So I listened to the CD that my friend PJ sent. In a previous post, I mentioned the tape and CD as one of the intrinsic blessings that are part of being a musician and performer. Figuring such a trip back in time would require a mellow state of mind, Debbie and I chose a merlot for the journey.
I was amazed at the quality of the recording. I don't remember exactly how we recorded it, but I think we just used a regular cassette player typical of the late 1970s. It sounds like we probably used the external mics available at the time, with the miniature phono plugs and the little plastic table stands.
We recorded it in her dorm room. I've done some noise reduction processing, and with the tape noise out of the way, you can hear girls in the hallway in the background from time to time. Not exactly a pristine recording environment!
Then considering that the oxide on the tape has had thirty years to decay and that the tape has been played numerous times, according to PJ, I was astounded at how good it still sounded.
It was strange, interesting and wonderful all at the same time. I was 19 when this tape was made. My playing style has changed, and I'm a better player now than I was then (I guess 30 years of practice has helped that). I sound so young! It was curious how much I sounded like my brother.
The songs made synapses in my brain fire that had not fired in a couple of decades. The tape had songs that I had forgotten that I even knew and had songs that I now do completely differently. It might be interesting to post "Long Haired Country Boy: Then and Now" on the web site sometime.
I didn't recall knowing so much John Denver. That man could sure turn a love song! And I was, at the time, truly smitten for the first time in my life. I recall that I used to know a lot of Paul Simon, but not the songs on the tape.
Did I really used to sing Elton John's I Need You to Turn to? It's a great tune! Then out of nowhere came the Jonathan Edwards tune Give Us a Song. That one's going back into the repertoire and may well go on the next record.
When it was all over, what really struck me was the blessing of sitting in my living room, watching 50 come over the horizon in my direction and getting a glimpse back at myself when I was 19. From long hair to less hair, time and experience have made a path between yesterday and today. With apologies to Bob and Jerry, it has been a long, strange trip. Here to the hills, curves, and plains that lie ahead!
Today's 19 year old musician will someday, Good Lord willin', be a 50 year old musician. What will that singer/player/performer see if he or she gets a chance to look back on themselves? I hope they get that chance.