Lately I’ve been focusing on topics and techniques meant to make our journey less stressful. Things such as laughter, karate techniques and spiritual practice. They have been very beneficial for me in managing my symptoms and keeping me in a positive frame of mind. In this post, I would like to touch on another stress buster … music … and more specifically, singing!
1969 marked the beginning of a four year run which produced the finest music in the history of rock! Several new bands emerged that I really liked including one that would soon take the torch from the Beatles as the top rock band of the 1970s. It would actually take a couple of years before I would become a full on Led Zeppelin fan, but 69 was their debut year and they came out rockin’. The highlight of the year was the Woodstock Music Festival, featuring Jimi Hendrix, which I actually knew nothing about until following year when the movie was released. No, I wasn’t living under a rock! Just on a farm!
1968, the year I became a teenager [Yikes!], was my family’s first full year in Bracebridge. We actually lived outside the town on two different farms. It was an awesome year! My brothers and I spent hours roaming in the barns, fields and forests. Other than watching the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights, I don’t quite recall how I found time to listen to all the music that was being produced, which is why perhaps I developed an interest in some of it years later.
What do I remember about the music of 1967? Let’s see, not very much! It’s not that I was partaking in the stimulants that characterized the awakening psychedelic era. I was much too young for that. Besides, my dad was a cop! Rather, it was more a case of, I was just busy. What I do remember, is that it was the year my family moved from the tiny hamlet of Bala, situated on the southwest corner of Lake Muskoka to the much larger town of Bracebridge, located on the northeast corner of the lake.
In a recent blog, I wrote about the role of laughter in my protocol to recover my health. Laughing triggers the release of endorphins and other feel good neurotransmitters. This, in turn, helps to alkaline the body, heal the gut, strengthen the immune system and dissolve inflammation, conditions necessary to return the body to homeostasis. In my experience, songs that elevate can have the same affect.
Although 1966 was a year in which my infatuation with the Beatles continued to grow, it was also a year in which I really started developing an appreciation for other rock ‘n roll bands. Many of these new bands, including the Mamas and the Papas, came out of the United States. But although I was stretching my musical horizons, the Beatles left no doubt in my mind or the minds of millions of music fans around the world that this little band out of Liverpool was something special, when they released Revolver!
I don’t exactly recall my level of awareness of rock and roll music prior to February 9, 1964, I, the small town [Bala, Ontario, Canada] boy with access to one television channel, but I do recollect what it was by the end of that day. I couldn’t have been totally oblivious I suppose because I well aware that on that date, the Beatles were making their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show!
Any list of best ofs, is subject to subjectivity. For instance, when it comes to selecting the greatest hockey player of all time, many people will put their stamp on Wayne Gretzky. I, on the other hand [and many others], will argue vehemently that Bobby Orr is the best! Both camps can put forth very convincing arguments for each player. But who is right? Subjectivity!
I recently watched an interview with Jon Anderson, former lead singer with the progressive rock band, Yes. Yes produced a number of hits in the seventies and eighties with songs including Roundabout, Owner of a Lonely Heart and It Can Happen. Anderson talked about his career with Yes and his current musical interests. He also spoke about the interconnectedness of the universe.