Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Music And Memories

Yesterday, while I was taking my morning walk around the perimeter of the first floor of my building, the song “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers Band played on my iPod. This has got to be one of the most joyful songs in rock and roll. I have probably seen the Allman Brothers Band more than any other band. I once saw them three times in one week in three different states. I’ve heard them play this song many times. This song was written by Dickey Betts, a longtime member of the ABB and a guitarist. A few years ago I attended a solo concert by Dickey Betts in a very small amphitheater. At one point I was literally sitting at his feet as he played “Jessica” and some of my other favorite songs. I was in rock and roll heaven. It wasn’t on the level of a perfect moment in nature but it, too, was definitely a Zen moment. Music is more than entertainment to me. Music is part of who I am. I thought of this over the Christmas break as I watched a movie called “The Music Never Stopped”. It was about someone born the same year as me. As a young adult he developed a brain tumor that erased his memories. Like me, he was someone deeply moved by the music of his generation. A music therapist used songs by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and others, to help him remember his past. When certain songs were played he had instant recall from the time in his life when those songs were very important to him. I don’t have a brain tumor but music does the same for me. In addition, music makes me happy if I am sad, and happier if I am already happy.

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