unique sound of each instrument and the talent behind it. I started to really listen. He opened my ears and I savored each note, as I never had before. We still have long discussions about what makes a piece of music, from classical to metal, work. Now I relish each flavor within the music instead of just gulping it in whole tasteless pieces.
Then, there was Maria, the singing nanny who father brought in from the convent…oh wait… that’s somebody else’s story.
So who brought the music into your life, or the life into your music? Who helped create the soundtrack of your life?