33 and 1/3 (for Phil)
I love music. I have always loved music. I have not always appreciated music, however. There is a difference. I have always loved the way music seemed to soak into by body in a mindless manner. I felt it, but I didn’t think about it. I also love words, and while I am not so great at putting words together on a page, I love to listen to the power of words. For me, words come before music. This is most likely why I grew up in love with hip hop. Words trumped the music. The words were absorbed into my brain and the music was absorbed into my ribcage.
I became a DJ. I collected vinyl. I was still just about the words and the beat. Then my younger brother became a musician. He became a fantastic musician, actually. He influenced me (and countless others) opened my ears, and guided me to being the man I am today in many respects. I owe him a debt of gratitude. Watching him perform live on stage, fingers flying up and down the fretboard (either bass or guitar), eyes locking with mine mid-solo, then the grin and subtle head nod -that right there was total happiness. Seeing him become so lost in the music, seeing him develop into a showman – that shy, overweight kid who hated crowds, the kid that would force me to sit upstairs with him at family gatherings to listen to music (or watch music on YouTube) because he hated the social awkwardness, seeing him transform into something else because of music – that was magical. Sitting in the rocking chairs on our Mother’s front porch, watching him write songs, made me a music lover in the truest sense.
It is the epitome of serendipity that today, April 13th 2012, on the fourth anniversary of his death, I am exactly 33 and 1/3 years old. One revolution of a vinyl record. I will listen to music, at a high volume, all day long. I will start by listening to the last gift my brother, Philip, gave me. He managed to find, on ebay, a vinyl copy of a mythical tape my father played for us when we were young. We lost the tape to an unfortunately hungry tape deck – but the fact that Phil tracked it down and bought it for me several years ago is amazing. He unknowingly completed the circle, because now I play that record for my children, and they sing along. The revolution continues…