Friday, May 19, 2017

Music, Then and Now

I was saddened to hear of the death of Chris Cornell, one of the founders of Soundgarden.  He was my age.  And then, I was further saddened to hear that it was suicide.

I only own one Soundgarden CD--and that sentence tells you a lot about how old I am--to own a CD, not to download some tracks (do we call them tracks?  I haven't downloaded any music in years).  I bought it when I found it cheap, and it was a way to get a copy of "Burden in My Hand," back in those days before we could download an individual track.

I saw Soundgarden at the 1996 Lollapalooza festival--I saw a lot of great acts at that festival, including the Ramones and Metallica, but I was there to hear Rage Against the Machine.  We got up early that morning to drive to Rockingham, North Carolina for a rock festival at a racetrack.  I remember it being hot and dusty, but feeling exhilarated because we were at an important music festival.

Those were the days we would drive all sorts of places for good music:  the jazz festival each year in Jacksonville, Florida and we drove to Charlotte to see Mary Chapin Carpenter.  Some concerts were just miles away.  For my birthday one year, one of my best friends bought us tickets to see Melissa Etheridge.  She knew I wouldn't treat myself because the tickets were $35 a piece.

Now I live in a place where we have lots of great music concerts, but I rarely go.  It's a combination of not wanting to pay for tickets and not wanting all the hassles of seeing music with a huge group of people.  I'm much happier being part of a smaller group playing music in a living room or on our porch.

Today I'll listen to "Burden in My Hand" again.  I'll remember the summer of 1996, a great summer of music festivals.  And then, at some point, maybe I'll pick up my long-neglected instruments and pluck out a few notes.

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