An Unrepentant Audiophile


Thank goodness for Facebook. Because of it, an old friend by the name of Scott was able to hunt me down. In a good way. We became friends over twenty years ago while I was a cab driver in Frederick, Maryland. He used to ride along with me on my twelve hour shift, and we’d make fun of people. Then we’d toss them in the taxicab, take them where they wanted to go, get paid for it, and then made fun of them some more. Those were the days. And you thought New York City was the only place where you could a decent cab ride while being made fun of. Plus, we spoke English, too, for the most part. That part was free. While I’m thinking about it, I did try to get a job driving a taxi in New York City, but I had too many vowels in my name.

Scott and I have always shared a love of music. Now, it’s been over twenty years and my mind isn’t as sharp as it once was (that’s an excuse anyone over fifty get to make legally), but because of Scott I came to appreciate the group Yes, and even learned the names of the band members: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. If I’m not mistaken, Scott even got me one of their albums – Yessongs. I tried turning him onto the Moody Blues, but I don’t think my passion for their music ever really stuck to him. Something about them being moody and the blues, whereas Scott was always upbeat and didn’t hanker much to being a downer. We both really loved the group Rush, too. Scott told me once that Rush was the greatest three man band in the world. If it weren’t for ZZ Top I would have agreed one hundred percent. That’s just the Texan in me coming out. Remember the Alamo! Wait, that was too far out – sorry.

We didn’t know it then (and if Scott knew it he certainly never told me) but there was and is a name for people like us. No, ‘insane’ is not the word I was thinking of. We were diehard audiophiles. An audiophile is someone who likes to play around with little songs. And it’s ok to cross state lines with them. I don’t know about Scott, but I am still an unrepentant audiophile. I’ve got hundreds of tunes on my computer, and there’s nothing the FBI can do about it because I’m a card-carrying audiophile with a clean record (get it? ‘clean record’? that one’s for all you older audiophiles who remember records). Now, I haven’t had a chance to share my music library with Scott yet, but I’m pretty sure he’s never heard of some of the groups I listen to, like Maximum the Hormone and Onmyouza. I would bet a barrel of monkeys that he has heard of Rammstein and Chic Corea, though. As a matter of fact, I would bet a barrel of monkeys AND my striped two-piece bathing suit that he knows who did “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Copse and Grooving with a Pict”, and what album it was on. Only a hardcore audiophile would have a deep appreciation for that. I’m pretty sure my cousin Dana is one, but we haven’t done the secret handshake yet.

One of the great things I remember about Scott was his quick wit. Do you realize just how many folks in this world do not have a quick wit? Me neither, but I’m sure it’s a lot. We would take the art of banter to levels only known by such luminaries as Frank Zappa and John Lennon. That reminds me: Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow. You know what I mean. I really admire Scott’s wife Sherrie for letting me borrow him so many times back in the late eighties and early nineties. Those were pretty crazy times back then, and it was awesome to have a quick-witted friend to banter with. Especially an audiophile. Sherrie, I must let you know right now that we always kept our clothes on, ok? There were some things we did, though, that we’ll take to our graves, but hey, that’s an audiophile thing, you know? Also, most of it would have been legal in Alaska, had we been in Alaska.

Scott, I’m listening to Donald Fagen sing Morph the Cat right now, and it’s all for you my brother. Thanks for the memories.

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About jaytharding
Christian Mystic-in-training, burgeoning Apologist, Writer, Poet, Philosopher, all-purpose curmudgeon Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 11 Corinthians 5:17

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