I woke up thinking about Turkish drummers.

It didn’t take longI don’t know much about Turkish drummers.

—Bruce Cockburn

Music has always been a big part of my life. Maybe not everyone who reads this blog knows that, but anyone who knows me does. From the time I was a child, I listened to the radio, to records, and to tapes I’d made. As soon as I was old enough, I started going to shows. I did that for over 40 years, until hearing damage from an acoustic trauma made me realize my concert days were probably over and my protecting-my-ears days had come unannounced to replace them.

So it’s no surprise if I wake up thinking about music on any given day. But today was different. Today I woke up thinking in a logical, almost strategic way about my history with music, from pop to jazz. Almost as if I were going to write a book about it.

I’m not.

 

Music, Music, Music

Before I looked it up today, I didn’t know Teresa Brewer had a hit in 1949 with (Put Another Nickel In) Music! Music! Music! Somehow that song is ingrained in my head, and it’s not even my style. Maybe I got it from a kids’ show or a TV commercial.

My early leanings were as much about Jim Croce and Jim Stafford as Elton John. Pop ruled the airways, but much of it was also rock. This teen got into Kiss (my first concert at 13), Aerosmith, and Van Halen in the late 70s, an era when Van Halen actually came across the FM dial on pop stations. Hard to fathom today.

Women began to dominate the scene almost as much as men, at least in my mind. Blondie was punk, then cool new wave, then pop, and Pat Benatar rocked the Billboard Top 40. Joan Jett loved rock ‘n’ roll, and we loved her. Those women were sexier than all get-out. To a teenage boy, they were Amazons, larger than life.

 

I Could Write a Book

The other half of today’s title, “I could write a book,” comes from conversations I’ve had over the last year. This past weekend, I explained to a friend of mine how annoying it is for professional writers when non-writers (a.k.a., civilians) say, “I’m going to write a book someday.”

In fact, virtually every variation on that is like the proverbial fingernails on a blackboard to a working writer.

Other examples:

  1. “I think I’d like to write a book.”
  2. “You know, I could write a book.”
  3. “People always tell me, Your life would make a good book.”

Okay, you get the idea. If you’re not a writer, but you’ve said this crap to a writer, here’s what they thought.

  1. “No, you wouldn’t.”
  2. “If you could, you would have done it by now.”
  3. Everyone thinks their life would make a good book.”

We’re just too polite to say it.

For years my mother told me she was going to write a memoir. She also said she was going to start walking when it got warm enough…or cool enough…or…. Both were equally annoying to hear.

What’s funny is that when I told my friend how annoying it is, he immediately said, “I’ve had people tell me my life would make a good book.”

In my head, I went, “What did I just say?”

Out of my mouth came the usual: “Uh huh.”

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