Musical Roots

Whenever I consider the origins of my uncontrollable love of music, I usually think of my father. Despite a very fractured relationship, while I spent many nights alone in my seemingly borrowed bedroom, I would lie awake until the darkest hours of the night hearing Springsteen, The Stones, Dylan and countless others pounding through my bedroom walls. While the drinks flowed and the party raged below, songs such as "Thunder Road" and "Let It Be" provided some comfort.

Lately I've come to realize that my understanding and love of music was fed to me by my mother as well. Whenever my mom would load us into her broken down Pinto or her pride-and-joy Buick, she'd immediately turn up CBS 101 in NJ/NY. This station played, the only place the dial ever sat, played those ditties from the 50s, as well as soul music and the beginnings of rock. We'd hear a little bit of Elvis, but more regular were pop's original darlings such as Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers. The latter were my mom's favorite. As we'd drive to the laundromat or the grocery store, if she'd simply hear the intro. to "Wake Up Little Susie", her spirits would immediately lift. And her two minutes of joy would spread throughout the car. It was a wonderful feeling. And although my brothers and I would scoff at that music at the time, it left a mark.

As I finish off this post and sit here listening to "The Very Best of the Everly Brothers", I realize that my mother's less direct introduction to music may have played the most important role in handing me the love of my life, music. Just like the songs of the Everly Brothers, her efforts were simple and natural, but the result may have been the greatest gift I've ever received.