Sunday, October 11, 2020

Early morning, easy listening.

 Even when I was a young man, when the Doors, Beatles, Stones, and Airplane were my popular groups--even when I would then, bring a beer bottle near my lips and croon raucously into the empty vessel along with Morrison or Slick--even then--to the amused surprise of contemporaries--I liked easy listening stations.  

For my 20th birthday, my folks gave me dough to buy a new alarm clock/radio.  I went to a place on Hempstead Turnpike and bought a snazzy one that cost more than the gift, but it had a few features which, now, are comically primitive but then were hoo hah. It could wake you up to music, or if you prefer an alarming buzz.  It had FM, not a standard feature in the first years of the Nixon administration.  The radio wasn't as slick as what was becoming fashionable in the dormitories--multi component stereo systems with separate speakers, turntables, and what we called receivers.  But for a stand alone radio it was handsome and multifaceted such that a number of folks who bounced into the room would ask about it.  It's best feature for me was that it had a sleep function.  You could put the radio on at night, and set a timer.  You could snooze to music and then not be awakened by it, because it--miraculously--knew enough to shut itself off after the certain time you'd set it for.   

And at night just before I slipped off into oblivia, (spell check tried to change that to Bolivia) I'd set the radio station to an easy listening station and set it to wake me up with the same soft crooners in the a.m.  For years, even to date, the women who deigned to spend time with me found this a remarkable aberration from what was my personality. The same guy who loved Surrealistic Pillow, mellowed out listening to instrumental renditions of the Impossible Dream, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Moon River, and Send in the Clowns.  

Had some trouble sleeping last night.  Does not happen regularly, but last night was up at 4.  Started a new book which I thought might do the trick, but did not.  So, I got up.  Went to the computer and found ESCAPE on my sirius favorites.  Moon River, as a matter of fact, is coming through the speakers right now.  

We like Classical Music in the morning when we read the newspaper.  There is a tolerance for ESCAPE for short periods, but after a spell, I am asked politely to put something else on.  Had a girlfriend in the 80s who was willing to listen for extended periods, but I think that was only because she liked me. One day, when on vacation, we were staying in a remote spot in Maine by a lake.  I had the easy listening station on all day while we were reading.  Around dusk she just exploded.  There was a limit to what she could stand even for a fellow whom she thought was a decent catch.

Here I am at three score and ten, pushing three score and eleven--pushing real hard in fact.  When I was in my 20s listening to my new fangled radio late at night, and listening to a station that my colleagues felt suitable for people three score and ten, pushing three score and eleven--I did not know I would be still finding comfort in easy listening.  Don't misunderstand. I can still get the beer bottle out and bang it out with Morrison and Slick. This, to young-uns is as aberrant as my listening to Andy Williams in the 60s was to contemporaries.  I guess one could say I have, and have had, eclectic musical tastes. 

Probably be able to go back to sleep now.  Bouncy rendition of "Help Me Rhonda" on a moment ago. Now, "They Call the Wind Mariah" from Paint Your Wagon.  Zs for Z.