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Friday, June 5, 2020

Once Upon A Time, A Release Valve Appeared

2020 looks to be the first year since 2013 when I won't get an opportunity to teach a music class at a local college. My challenge: Between now and my still-to-be-scheduled next class, what do I do with the musical ephemera steadily accumulating in my junk drawer of a brain waiting to be unleashed on students?

Until recently it didn't occur to me how these classes have acted as a release valve over these last few years. Watching students get juiced about the geeky musical stuff that has occupied precious space in my head for over fifty years has been semi-therapeutic. But the flip side - i.e. how much attention I give to every musical morsel that lands even close to my plate since I began doing these classes - has me struggling as I anticipate a year without a single class. How can you help? So glad you asked.

Until my classes resume, how about if I devote more space here to music than is my norm? If this blog - and you, faithful reader - could act as a release valve, at least until Covid-19 is under control, I would be most grateful. Shall we get started? Good.

My next offer was going to be "Three Albums That Shaped Rock N' Roll History". What band do you suppose I was going to use as the lynchpin for that class? Need a hint? Their three albums - a grand total of thirty four original songs - is only the beginning of the story. My class - complete with as much ephemera as any geek could safely ingest - was also going to include the subsequent, extensive song catalog that came from the main songwriters of this seminal band, four huge talents who briefly shared a stage once upon a time. 


  1. Pat, it is fun for me to find out the groups that musicians used to be in, although I don't put a lot of time into research. Top-of-mind guess is Buffalo Springfield.

    1. Bill-in-Central-NJ: OK, so you made my day for two reasons: 1.) I cherish the times I get a comment from someone "new" to my blog or at least someone who has never before commented; 2.) You are correct in your "top-of-the-mind" guess. Kudos! Hope to see more comments from you in the future. Thanks for reading.

  2. I'm a former student of yours (albeit only having taken one class) and was honestly looking forward to August/September when the next opportunity was supposed to take place. I thoroughly enjoyed each class and the excitement that it brought and I would eagerly await the next one. As an aside, I was a bit disappointed, after the last class concluded, that I would have to wait this long for your next class ... never believing that it would be even longer. Your Blog has been a great way to fill in the gaps between the last class and what was supposed to be the start of the next one. But here we are and this is what we have to accept.
    So, having said all this, and obviously having limited choices, I would welcome seeing more time devoted to music. Not that I have anything against what you have been providing and I have enjoyed reading each one as they are received. I've sometimes taken time to look back and read some of your earlier postings and have equally enjoyed them.
    I'm looking forward to when the classes are able to resume but, until then, looking forward to receiving your blog postings and the chance to see how you express, in writing, the enthusiasm for music that you are able to exhibit in person.

    1. Anonymous; To say I appreciate everything you've said here is so inadequate. Thanks for reading, for this gracious and kind comment, and for giving me "permission" to use my blog as my music "release valve", given I likely won't be doing another public class until 2021. The fact that you occasionally return to earlier posts of mine is perhaps the nicest compliment I've received about my blog in months. Thanks so much. I look forward to other comments from you.