It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. No, it was a lot closer to the worst of times. It was the 80’s. Ten years of bad music and bad hair. Ack.
And yet, if the 80’s hadn’t proved themselves so atrociously lacking in providing anything substantial for me to listen to, I might never have discovered Beethoven.
Well, ok, I didn’t exactly discover Beethoven. It’s not like I became his road manager or anything. But, I’d have been a good one. Tough and no-nonsense yet caring. “Ludwig, I made you and I can break you if I have to, but neither of us wants that. So, stop whining and get out there and shake your money maker or whatever it is you do.”
I digress. The real story is that there are three former record store clerks who, if prompted, might have a vague recollection of a red-haired girl singing Ode to Joy to them. Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum DUM DUM.
See I had heard the song and loved it but didn’t have a clue what it was called. So, I took my act to various record stores until I finally got my hands on the right cassette. It took me three performances to yield the proper result. The first time I sung it, the clerk sold me the wrong Beethoven album. But, after listening to it and being disappointed, I went right out the next day and tried my luck again. This time, I sung to a clerk who shrugged his shoulders and said, “I bet So and So knows what that is. Sing it for him.” So, I sung it for So and So. Sure enough, So and So knew his Beethoven and sold me the right album.
I guess if I have a point here, it’s that I’m still not very knowledgeable* about classical music. Chances are I’ll recognize the melody and I’ll be able to tell you if I like that particular version, but I won’t know what the song is called.
Does this minor musical affliction of mine matter in the grand scheme of things? Well, no. But, I bet the folks who work at music stores simply despise nimrods like me, and I can’t really blame them for it. For all I know, the guys I sung to in the 80’s still can’t listen to Beethoven and keep a straight face.
*However, I did have a rather glowing moment a couple of days ago. Jules mentioned Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninov, and I knew exactly which song she was talking about. Yes, I actually knew both the tune and it’s name for a change, because the music was a key element in an excellent chick flick called Somewhere in Time.