The Night I Didn’t Simply Hear The Music, BUT Experienced It.

The Song of the Day: “Babylon Sisters” by Steely Dan (1980)

The amazing and infallible groove-making style of Donald Fagen never fails to give me a pep in my step and/or a rock of my body to the beat. The man is a musical genius.

I wish to share a story with you. When I was coming of age, I would like to say around 14 or 15 years old, my stepmother was out for the evening and it was a guys’ night in. My father and I decided this was the perfect occasion to really delve into a new technology called DVD Audio. This new technology basically remastered the old albums we all knew and loved and reformatted them into 7.1 Dolby Digital recording.

My father and I reorganized the living room, moved the two large sofa-chairs and positioned them about 5 feet from the center channel, perfectly in the vortex of optimum sound quality – a place where any music lover would tremble with excitement and brandish goose-bumps from head to toe.

The evening included all-time albums such as Santana Abraxas, The Doobie Bros. The Captain and Me, The Doors L.A. Woman, Al Green’s Greatest Hits, Toto’s Essential Hits, and so much more.

As we sat down with our manly meals of dad’s specialty ribeye and mashed potatoes, it was the beginning of a night for the record books. We began with this song, ” Babylon Sisters” by Steely Dan. This was my maiden voyage into Steely Dan. Sure, I had heard their album Gaucho before, and plenty of other songs. But, nothing had prepared me for the way I would experience music the way I did that night. Hearing those horns swirling from behind my left ear all the way in front of me to the behind my right ear, picking up on the light vocal stylings of Michael McDonald here and there – unlike anything I had ever heard.

Halfway through the night, I look over and remember seeing my father, eyes closed, music permeating his finger tips and possessing the beat of “Hey Nineteen.” He was “experiencing” the music and wanting to be just like dad, I close the eyes and attempted the same. I remember it taking a few moments for me. I inhaled and exhaled. I relaxed and let me mind go. Rather than actively pursuing each note, I let them come to me. Suddenly my head began to sway and my fingers rolled like waves riding on the musical current.

I did it.

It was this evening that holds a special place in my heart.  Sure, I had been a huge music fan before this. Sure, I knew every Beatles lyric, which songs were on which album, when they were released, BUT – this evening was the first time I experienced the music. Chills ran from behind my ears to my fingertips, spine, and toes.

I love music and it took me 15 years to experience it.

Thank you dad. I love you.

For those of you who have yet to have this type of intimate experience with music, I highly encourage you to take an evening for yourself soon. You will appreciate it for the rest of your life.

One Response to “The Night I Didn’t Simply Hear The Music, BUT Experienced It.”
  1. TRQ2 says:

    That’s my boy! Our passion for music has connected us beyond father/son. Keep pushing the envelope with your eyes and ears open. I love you. Dad

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