Friday, May 20, 2005

Teaching an Old Dog a New Trick

As I listened to Led Zepplin ll tonight, my mind wandered back in time to when this album was current and the rock album to have. My dad was an audophile who became hooked when mono was king in the 50's and early 60's. He listened to mostly instrumental music, classical, jazz, some swing and a smattering of show tunes. He had a generally low opinion of the human voice, considering it no better than any other instrument. He was sure that it was over used and often ruined an otherwise good tune.

Anyway, he was hip to the stereo thing long before it became the rule, not the exception. The early recordings were crude and not completely figured out yet. He gave up on it, figuring stereo would never amount to much. That is until the day I forced him to listen to Led Zepplin through my headphones on my stereo. I kept the volume turned down to the old fart level and made him suffer through "Whole Lotta Love". When the guitar licks that changed from one speaker to the other hit, I saw his eyes light up and he started grinning. Then I switched Led for Jimi Hendrix and he just kept grinning. The next day, he ordered up the biggest stereo amp Heathkit offered. When it came, he built it in record time. And while he went back to his show tunes and long hair Beethoven and Chopin, I knew I had been integral in helping my father reach a new level of music appreciation.

No comments: