Wednesday, April 2, 2008


To begin with, I'm tone deaf. I realized that I couldn't sing as a young child sitting in church. I was singing my heart out. I looked across the aisle and two girls (whom I didn't know--still don't) we're staring at me with the most disgusted looks on their faces. I lowered my singing voice to an inaudible level and have never (well, rarely) raised it since.

My mom got all of my siblings into music pretty early, but with me she never pushed it. A couple of years after my older brother started piano lessons, I thought that she was going to tell me that it was my turn to start learning an instrument. I'm not sure if she ever asked me, but in any case I told her at one point that I wanted to play either the harp or the bagpipes. I think that she thought I was joking. I wasn't. I remember seeing Harpo Marx playing the harp in a movie. It was amazing! Also, I always did kind of identify with Harpo (he's pretty quiet). As for the bagpipes, well...they're just cool!

Either my mom recognized that I had no musical talent (which I don't. My wife will confirm that.) or she wanted to get me started on an instrument, but thought that I was being difficult by suggesting ridiculous instruments (I don't think that I was being difficult, but perhaps subconsciously...)

I never did get into pop music much. I don't know why. My mom listened to some. Maybe it's because my older brother never listened to pop music. Younger siblings take a lot of cues from their older counterparts.

Sometime in middle school, my friends and I discovered reggae. I don't know why we latched onto it so strongly. Papa Levi was the first reggae artist we heard. Soon we were listening to Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff, Inner Circle and later UB40 and Big Mountain.

In high school most cliques are defined by what music they listen too. My little group of friends (Ben, Corey, Beau and me) was pretty really tight--we did everything together, but we didn't exactly agree on music. By the last couple of years of high school we had mostly left the reggae behind. Ben got into alternative. He listened to things like Midnight Oil and Presidents of the United States of America. Corey drifted to Country, despite our best efforts (yuck). Beau preferred Hip-hop and derided Ben's tastes, while Ben ridiculed Beaus.

What about me? Well, I stuck with reggae more than any of the rest of them probably, but I also listened to alternative with Ben, and I started to get into things like Yes and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. More recently I like classical music, blue grass and folk (if you ever get a chance, listen to the album Grandma's Patchwork Quilt), and--much to my wife's chagrin--Neil Diamond!


Sunnie said...

I wanted to play the harp and bagpipes too!

Sunnie said...

Well, I'm glad you like classical now too. I don't think I ever knew that. (Cory)

Jamie said...

Oh yes, I do. It's good stuff. I think that Mozart is mostly over my head though. I like Beethoven and some of the 19th century Russian guys and Bartok and such.


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