The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alan Watts Time...Again

2-20-08 Alan Watts time…again

My secret of life? Take care of your teeth. Find a copy of Alan Watts’ book “The Book (On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)” – that pretty much sums of a style of ‘spirituality’ that I can fully comprehend.

I have always thought of my identity as being intertwined with music – be it popular music, obscurities etc. I found my own identity through music – pretty much the music of my time (the last 50 years). I can say that it (the music) defines me – as that is how I want to see it. Think of me, and you should think of ‘the music’. Music was the path to my ‘better self’ – it’s what has made me happy. It’s who I am.

Apart from the existence of music – the other thing that has made me happiest in this life is ‘identifying’ with other people who recognize music as an important, pervading part of their lives. My music community is very wide – too bad we are not all face to face – that would be a hoot! It’s so cool when one can find another person who is fairly close to their own favorite music. Some people just shrug off music – not me. And not my friends.

There are those who will reduce my music fandom to merely ‘record collecting’ – it’s just that for so many years, that was my route to new music – phonograph records. The media by which I received my truth – my better self. True, it’s possible to obtain music many other ways – but LP’s & CD’s have been my slippery path. I have gotten caught up in the bulldozer of ‘record collecting’ at times – buying multiple copies of albums (ostensibly to get ‘variants’). Usually, my thoughts about buying a 2nd or 3rd copy of something is: “Someone I know will enjoy this”.

I recently posted this site’s “Top 200” titles – if you are not familiar with any of those titles, drop me a line – maybe I have an extra copy of it sitting around, gathering dust. Maybe you haven’t heard your favorite record…yet.

So for now, let’s go with “Enlightenment Through Music”. At times, I feel enlightened – other times I suffer from Eternal Cosmic Boredom. Music always seems to pull me through, somehow. If I can ever help relieve anybody else’s “Eternal Cosmic Boredom”, I’d love to do so. Think of it as a fancy-schmantzy word / concept essentially meaning ‘depression’.

Did I make those late 60’s yellow legal pad discographies because of boredom / depression? Possibly. I wanted to know, and there was nowhere I could find information of that nature (record label discographies) – so I collated the information that was available to me and I ‘felt better’. At the time, that information didn’t seem to be of any use to anyone other than myself – but I enjoyed assembling it. So, thank you, Schwann Record Catalogue – thank you, Phonolog – and thank you to the record labels that printed (partial) discographies on their inner-sleeves. And especially thank you to the record labels of the past who sent me catalogues, when I wrote and requested them.


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: Musicophilia

Ron, I am currently reading Oliver Sacks Musicophilia; a must read!

Have you read this yet? This got on my radar after reading and loving "The Rest is Just Noise" a few months ago. I heartily recommend both tomes!

5:08 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

The one I've read is "This Is Your Brain On Music - The Science of a Human Obsession" by Dan Levitin. Similar topic.

10:47 PM  

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