So why, at the age of 64 am I embarking on a singer/songwriter career? Two reasons: 1. It is fun. 2. Music changes lives.
I’ve believed that since my parents took me to a Pete Seeger concert when I was ten years old. I could feel the power of music while Pete lead us in round after round of harmonies and in singing songs about social justice. While I didn’t know exactly what I was feeling at the time, this feeling that music makes a difference has followed me in all of my music endeavors.
I saw how music changed lives as a 10-year-old day camper when I saw how other kids admired us and sang so enthusiastically along to me and my friend singing “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” at our talent show.
I saw how music changed lives when I played the chords to “Can I have this dance for the rest of my life?” as an 85-year-old woman sang while dancing with her new 85-year-old husband at their wedding. There was not a dry eye in the house.
I saw how music changed lives as I played at over 20 of my former students’ weddings.
I saw how music changed lives as I played at numerous funerals and at celebrations of life for friends and relatives who lost a dearly beloved.
I saw how music changed lives as hundreds of people danced their hearts out all night to the Motown and classic rock songs that Johnny and the Flashbacks have been playing for over ten years.
I saw how other performers, like Robin and Linda Williams changed my life by turning me on to the power of harmony and writing songs about their experiences.
I saw how music changed lives by playing in many bands throughout my life and noticing the special connections I have with other members of my bands.
I saw how music changed lives as songs like Ohio by Neil Young helped us make sense of the killings at Kent State.
I saw how protest songs in the 60’s and 70’s made a difference in helping bring together people with similar political ideas.
I saw how music changed lives at a Bruce Springsteen concert watching a couple hug and scream at the top of their lungs, “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.”
I saw how music changed lives while marveling at the beauty and out of the box ways of writing songs such as Joni Mitchell starting off A Case of You with “Once before our love got lost…”
I saw how music changed lives when a friend listened to my first cd over and over as he was going through a hard time in his life and told me that the cd gave him solace.
Frankly, I see it every time I watch a show or take the stage. I want more of it! I want my songs to make a difference. And that is why this 64-year-old is spending his time recording new music, trying to get gigs and writing lots of new songs.