I recently watched an American Masters presentation featuring James Taylor and Carole King and a music venue called the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Having experienced a musical awakening in the latter 60’s and early 70’s that coincided with some of the most melodic and memorable music in Rock’s history, I was mesmerized throughout the program. I really don’t need to be jerked back 40 years into the past, and my old ears do not hear all of it anymore, but there it is. What can you do?

Of course, I began to think of what I was doing as all that music was being written and sung. I wasn’t writing and singing but I was certainly messing around with life. What I remember is the music. It was a time when a couple of dozen of us would gather up somewhere on a Friday night and simply spend the night listening to music. “Seeing” the music, if you know what I mean. We were a gentle and loving group. Agreeable in most things. The music was soul stirring. It evoked visceral emotions and spoke to a truth that in the end changed the direction this country was headed. I can’t say I was a front line force in that movement, but I can say I was on the bus.

I remember sitting in a cafe on Guadeloupe Street in Austin having a sidewalk burger and a beer when C, S & N, and at the time Young began playing in the background with CARRY ON. “Love is coming to us all”. I did so want to believe that. You listened to the words in those days. That the music was drop dead phenomenal was a plus, of course.

I know I am a victim of that generational malaise characterized by thinking that “that” music is better than “this” music. But that music, especially in the sixties and early seventies, even today churns the soul as no other that I know of. Well, maybe Beethoven’s 9th. I don’t know where this is going, except to say that If I could hear the music as I once did, I wouldn’t be doing this. I’d be laying out on the floor with my stereo as loud as “others” could abide and be there again. So what would that accomplish? Not a thing, except that through the tears, I’d be feeling pretty damned good.

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