Music and I have always had a dysfunctional relationship as in I love it and my life would be less without it yet I have very little talent for it. Thus I'm the guy - necessary in every show - who if not sparking others to applaud when he applauds is at least the one person guaranteed to cheer on everyone.
I'm like a groupie but without the sex or drugs (and depending on the type of show, sometimes the rock and roll)
You know how they say musical ability runs in the family? Well, if that's true it must mean I'm adopted.
In middle school I played the violin but I had a big problem namely I could not play just one string at a time.
In high school I played the clarinet but could not march in the marching band AND play the clarinet (and didn't think I was too good at the clarinet even when standing still)
One hot summer (this was in Riverside, Calif.) I got tired of the band director yelling at me and quit. I was tired of people asking if I was going to be a drum major like my sister and was sick of all of the cliques.
I would later identify that moment when I walked off the field as the first time I fought back in a major way against author.
So instead my buddy, Mike, and I would do our own thing and trade albums of bands that sounded intriguing (REM, Replacements, etc) and gradually others hung with us and at some point I think our anti-cilique became a clique itself. I thought that was a fascinating experiment.
This was also around the time I was reconsidering my plans to be a computer programmer liking instead the feedback I was getting as a writer.
I gave up performing music but was a fan of attending music and that continues to this day (as those at Port City will attest), whether I'm going because I like the music or the people or whatever.
Sometimes I'll try something new just for the heck of it as was the case when I decided in recent years to try my hand at some music concert photography, be it the annual Hagerstown bluesfest (I'm not a big fan of the blues but it was fun to try to get decent photos out of it) or, much more challenging especially if your camera battery is low, an inside punk show.
I have attempted to explain before why it's hard for me to write about music which can pretty much be summed up by the quotation (which has been attributed to everyone from Randy Newman to David Byrne among others) that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" and yet I like to read others pieces about music and like, more recently, to learn about cultures through music as I did with the Putumayo albums.
So to sum up, music and I get along pretty well - it enriches my life. The days when I had to have music going constantly are over, around the time i became I teacher (when it seemed as though I would never hear complete silence again) I began to truly appreciate the sound of silence.
And yet I know that I can't sing or play an instrument unless applauding counts. And so it is and so it shall be.