At best, many of the younger readers here have never had the opportunity to ever own, what is now considered, a piece of iconic history, something we used to call a “boom box” or a “ghetto blaster” back in the day. And, if you are wondering, the picture above is just such a relic from my younger years, this is what our “portable music device” looked like. Many, like this one, could be plugged into a wall outlet or have the ten (10) D size battery option. But, we could take our music, carried separately, to play anywhere we pleased. But, enough about my very vague history lesson, that’s not what this post is actually about, it is partly about how we personally like to hear, listen, and feel the energy our music choices.
So, anyway, y’all may have read that I’m unemployed once again, boo hoo me, so I decided to go out to my shop and “piddle about” for a while, listen to my heavy metal music loudly through my ear buds plugged into my cell phone. Its not an uncommon site to see me, yes even at my age, having my music playing directly into my head, cooking off brain cells left and right, for the pure enjoyment of it. As a bonus, it blocks out the “noise” of the world around me. My wife calls my music my “security blanket”, I call it bliss. Let’s just say I have enough digital music on my devices (two devices) that if played straight through, 24 hours a day, I wouldn’t hear the same song twice or repeat for around 27 months (that’s just shy of 20,000 hours of music). Now, add in that I have over 100 eight-track tapes, over 300 vinyl albums, 200 plus cassette tapes, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 450 plus audio CDs. And yes, I have ” old school ” devices from back in the days to listen to it all. Anyway, I was looking for an old wood chisel set buried somewhere in the shop storage closet to clean up some detail work on a old mantel piece I rescued from this last place I worked for the two weeks. It was a beautiful piece of hand tooled wood that was replaced with a more modern piece of polished marble. Anyway, I saved this 7′ behemoth from the dumpster, knowing I could bring it back to its original 40’s glory.
As I dig, I move shit from here to there and there to someplace else when I find the antique wooden box (circa early 50’s) that had been passed down from father to son a few times over the years, sitting on a shelf under something covered in an old sheet. Lifting the sheet revealed my old boom box. I quickly became sidetracked, yanked the sheet off, and took the old friend out to the work bench. When I plugged her in all the lights came on and everything, I don’t think it has had power put to it since ’99, so I was impressed. I noticed a cassette tape in the in one of the spaces, pressed play, and out of the speakers came, very clear I might add, the voice of Ronnie James Dio, singing “Don’t talk to strangers”. I was transported back in time, to another era, to the day I bought this cassette, upgrading for mobility, to have another format besides the vinyl, that could be played on the go. Do you remember going into music stores just to browse? The musty dusty smell of a place where every generation was welcome and had a place? I sure do, very fond memories indeed. There was certain satisfaction, an anticipation if you will, of walking out of the music store, not being able to wait to get into your room, close your door, and slowly open your new music. And then, then the feeling when you pushed play for the very first time, a virgin tape no longer, hearing the pre-song static, and then, only then, would the sweet music of your choice start leaking out of the speakers, I call this moment one’s musical listening climax, because now you can lay back and just listen. Too dramatic?
Needless to say, the ear buds were out for the rest of the day, as I listened to Dio many times, front and back, never skipping a song, it was a bliss amidst the chaos for me, I was consumed with it, I even caught myself smiling a time or three remembering the past. Funny how music works that way, funny how music can change one’s mood almost instantly, and funny how when life blows or life glows, I turn to my friend, I turn to music. A few of y’all will understand me and the rest of y’all are still scratching your heads. Read the caption in the picture below, if you understand it then you know what I have always known. And, thanks to Rexi, I borrowed it from her Facebook wall, I thought it would really bring my point home.