By Dick Luedke
I was preparing to broadcast a college football game at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Indiana. The public address system, cranked up to an annoyingly high volume, was spitting out rap music, which was even more annoying to me than the volume at which it was being played.
I was about to make a wiseacre comment to the young person sitting next to me. I was going to ask why they weren’t playing that delightful tune a little louder so that we could all better enjoy it. Then it occurred to me that doing so would make me sound like a grumpy old man.
A grumpy old man is indeed what I am. But in spite of my age and grumpiness, I am aware wonderful young people with non-musical interests similar to mine have a genuine passion for rap.
What Did I Like Then?
That inspired me to think back on the music I was passionate about when I was their age, and was much less of a grump. When the Beatles burst upon the scene in the early 60s, I was smitten. That music produced a feeling within me I still can’t explain.
The Beatles also produced a feeling within my father, which he had no trouble explaining.
“That’s not music,” he growled. “That’s noise. I don’t want to hear that noise.”
He reached from the drivers seat and turned off the car radio.
“What a grumpy old man,” I thought.
I Have Become My Father
At Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, it occurred to me I had become my grumpy old father. I was listening to what I perceived as noise and if I could have turned it off, at least in our radio booth, I would have.
I am now older than my father was when he offered his review of the music of my youth. But I still love that music. Listening to it still produces that feeling within me I can’t explain.
So what about those who are currently fans of the rap I was listening to in Terre Haute? Will they still love that music when they are as old as I am now?
Of course they will. Their love of their music is no less legitimate than my love of mine, which is no less legitimate than your love of the music that you go out of your way to listen to here at TheBreez.com.
How Does Your Music Make You Feel?
Can you put into words how your music makes you feel? I recently read a novel called “A Soldier of the Great War” by Mark Helprin. A character in the novel said something that is as profound as anything I have ever read.
“Music is the one thing that tells me time and time again that God exists and He’ll take care.
“Music isn’t rational. It isn’t true. What is it? Why do mechanical variations in rhythm and tone speak the language of the heart? How can a simple song be so beautiful?
“If it weren’t for music, I would think that love is mortal.”
The variations in styles of music are infinite. Everyone of those styles evoke indescribable emotion in someone. It’s part of what makes life beautiful.
I’m going to try hard not to forget that the next time I encounter music that annoys me.