getting used to out of tune


When did good music from “my era” become classic rock?

When did I have a time that I could call “my era” develop?  How did that happen?

I was listening to some good music (ie classic rock) the other day….and I noticed that some of these guys really sang out of tune.

It might have been my own sense of hearing…maybe I was hearing discord where there wasn’t any conflict…but some of it sounded just a little off.

Some people say that familiarity breeds contempt.

Hearing these classic tunes made me wonder if it doesn’t allow us to cut folks some slack sometimes, also.

The way we hear it becomes such a long-standing tradition that we just accept it for what it is…a talented guy who made pretty good music in spite of probably being high as a kite when he made it.

( I don’t believe that being a heroin addict helped Charlie Parker play the sax any better…he was just a great saxophonist who needed a fix . I guess there might be some who’d think that the music was what it was because they were high.  It’s hard to say. )

We hear this music and think, maybe subconsciously, that “it’s just the way it is”.

After a while, we’re so caught up in it all that we don’t even notice how out of tune some of it is…and we just roll with it …enjoying the music.

Autotune can fix everything these days.  If you don’t mind sounding like a robot,  every note that comes out of our mouths can hit the mark all the time.

Perfection sure is weird and boring.

There was an “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode where Ray tries to introduce his father to music on CD.  His father freaks out…yells something like “that isn’t music!”  When they finally track down the old LPs that Ray had hoped to replace with CDs, the look of calm and comfort that crosses the old man’s face is priceless.  He liked the click and pop, the warmth of an LP…”now…that’s music”.

Some of the greatest music I have ever heard has been made sitting around a wood stove in somebody’s cabin.

If all the notes were in tune, I’d be surprised. Some of it might have been grimace worthy…it’s hard to remember that part of it all…but some of it was pretty great.  The parts where we all rose to the challenge of just hitting the notes…and it was in tune and the joyful noise was out in the air…that’s the part that I remember.

I don’t remember any of us thinking, “well…we can fix it in the mix…a little Autotune and that wrong note…that human element…will be history.”

What I remember is the triumph that came in-between the wrong notes.

What I relish is the thought that “Yes…we’re human and we get it wrong a lot of the time…but sometimes we get it so right.  Sometimes we get it so right that we look each other in the eyes and wonder just exactly where that moment came from.”

Inspiration… “inspirare”…”to breathe into”…we respond to the human side of our nature…we recognize the occasionally triumphant space between human failings.  We celebrate rising above the day in and day out “out of tuneness” of our lives.

That’s what classic rock is all about.


Now…I’ve heard the word inspiration means “with spirit”…”to breathe into”…maybe that’s why we look at each other in surprise when something outside of us guides us to be more than we thought we were capable of.  We are touched by the hand of God whether we believe or acknowledge it.

It’s a gift to be able to appreciate the getting up part of falling down.

It’s a gift to be able to enjoy the “out of tune” moments.

image from here..



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