It was pretty disappointing to be standing out on the beach last night at two-bloody-thirty in the morning and not even see the glow on the horizon. It was just too cloudy and hazy to see the shuttle. Andie had a radio, and CNN Radio was carrying the launch. We knew it’d gone, but we didn’t see anything. I hope I have another chance at some point to get pictures of a night launch. It’s pretty spectacular, even from this distance.
So I ripped a bunch of music to my Sansa tonight. I couldn’t bring myself to join the iPod Borg. My daughter swears by hers, and I bought her a new one for Christmas, but I went with a more generic model. I didn’t want to be tied to iTunes, and I’m just contrary that way sometimes. So I went with the Sansa. Sandisk makes most of the portable memory I use, and I figured it’s just a flash memory chip with a transport control. Seemed like a good move, and I’ve not been disappointed yet.
Anyway, if you were to play ‘What’s on Tom’s MP3 Player”, you’d know I was an old time Rock ‘n’ Roller, though I appreciate pretty much everything but rap, hip-hop, that kind of thing. I’ve got everything on here from The Beatles to Yes, with Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Chicago, Eric Clapton, BB King, Maynard Furgeson, and Duke Tumatoe all in the mix. It’s pretty eclectic. Since I’m often listening when I’m bicycling or running on the elliptical, I like the stuff to be pretty hard. It’s difficult to exercise to Nora Jones, as much as I might enjoy her music. At least for me it is. I’m sure somebody finds her perfect.
My problem was, in it’s “Play All” random selection, I was getting a lot of Led Zepplin, Jimmy Buffett, and Beatles, and I had a lot more on there than that. So, I decided it was time to start loading up a bit more variety. I think I dumped a gig of music onto the player tonight. Yes, Stray Cats, Boston, Santana, Billy Joel, The Who … and when I lit it up to see what it would do, it landed on one of my favorite “Yes” tracks … ‘And You And I”.
From the album “Close to the Edge” … listed as one of 1001 albums you must hear before you die, according to Wikipedia. I listened to this album when I was in high school until the grooves just wore out. For those of you reading who might be unfamiliar with the concept of a record album, it was pressed in vinyl and played by dragging a diamond stylus through the one, long, continuous groove in the the vinyl disk. After a while, all that scraping took it’s toll on the plastic, and the sound quality began to degrade. My copy of “Close to the Edge’ was pretty degraded.
So, in my room, with an inexpensive stereo rattling the speakers, or sometimes with my head pressed between the earphones of a pair of Pioneer cans … I’d try, usually with some success, to hit Jon Anderson’s high notes. I’ve always been a tenor, and while I can’t quite get there all the time any more … I used to sing at the top of my voice over and over again.
Music has that power. Listening to it right now, I’m transported back to my long, narrow room at the back of my parent’s house, clothes all over the floor, clutter everywhere (I’ve never been very neat), guitar in the corner, and Yes, or Emerson, Lake and Palmer, or any one of a number of other British Prog Rockers blasting away.
Headphones were the worst. It’s no wonder I don’t hear very well to this day. One of these days, they’ll come up with lasik for ears.
I love going back and listening to the music I grew up with. I think everyone does.
“On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving anyplace …. If the summer change to winter … yours is no disgrace”
It means nothing, as far as I can tell. I tried and tried to make it mean something, and now, with 35 years perspective, I know it doesn’t.
“Silly Human, Silly Human Race”.