Good Music Never Dies—It Doesn’t Even Grow Old


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Last night I listened to an old CD. Well, the CD wasn’t so old, but the music was. Yet, even though the music was old—45 years old!—it was as refreshing and exciting as it was the first time I heard it.

The music was and is “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the then hottest band in the world, The Beatles. But you knew that.

When the album was first released I was serving my country in the United States Air Force, stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California, the jumping off place for those who were fated to be shipped to Viet Nam.

Fortunately, before my unit got sent to Nam, I cross-trained into another unit—the 7th Air Force Headquarters. They weren’t going anywhere!

So, as I was listening to Sgt. Pepper’s, I noted just how GOOD it still sounded—I mean from a production standpoint. It was first-class. Of course, you came to expect that from George Martin, The Beatles producer. Martin was later involved in producing the best of America’s music, when they were really good.

I remember one of the first things I heard about the LP (that’s long-playing vinyl record, for those who are LP-challenged), it was from other inmates, er, airmen. They said it was good tripping music, especially “Within You, Without You,” George Harrison’s foray into Indian raga music—well done, I might add. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Lovely Rita, Meter Maid” were two others.

One thing I noticed about John Lennon’s voice—when he wanted, he could sound very trippy, which added to the mystique of the LP.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Well, of course, I had to try out this trippiness by obtaining a joint from a so-called “friend” and doing my best to gag it down. It certainly did have an effect, but no overwhelmingly so. Not bad, though, at least when I was listening to music.

Another time, my so-called friends put me on a bad trip by pretending like they were going to do something awful to me, scaring me. Talking about paranoia! I wanted to shrivel up inside and disappear.

One time I actually forked out ten bucks for a “lid” or “baggy”—one ounce of marijuana. But I felt so guilty that, on my way home to visit one weekend, I threw the unopened baggy out the window of my car.

While marijuana had a nice effect while listening to music, I later learned it has a not-so-nice effect on the brain. So, I think after maybe trying out the substance half a dozen times over the course of five years, I never used the stuff again.

After all, good music doesn’t really need to be enhanced by psychotropic substances. It gives one unrealistic musical expectations when one isn’t high on dope.

So, listening to Sgt. Pepper’s brought back all sorts of memories, which is why I went off on this tangent. But then, I never intended this to be a review of Sgt. Pepper’s.

I’ve found that listening to all my Beatles’ CDs is a pleasant experience, but none more so than Sgt. Pepper’s. Their music just doesn’t grow old. However, I can’t say the same for myself.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MargeKatherine
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 23:20:29

    I think when we listen to music we go right back to that time and place and feel the same emotions we felt back then, I think that’s what’s so special about music – it’s a thread that flows through our lives.

    Reply

    • Cris
      Oct 30, 2012 @ 18:51:10

      You’re right about that. For me, it isn’t so much about the emotions of events in my life but more of the emotions I felt while listening to the music, as I was a very lonely boy and music was my emotional outlet. Thanks for dropping by and Liking and commenting.

      Reply

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