Many people know that I am into music in a big way. Always have been. Having grown up in the 60s, I’m still of the belief that we witnessed the greatest popular music revolution of all time. We’ll give the classical greats their due so I’m talking popular music here. Yes, there have been exceptional artists in the last couple of decades. Talking Heads and Radiohead come immediately to mind but my first love in music still goes back to my earliest influences.
Dylan, Van Morrison, Tim Buckley (Jeff’s dad), Tim Hardin, Leonard Cohen, Jimi, Janis, The Doors, the Stones, the Airplane and so many more. My tremendous love of Jazz runs the same way, as my favorite artists today are the same ones I loved 40 years ago. The only difference is most of the jazz greats are dead: Coltrane, Mingus, Miles, Eric Dolphy, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler just to name a few.
My wife Sandy and I exposed our children to all of these artists and our children’s eclectic tastes today (I have been told) owe much to all of the music in the house.
I was a big fan of English folk music back in the day. Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, John Martyn (who recently died), and many others. The lead guitarist of Fairport was a 19-year old guitar virtuoso by the name of Richard Thompson. He has gone on to a heralded solo career that has spanned 40 years.
He is always on everybody’s “top guitarists” list and has continued to produce new music and hone his craft. I have probably seen Richard Thompson play close to a dozen times and each concert is a unique experience. At 59 and still a touring demon, Richard is an inspiration to me to keep thinking young and creating till the end.
You will not find him doing covers on the Holiday Inn circuit.
Well now the tables have turned. My son now knows way more about today’s new music than I ever could. He is always opening my mind to what is happening on the scene. This turning of the tide has not been easy for me. Going from teacher to student has been a difficult transition but I have come to grips with it now and embrace it.
So today, my son Andrew, who writes music columns for entertainment papers in Cleveland, Knoxville, Nashville and Chicago, interviewed the same Richard Thompson, my own personal guitar hero. The loop has been closed. The chain completed. What goes around comes around. The student has become the teacher and the old teacher loves this class.
To read some of Andrew’s work (and to learn a lot about new music), visit his music blog at http://www.aclayman.blogspot.com.
Let me know what music inspired you?