Day 3/100 Happy Days – Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World!

Each generation grows up with a fondness for a certain type of music.  I  would describe myself as a small “h” head banger, big “c” Classic Rock freak (and by classic rock, I mean pre-1990s, though I do like the Seattle Grunge of Pearl Jam and SoundGarden).

Ever since the early days of listening to 1050 CHUM in Toronto and of using my cassette deck to capture the annual “best 1000 songs of all time” from the radio, to the hours spent listening to my brother’s extensive vinyl collection, music has been important to me. The Who, AC-DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Rush and countless others that will take too long to name, appealed to my thoughts of rebellion and “coolness”.  Their memorable riffs, shocking lyrics (well for that time anyway, as they really have nothing on today’s “pop” music lyrics) were a great counter-weight to the expectations and pressures of maintaining the requisite Honour Roll Status.  While my parents dreamed of my futre including medicine, or law, or finance, I always dreamed of getting on the stage and cutting a mean axe solo à la Peter Frampton!

But it never happened. My only school age foray into music was the double bass – a lot cooler now than it was back then – and that was simply to play school-sanctioned classical selections with the other violinists.  It was not very Bon Scott.

Instead my outlet was the myriad of concerts that came through Toronto and catching a lot of the bands I loved, live at Maple Leaf Gardens, Ontario Place, or Exhibition Place.   It was not a bad outlet at all.

I remember my ex-wife giving me my first acoustic guitar on our fifth anniversary. I used the traditional “Learn How to Play Guitar in 10 days” manuals, but soon got tired of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” and other lame offerings. So it went away.

It wasn’t until six years later that I took a serious swipe at figuring out the six string. And I have never looked back. Now while I am no expert guitarist, I do like banging away on my guitars and learning new things – classic rock and the blues are very forgiving! To my ear, it is just right – can’t speak for the others in the house.

Over time, I have expanded my musical taste – pretty much everything but acid country and hard core rap are on my playlists. Music and playing the guitar are my meditation, my diversion, and one of my passions. Both take an ordinary day and make it special. Music transports me to happy places; playing songs that I like in the way I want to hear them creates a different kind of contentment – one that you cannot get from a video game, a TV show, or a movie.  I am addicted.

I could not imagine a day without music, and I cannot go a long time without playing my guitar. And while it may not make those around me “happy|, it definitely makes me happy! Now all I have to do is find a gang to jam with…and figure out the keyboards!