Musical Interlude: Fathers and Sons

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

I was introduced to Rick Beato by alert reader ProudWappie, who linked to episode 107 (!!) of his series “What makes this song great?”. Beato is quite the YouTuber; these episodes regularly garner a million views, which is encouraging about the state of the nation, since they’re very wonky. From the Introduction to an interview with Beato in Jazz Guitar Today:

What Makes This Song Great? Rick takes huge hits and dissects them with the original or rendered tracks pointing out the various qualities and features of the song – just incredible insights!

That’s a little dry. What I really like about the series — aside from the crazed look in Beato’s eyes when something musical he really, really likes is about to happen — is that he really does analyze the songs; he breaks them down track by track and shows how the tracks integrate; he shows the chord progressions on the actual instrument while playing along; and he explains why the artists make the aesthetic decisions they make. Or at least that aesthetic decisions were made. Now, I’m not going to be learning to play an instrument anytime soon — although as a child, I played on the linoleum — but if you have a child or a niece or nephew who wants to learn, you could do worse than steer them to Beato.

Beato was lucky in his family, which was musical:

I’ve always been interested in understanding different genres of music. It comes from having a big family and every one of my siblings liked a different thing. And each of my parents liked a different type of music. So in my house, everybody had their cassette players or record players or whatever. Nine people in a three-bedroom house with one bathroom. And they would all be listening to different music. My brother Lou liked the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton. Loved southern rock, loved things like that. My brother Mike liked Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra and things that were way early for him. He should have liked Led Zeppelin and things like that, but he wasn’t interested in that. My sisters loved the Beatles and the Stones and things like that. And then, of course, I was in– then I have a younger brother had his– he was very big in to ’80s metal and a lot of– and ’70s rock, as I was. So I was surrounded by people that liked different genres of music. My dad loved jazz. My mom loved opera and classical music, so there we go[1]. So I was fascinated by it all.

Here is the story of one record[2], given to Beato by his father. I recommend listening to the whole thing, because you might learn something:

“For Christmas my Dad bought me a record by a guitarist named Joe Pass….. My Dad’s like ‘If you ever learn to play like this, you’ve accomplished something with your life.'” And so the record sits, unopened, still wrapped in its cellophane, until one day….

* * *

Beato’s story, and what it said about the Beato and his father, reminded me of this more famous monologue by Bruce Springsteen. Since Springsteen is not to my taste — after my long-ish psychedelic phase (the Dead, Pink Floyd) I became taken with short, grittily textured, raw, focused songs (the Wailers, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, X), and that’s just not this era’s Springsteen — I’ll first post the tune, but so you don’t have to listen to it, I’ll post the text of the monologue. (To be fair, this live album is the only Springsteen album I really like.)

And here is the transcript of Springsteen’s monologue (via Cathal Garvey):

This is ah… When I was growing up, me and my dad used to go at it all the time over almost anything. But, ah, I used to have really long hair, way down past my shoulders. I was 17 or 18, oh man, he used to hate it. And we got to where we’d fight so much that I’d, that I’d spent a lot of time out of the house; and in the summertime it wasn’t so bad, ‘cause it was warm, and my friends were out, but in the winter, I remember standing downtown where it’d get so cold and, when the wind would blow, I had this phone booth I used to stand in. And I used to call my girl, like, for hours at a time, just talking to her all night long. And finally I’d get my nerve up to go home. I’d stand there in the driveway and he’d be waiting for me in the kitchen and I’d tuck my hair down on my collar and I’d walk in and he’d call me back to sit down with him. And the first thing he’d always ask me was what did I think I was doing with myself. And the worst part of it was that I could never explain to him.

I remember I got in a motorcycle accident once and I was laid up in bed and he had a barber come in and cut my hair and, man, I can remember telling him that I hated him and that I would never ever forget it. And he used to tell me: “Man, I can’t wait till the army gets you. When the army gets you they’re gonna make a man out of you. They’re gonna cut all that hair off and they’ll make a man out of you.”.

And this was, I guess, ’68 when there was a lot of guys from the neighbourhood going to Vietnam. I remember the drummer in my first band coming over to my house with his marine uniform on, saying that he was going and that he didn’t know where it was. And a lot of guys went, and a lot of guys didn’t come back. And the lot that came back weren’t the same anymore. I remember the day I got my draft notice. I hid it from my folks and three days before my physical me and my friends went out and we stayed up all night and we got on the bus to go that morning and man we were all so scared… And I went, and I failed. I came home [audience cheers], it’s nothing to applaud about… I remember coming home after I’d been gone for three days and walking in the kitchen and my mother and father were sitting there and my dad said: “Where you been?” and I said, uh, “I went to take my physical.” He said “What happened?” I said “They didn’t take me.” And he said: “That’s good.”

* * *

Both stories are about — for want of a better word, I’ll emit this horrid piece of MBA-speak — rebalancing relations between father and son. I find it especially touching that Springsteen’s father could not bear to see his son go to war, and so changed his mind about the war.

Readers, do you have similar stories?


[1] I was brought up on Gilbert and Sullivan, among other things. Here is a song about class:

“Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!” The piano lessons, however, did not take. We were not, as a family, musical. But I did have the run of my father’s library, and several libraries after that, too.

[2] A phonograph record, an analog sound storage medium manufactured from vinyl.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. QuicksilverMessenger

    Thanks for this. I love Rick’s youtube channel- he really loves to listen, play and breakdown music. He really gets into it and you can tell he is absolutely not faking it.

    I posted one of his “What makes this song great” videos on Nirvana here about a month ago when a number of the commentariat were dissing heavily on Kurt Cobain’s music (unbelievable really). Mr Beato loves Nirvana and has a number of fantastic breakdowns of their music. Recommended!

    1. Conrad Schumacher

      I’m another Beato fan. He has a really engaging mix of enthusiasm and knowledge. And is a very skilled musician in his own right. Which makes him a fantastic educator.

      Another neat thing is how artists have started coming on his channel and talking with him about how they created their works. I’m half way through watching Rick and Brian May going through Bohemian Rhapsody at the moment. Truly awesome stuff.

  2. Eustachedesaintpierre

    My Dad brought me up with the aim of me signing up for the army, which he was in as a sergeant. This meant circuit training, never catching him up on cross country runs, polishing his buttons & belt buckles with added spit for his boots – although he never referred to me as ” You orrible little man “.. By 1969 he had become totally disillusioned in relation to military service started by rumours he had heard during his time in Kenya in regard to the treatment of suspected Mau Mau. He researched it overtime discovering gradually more of the truth. This led him to become a military history buff from which he learned other uncomfortable truths – the final straw for him was Northern Ireland so he left.

    He loved music but as a teenager I could not agree with him on that, but a lot of what he liked back then have become favourites of mine for themselves, not out of any loyalty to him. He once caught me in the next room singing softly along to Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues as he played the What’s Goin’ On album to which his reaction was a huge grin & ” Gotcha “.

    My Mother as she started to slip into Alzheimers would tell me stories about him when they first met & my favourite was how he would often go AWOL from camp which was a distance of about 120 miles away so as he could visit her. She would leave her bedroom window open & lie in bed waiting to hear the sound of him approaching the terraced house whistling one of their favourite tunes which was Earl Bostic’s Flamingo. Then he would climb the drainpipe, swing across on the cast iron gutter & join her – that song was on his list for his funeral & he paid a heavy price when the MP’s who always knew where to find him took him back to camp.

    I got Rick from here & the latest treasure from him was his interview with Pat Metheny which was a joy, despite me barely understanding much of what they were discussing.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > He researched it overtime discovering gradually more of the truth.

      Parallel to Springsteen. I remember a similar shift of sentiment on Iraq and for the same reason, though it took years.

    2. Ian Perkins

      I remember a primary school teacher muttering darkly about how vicious the Mau-Mau were, and I thought I bet the Brits were just as vicious about trying to hang on to their colony. I wondered if she secretly did too, but thought that was different.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        Both true in a sense but one of them was supposed to be civilised – when we followed Dad to Kenya, a few hundred troops with families were initially billeted in a large hotel in Nairobi called the Salisbury hotel, which is now in ruins as I found it on Google Earth. We lived in a chalet within the grounds that much to my Mother’s horror it was discovered that the door was covered with hack marks from pangas ( machetes ) but no blood stains fortunately.

        As to holding onto the colony my Dad stayed on as part of the force to oversee the elections, which Kenyatta the leader of the dominant Kikuyu tribe won, thus I think gaining independence I vaguely recall driving past a large rally out on the edge of what was called the bush which was very lively – kinda reminded of it later by the Zulus in the film of the same name. I picked up quite a bit of Swahilli which I was able to share later with a Ugandan Asian at Art college who had been kicked out of that country.

        Wood smoke & the scent from Asian deli shops takes me back, as do many of the songs featured then on British Forces Radio – mainly the Beatles but also American stuff about faraway places such as Do You Know the Way to San Jose ? & 24 Hours from Tulsa.

        My Dad was pleased that I found my own way & also at the fact that I used his likeness for one of the figures in my first bronze public Art commission.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          Please forgive me for rambling on but there was another reason that my Dad became resentful. When he was first flown out to Kenya he was as sergeant in a platoon was assigned for 3 months to effectively guard an English sugar planter & his mansion. This Lord Muck as my Dad referred to him was able to continue as normal due to their presence, while never acknowledging the members of the platoons existence, except in occasionally dealing with the Lieutenent who was of the same class.

          The officer was never around for the night shift, so Dad on occasion would fire rounds into the night sky at some very early hour, which he said got the buggers attention as he ran out of the building to be told of the suspected intruders.

        2. The Rev Kev

          That last line of yours is almost poetic that. In a way, your father will live on after his time in you. And now through your using his likeness in your first bronze public art commission, he may live on after you both.

          1. Eustachedesaintpierre

            Well it’s a pretty popular sculpture in Ireland that regularly gets decorated with Traffic cones & when that county does well in Gaelic sports, it get’s decorated with hats, scarfs etc so I imagine it will be around for a good while – the fact that he became portrayed as a monk my mother thought was hilarious.

  3. Bun

    Oh wow. Here, the meeting of my two favourite places on the web. Whooda thunk.

    Beato is fantastic- personifies what is really good about the youtubeverse, amongst the drivel. Well worth a look see for fans of western music.

    1. Glen

      Yes, Beato is great! Been listening for a while. I haven’t been playing my old Tele enough, and its been years since i was in a babd.

  4. Michaelmas

    Check out Beato’s interview with Ron Carter, (stand-up) bass player on maybe 75-80 percent of the great jazz records of the last sixty years, most prominently those with the second great Miles Davis Quintet (i.e. along with Herbie, Wayne, Tony Williams) as well as with players like McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Jim Hall, etcetera, and et-frikking-cetera. A walking slice of history and a nice man —

    It’s a really important thing to get these guys to tell how it was and get them on (the historical) record while they’re still around.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > It’s a really important thing to get these guys to tell how it was and get them on (the historical) record while they’re still around.

      Agreed. ‘Twas ever thus. Every so often I listen to Charlie Watts interview; same thing.

      1. norm de plume

        Great find. They’re all good, but the original studio version is still the best. Had any one of those solos been the real one we wouldn’t be talking about it today.

        With the original, every note seems predestined, which I guess is partly related to familiarity but even so, the musical architecture of it can’t be faulted. Nothing is contingent, everything goes where it has to, needs to go. There are better guitarists than Page but none of them are better musicians.

        One of my favourite versions of the solo is by Frank Zappa’s horn section:

        While Stairway is probably Page’s most perfect solo, for me his best is Since I’ve Been Loving’ You from Vol 3. I have recently found myself watching ‘reaction videos’ of youngish Americans, many of them black, listening to music from before their time that people suggest, and that song was one of them (as is Stairway). Floyd, the Stones, Joe Crocker (sic!), you name it, there is a reaction video for it. I even found a few dealing with Australian bands I grew up with like Midnight, Cold Chisel, the Divinyls, etc.

        I find it strangely comforting somehow to see these youngsters react sometimes quite emotionally to music they had no idea existed but which is important to me.

        1. Robert Hahl

          “Had any one of those solos been the real one we wouldn’t be talking about it today.”

          I thought the same. It goes to show, lightening never strikes in the same place twice.

      2. lambert strether

        > Stairway to Heaven

        Here’s the O2 live version. I was never a Led Zeppelin fan back in the day (too much of what I saw as bombast) but this is one of the great live concert recordings and it changed my mind. I wish I’d seen them live…

        1. norm de plume

          When they opened the ticketing for that show there were 20 million people waiting, hoping to snag one.
          I read Germaine Greer once saying she had been told in late 60s London she had to see this group, which she thought was standard ‘cock rock’ but even standing in the bleachers she was blown away.

  5. Wukchumni

    That’s great stuff, all new to me~

    My mom told me that my dad thought the Beatles were the devil incarnate, blurring the line between make & female with their long hair, but I think it was his innate lack of ability to play any musical instrument* that was sounding off.

    Of course the idea that he despised them (along with any other rebellious rock n’ roll types) made me want to listen to them all that much more, so he was inspiring in a fashion.

    * we were required to play a musical instrument in elementary school, but me and the trumpet never really got along

    1. juno mas

      …likely because the trumpet is a very difficult instrument to play well. The trumpet sound requires a good sense of tonality; something that takes lots of time and practice to develop. It is unfortunate that the essentials of music (rhythm, harmony and melody) are learned online (Utoob) and not taught more broadly in our schools.

    2. Mantid

      I teach music and have countless stories of below grade level readers increasing their literacy by leaps and bounds after learning to read and (really) listen while playing music. Of course, only observational studies not double or quadruple blind randomized million dollar efforts. I’m waiting for a grant to do one of those. My personal budget is eaten up buying pencils and back up reeds.

  6. lordkoos

    Beato’s channel is good stuff for sure.

    I also am not much of a Springsteen fan. I respect the guy, but his vocals only seem to have one emotional note — anguished… I’d rather listen to the blues anytime.

    1. norm de plume

      I thought the same thing until I saw him live.
      Simply a great performer with an incredible band who gave it everything for 3.5 hrs, and while he did get shouty at times there was great power and control in the intimate moments. Conviction too.
      I went to a lunch shortly afterward with a lot of music industry types and like me 4 of the other guests had gone to see him because someone offered them a free ticket (or their Boss-loving partner demanded it…) They too were ‘gob-smacked’, ‘amazed’ etc.

  7. BlueMoose

    I would highly recommend that any music lovers who have not yet checked out Rick Beato’s stuff on YouTube, to give it a check. Something for everyone. I first stumbled across it some time back while checking out other music, where I saw he was doing a “What makes this song great” breakdown of Roundabout by Yes.

    I did not understand most (any) of the technical discussion (watch how this 5th transitions into an a minor riff an octave up – what???) but the fact that he showing on each instrument what was going on individually and then putting it all together really blew me away. His enthusiasm was contagious.

    Thanks for the reminder. Time to go back again and see what else he has been up to.

  8. griffen

    Music represents the choices we love, like or loathe. Granted there are many Pop music eras that thankfully will fade or implode on their own. I’m looking right at you, 70s, with those awful clothes and disco. ABBA. Argh.

    I did not inherit my Dad’s taste for music, not real sure if he had much interest. I did adopt musical taste from my older brothers first & foremost. So popular era for Boston, Jackson Brown, and yes The Eagles. Adopted my own taste in the 80 and 90 for popular hair bands* and then the grunge era. Love Soundgarden. Irony, in that many front lead singers who often wrote their material, truncated their lives too soon. Not just Cobain.

    *The better acts have pretty intricate guitar solos on their best tracks, and an often awesome bass line.. If my Christian mother enjoyed your classics maybe that explains my continued ability to listen to that era of pop metal.

    1. steelyman

      Disco hate – always ugly wherever you find it, even on NC.

      Btw Abba just launched their comeback and their new album scheduled for release November 2nd is going to be a monster, at least judging by the YT numbers on the two videos released. One video has over 21M views in 2 weeks!

      And PS: Foo Fighters now going through a “disco discovery” stage. Here’s their Bee Gees You Should Be Dancing cover:

      1. griffen

        Really, ugly is it ? I just sad it is not for my taste. Yeah I’m certain ABBA takes their musicianship and craft more seriously than some random Eminem-wannabe doing samples on his Macintosh. I have some affinity for the Bee Gees. There I confessed it.

        Ryan Adams covers everything. He covered the entirety of the Taylor Swift “1989” album. Covers don’t exactly mean the same thing anymore, once it’s planted onto the tubes as a video.

        1. Robert Hahl

          Ugly because the “Disco Sucks” movement changed American music overnight, destroying disco forever. Funk was collateral damage, only recently recovered. It started with a kind of race riot, but instead of burning down black homes and stores, they burned down black music businesses.

          ESPN story about Disco Demolition – July 12, 1979

          I can’t prove the connection, but shortly after this event I noticed many politicians saying that while they didn’t know much about music, they wanted us know how much they love Bruce Springsteen. (You can still hear it today.)

          Nile Rodgers Tells The Story of “Let’s Dance”

          In this telling, Nile Rodgers skips the beginning which was that he had no recording deal at the time because “disco sucks” had destroyed his business. David Bowie had no recording deal because he had always been commercially marginal. They met by chance at a club in NYC, and decided to work at David’s house in Switzerland because they each had nothing better to do. Nile also skips the end of the story, which was that after the song was mixed, Rogers said (thinking of disco sucks) – “But David, don’t you think it’s too funky?” – and Bowie said, “Oh Nile, can there be such a thing?”

          Nile Rogers – The Hitmaker – 2013 (BBC4 UK)

          1. griffen

            Prove the connection then, at your convenience. That is your angle. All things change, and history is revealing. That demolition night maybe was the canary in the coal mine, no ? The owner of the White Sox was a notorious PT Barnum type promoter. So sensitive about disco. Is your shelter pet near.

            I was like 6 years old in 1979. And for the record, Times Change. OMG it can’t happen. Tell that to Poison or Motley Crue, at the top of their games in 1990-1991. But by 1993 they became persona non grata to their record labels. I moved onto the next thing but still hold to my Def Leppard albums!

            Real legitimate musical talent finds new means perhaps to carry forward. Bowie was a unique talent.

              1. griffen

                Others have ascribed ugly to my only comment about a dislike of disco.

                I wrote nothing that said “ugly”, not anywhere. I never wrote “hate” about disco. I just did not care for it.

                Be critical but lose the pompous tone please. Critical I can understand. You clearly know all things better. than myself.

                1. Wukchumni

                  I disliked disco not so much for the music, but remember an integral part of it was dancing, and awkward teenagers with acne such as me didn’t do that, this during the final coda of the sexual revolution before AIDS comes along.

                  By the way, nobody dances anymore, notice that?

              2. griffen

                And one other thought. It’s the sneering, look down your nose condescension “tone” buried in your comment that I find disagreeable.

                I don’t always expect agreement here. But usually the disagreement is more, nuanced and balanced. I think I’m right. You don’t think so.

          2. Basil Pesto

            destroying disco forever.

            Not at all. It would take more than a few loutish idiot philistine rockists to actually “kill disco forever”, though it certainly fell out of fashion. In the US itself, early house was clearly influenced by disco and surpassed it to go on and become probably the quintessential American dance music form. (and even in early techno in Detroit you can see some lingering disco influence)

            But more to the point, even with the proliferation of electronic dance music forms since the 80s, disco selections remain very common in discerning nightclubs around the world (depending on the dj, venue, etc. of course)

            The Last Days of Disco, incidentally, is a movie I’m partial to (I didn’t even know about the disco demolition until I saw it!) and the soundtrack is superb.

  9. DrSloperWazRobbed

    Thanks for this. My dad is turning 75 in a month and we are so different that I don’t really even know how to talk to him anymore in all honesty. There is no aspect of life or the world we agree on basically!

    Music is a perfect example. He isn’t really a music person. It is the lyrics he would like. He likes music where the lyrics mean something, to him. He would probably like Springsteen but I think he knows there is a level of irony in lots of Springsteen lyrics. Meanwhile, I like a wide variety of music, and find lyrics distracting (and ideally non-existent). The combination of earnest lyrics and music is something I do not really enjoy experiencing.

    In some ways, maybe Springsteen is as good a way to try and find a new link with my dad. I’ll look into it

  10. lordkoos

    I was born in 1951, so was draft age for the Vietnam war. I purposely did not register for the draft when I turned 18 but two years later they caught up with me, so at 20 I received a letter from the feds which basically said, register ASAP or go to prison. Typically of the “generation gap” in the late 1960s, I did not get along with my father well at all at the time (and for some years after), but he did get a letter for me from a shrink in Seattle that said I wasn’t fit to serve. The letter cost my parents $60 but unfortunately it did not arrive in time for my induction date. I reported for induction in the summer of 1971 but was ruled 4-F, why I ‘m not sure.

    My mother was a classical musician who taught piano and played french horn in the University orchestra, so I grew up hearing classical music around the house as well as some folk and Dixieland jazz records that mom had bought in the 1950s and early 60s — I was fascinated by these — people like Leadbelly, Woodie Guthrie, etc sounded like they were from another planet, you didn’t hear that kind of music on the radio. What we heard on the radio around here was country music, which I disliked but later learned to appreciate. My father bought me my first decent guitar when I was around 14, which he no doubt later regretted. To learn I copied surf records, Motown, then later the British invasion groups. After I turned 18 I decided to skip college and become a working musician, much to my parents’ horror. I moved to upstate NY and began playing in working bands.

    I’m glad I grew up when I did, in spite of the war and the draft. I can’t imagine trying to be a professional musician nowadays – not only is most popular music now made on a computer, much of it is terrible, the audio quality is degraded (MP3s) and it doesn’t pay nearly as much as it once did, whether it’s playing live or from recording royalties. I listen to the local college radio station sometimes while driving around and can’t believe how thin the music is, lyrically and musically. It’s a reflection of our times and our degraded culture IMO.

  11. juno mas

    Great video of Beato demonstrating how he came to learn the Joe Pas “Virtuoso” album. (Pas, like Reinhardt, is one of Jazz’ best innovators.)

    Jazz music theory is widely available online, but don’t expect to learn a Jazz standard in an afternoon like Beato. Playing Jazz well takes thousands of hours and total familiarity with your instrument.

    The electronic keyboard shown in the Beato video is a perfect tool to learn music theory (rhythm-harmony-melody) because the music scale (diatonic/chromatic) is clearly delineated.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Great video of Beato demonstrating how he came to learn the Joe Pas “Virtuoso” album. (Pas, like Reinhardt, is one of Jazz’ best innovators.)

      I really liked Beato’s explanation of his learning process. And millions of kids, at least back in the day, doing exactly the same thing. Now we have apps, I guess.

      1. juno mas

        Now we have apps. Yes, times change.

        Back in the 60’s learning three chord rock n’ roll on your guitar was pretty easy. Most of the learning, for me, came about with friends in the garage. (Glad there weren’t easy recording methods then.)Eventually, I transitioned to the piano and self-directed exploration of music through closer listening, experimentation, and books.

        It is amazing how music has changed with the invention of different instruments. It is the electric guitar (Stratocaster) that made 60’s transition from Folk to Rock (See:Bob Dylan). It is the electric F-body guitar that Beato plays in the video that elevated the guitar in modern Jazz. (See also: Wes Montgomery.)

        It was the invention of the piano in 1721 (along w J.S. Bach’s even tempered tuning treatise) that allowed virtuosic presentation of Classical music. Then along came Jelly Roll Morton who transitioned Rag-Time into early 1900’s Jazz. Count Bassie and other pianists/composers took Jazz into the Big Band era. Then Chick Correa and others were leading innovators into Modern Jazz. All of them exploring and expanding on “what is music?”.

        And that is my point: whether learning an instrument, delving into the intricate rhythms of Jazz, comprehending the mood and orchestration of Classical, listening to the lyrics/singing of Joni or JayZ, music is there for the enjoyment.

      2. Robert Hahl

        Now we have youtube, which lets us see virtuosos close-up and slowed down, as many times as necessary to figure out what they are doing – and find great music in any genera, and develop judgement and taste, and share information with other musicians. Absolutely incredible.

  12. R

    My wife is a musician, with a degree in music (and engineering, before she made a wild switch, although these days she is neither but a civil servant with an unhealthy interest in slurry). We have a lot of overlap in our musical taste but she likes many disposable pop songs that grate on me and I like many cult bands / singers that bore her. I have realised that the things we like in common have both great musicality (for her) AND lyrics (for me). We both like Simon and Garfunkel but she likes the whole package including Art’s singing. I like Paul Simon solo as well but she is unmoved by the “New Yorker edition in song” wordplay. She likes folk singing and opera which is often beautiful but fails to connect for me because they are fa-la-la-ing or trilling in Italian.

    Beato sounds great so I will check him out but I wonder already what he makes of the lyrics….

  13. griffen

    Not the intent to argue about the ongoing relevancy of musical tastes. To Each His Own as it pertains to taste in music. If you just love disco, then go with God (or your personal deity). But to me it seems incredibly difficult to have a lead band member die & carry on as a professional musician. Def Leppard lost their amazing guitarist in 1991. Death tends to follow, he was an alcoholic.

    I think Brian May and Roger Taylor have done that very well. Their classical sounds are not always the same bass line or drum loop. And for starters, here is the kickoff to the Freddie Mercury tribute concert, in 1992 I think.

    Joe Elliott on vocals. Some guitarist dude playing with Brian May. Joe features on an excellent documentary available on Netflix. Please enjoy this excellent Queen track.

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