The Makings of an Audiophile

I truly love everything about music – the sounds, the history, the personalities, the live music experience.  One of my favorite things in the world is getting a new album, pealing off the cellophane and pouring over the liner notes while listening to the album for the first time.  I always read every single word – down to the very last thank you to the very last random person.  I feel like the artwork, the fonts, whether or not the artist choose to include the lyrics or not, and the random artist ramblings all work together to make up the album experience, not just the music.  And, all of that puts me in the minority among my peers, as I continue to buy full albums on CD and vinyl, and not just individual songs digitally.

Music was always part of my life, from my Mom’s love of The Carpenters, Elvis, and of course Barbra, to my Dad’s love of CCR, to my Grandmother’s adoration for Lawrence Welk.  From birth I was put on a heavy diet of The Beatles and The Beach Boys, which both parents loved, and to this day are the foundation of everything I love and listen too.  My Mom might also be responsible for my groupie/fan girl tendencies, as she still has her complete set of Beatles trading cards.

I’ve had my own music collection for as long I can remember, and played songs on both my Fisher Price cassette player and record player.  You know the ones – in the shades of brown.  I loved them.  At the time they were mostly used for The Smurfs and the like, and while not a lot of 80’s music was played in my house, I did have “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” on 45’s, which I probably wore out from playing so much.  In 1993 my first CD was the soundtrack to Snow White – because I would always sing “I’m Wishing” in the shower.

My performances went beyond Disney and in third grade I used to go to a corner of the playground and “write” my own songs, which basically consisted of singing random words and thoughts.  I always loved elementary choir performances, and in fifth grade started playing the violin.  Violin seemed like the natural choice at the time – my mom and cousin had both played, but I was never really that good.  And when given the choice between playing 1st and 2nd violin, I picked 2nd.  Who wants to spend that much time in the third position on the E string?  Not I.  In retrospect, I probably would have enjoyed playing the cello more, as I found it enchanting and would always watch them play out of the corner of my eye.

I also sang all through middle school.  In addition to regular class, I gave up most of my rec time and after school time to perform in addition groups.  You would not have known it was something as relatively unimportant as middle school choir because our teacher put an absurd amount of pressure on us.  To this day I have an extraordinarily difficult time singing in front of others, despite my love for it.

I continued playing violin throughout high school and was considered an honorary drum major with the marching band based purely on the amount of time I spent hanging out with them.  These all should have been signs…

Since this ended up being a longer post then expected, I will save The Makings of an Audiophile – The College Years for a later date.  That’s quite the story – living with a musician, managing a musician, stalking a band across the nation.  Get excited!

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