That First Music Experience (and once it happens you’re never the same)
It happens to all of us, but for some we simply never recover.
I’m talking about the impact that a recording or live music makes on a human being upon hearing that piece for the first time.
For some it’s a nod, a toe-tap and perhaps even a reply on the order of “yeah, that’s great!” but little more than that.
For others like myself, we hear something great for the first time and are forever changed.
That happened to me in 1974.
Our family was living in a small town near Amherst, MA and my father was a professor at the local university. Living on an educator’s wages, my folks started out in a small apartment duplex where I still to this day retain the earliest snapshots of my life.
Snapshot #1: Being read stories upstairs before bed. You remember that one, right?
Snapshot #2: Being held in your momma’s arms. For me this was a poignant experience as this was normally done to one song, and that song was Frank Valli’s “You’re Just To Good To Be True”. Listen to that one again, but from a mother-child perspective and the tune takes on an entirely different meaning. No matter how nuts my mother makes me, this is the memory that will endear her to me for the rest of my life.
Snapshot #3: Crawling (yes, crawling) on the carpet with one record under each paw as I approach a parent asking them to put them on the hi-fi. For years my folks would recount my baby talk and how they couldn’t figure out what the hell I wanted. “Ooh-wawa-eat-a-wahco”. Hilarious, but I can of course tell them now what I was trying to say… “I want to hear the record!”
Fast forward a few years and now we have moved up to the prettiest house in the woods you ever saw.
I now have a brother who to this day I believe is the world’s most talented (and unknown) aficionado and connoisseur of western pop/rock music. If it’s good, he always had it six months before everyone else.
Back when we were kids, I was playing Chopin and Beethoven on the keys. And by this time the radio was playing Manilow and the Bee Gees.
But then my little brother bought his first Elvis record (Golden Records). This followed with a number of Beatles records and then a slew of vinyl from the 50s and 60s.
Later I developed an appreciation for the 70s, but once the 80s came along (with synths) I was a completely lost cause!
And now all these years later, I still feel a deep love for the craft of what inspired me in so many of the tunes from those earlier decades.
They continue to inform everything I write and record as time goes by. I hope you will continue accompanying me on this journey now that I’ve shared a bit of my past with you. There’s certainly more to come!
For you see, no matter how old I get, I’m still that little child crawling along the floor with music under his hands.
Another gift in the spirit of the story above. This track is not currently available for sale but as a thank you for being one of my subscribers I want to give it to you for free – no strings attached.
If you like the track you might also consider checking out my new EP entitled “The Years”. It’s my latest album and it’s full of tunes that hearken back to the 80s era that I think you will enjoy thoroughly!
Talk soon – Harper