I got together with my friends again the other night to “jam”. I’m using quotes because they were jamming and, as the newbie, I was just noodling along and contributing as much as my limited abilities allowed. As usual, the time flew by and before I knew it, four hours had passed. I was driving home at 2 am from Grand Island. The Peace Bridge was all lit up, like it is every night now, and I was struggling to figure out why this is so much fun for me.
Sure, I’m a lifelong music fanatic but it’s more than that. Yes, we’re mostly playing tunes that I really love, but that’s not it either. I’ve been friends with these guys for thirty years(yikes), which certainly makes it easier for me, so that might be part of it. But as I’m driving home, the only car on the road at that hour, pondering the mysteries of the musical universe, it struck me. Did I have an epiphany? Maybe.
There is something uniquely satisfying about playing a song in unison with other people. I don’t have the musical vocabulary to do this justice, unfortunately. It first hit me a couple weeks back when we were playing Born on the Bayou. There’s several points in the song where we all hit the same chord sequence in unison and I found it to be ridiculously satisfying, as if we all just solved a complex puzzle together. It makes me think of the “cosmic tumblers” line from Field of Dreams.
I practice quite a bit on my own and that’s great and certainly necessary but I don’t get the same feeling from it, like you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Is music unique to our world, I wonder? I mean, if there are other worlds out there, with advanced civilizations, do they make music too? While you’re pondering that, let’s get in tune with The Who.