Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #19

Hello Raaaay
by Nayt Housman

Music is my medicine. Is it yours? I ask the public six golden questions to find out if and how they use music to feed the soul.

Ray by Nayt Housman

We learn a lot from our parents generally just by growing up in their presence but how much of your music taste do you get from your folks? During a recent visit back to the homeland (Rockhampton…) I basically forced my folks into being my patients so I could discover or more likely re-discover how much I’ve learned from them when it comes to music. This week I’m chatting with the “Mr Brady” of my crew, 65yo Ray. Now Ray these days, spends most of his time pottering in his garden trying to keep fit and healthy, whilst reminiscing about the days when cars, boats and motorbikes were the focus of his desires. So let's see, am I musically a mini Ray?

Thinking of music as medicine:

Who are the musicians and/or bands that flick your switch and turn up the volume?

Ray: Pink Floyd, Nickelback and um… Kylie Minogue. No not really but she’s alright. There’re thousands of them! I like all music. Don’t mind a bit of Deep Purple and Dire Straights I love.

An epic 95 minutes of sociopolitical disturbia...

Why are they the pills that cure your ills?

Ray: They’re mostly ones that can play guitar really good because I love listening to guitar music. And nobody plays banjo anymore, so… It’s pretty hard to buy anything that’s got good banjo music.

A generous yobbo mocking...

What about Mumford And Sons, they play banjo?

Mum (in the background): Oh I love Mumford And Sons!

Ray: George Formby playing Banjo Boy was the best thing ever. That’s what made me originally love banjos.

Diddle ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding dang...

Ray: Also because they make me feel good, relaxed, and happy, it’s just enjoyable.

What kind of high do they give you?

Ray: Just good enjoyable listening, they don’t do much else apart from that. They make me feel that I’d love to be able to do it as good as they do but that’ll never happen.

When do you find yourself craving music for relief?

Ray: Ummmm sometimes on a weekend if I’ve got nothing to do I’ll go down [to the shed] and put a record on or something or a CD, whatever. Then I turn it up so the rest of the neighbourhood can listen to it as well *laughs*.

Serving childbirth realness...

Where in life, home and your world does music take you?

Ray: Down to the shed so I can put the record or CD on. Pink Floyd takes me back to when your mother and I first moved into Lakes Creek Road together, I had a big Technics stereo system and I used to play 'Dark Side Of The Moon' flat chat and old Mrs Ford next door used to come over later on and say, “I heard your music!” We used to think, “Well if you didn’t there’s something wrong with ya. You’d have to be deaf!”

Mum: It used to make the house shake. That’s how loud it was.

How do you share your music love?

Ray: By turning the volume up!


Now just for good measure.

I always ask my patients at the end of my interview if they have a mantra or motto that helps them through life. When asked, Ray’s response was “Can’t win, don’t try. That was always a favorite.” Maybe this explains my lacking ability to start anything particularly daunting and trying of my skills. This is probably the attitude that has lead me to a life of consuming my time by listening to music and dreaming of having their skills and distracting myself from the task at hand, so I guess I inherited that. As for the music itself, I can vividly remember many weekends running around the back yard while Pink Floyd blared from the speakers in the lounge room. I still adore Pink Floyd to the day. I also remember having not so fond memories of Dire Straights but with maturity have found a certain joy in their sound and intelligence to the lyrics. I’m sure Kylie found a little hole to nestle inside me too… HA!

Some of us like music for the beats, some for the emotion, some for the lyrical prowess and others, like Ray, for the technical prowess. There’s something beautiful in the precision plucked strings of a refined instrument other than just the sounds they create. It’s more than that, it’s the sheer love you can see on the face of the musician, it’s the time you know they’ve put into their craft, it’s the victory of watching them capture an audience, one that you’re part of; that feeling that you are part of their world, their story.

I shall dub this “The Fantasy Effect”. When we listen to music because it makes us think of what could be or what never was, we can imagine for those few minutes the song is playing or that hour the record is on that we have those skills, we are that musician, we’re in the band. I guess this is the kind of feeling that birthed the air guitar phenom or even Karaoke and lip-synching for that matter.

Doctor Nayt’s prescription is to grab your hair brush microphone, air guitar, air drums or whatever the hell you want to air play, head down to the shed, lock yourself in the bathroom or get up on the couch with your fave records playing and I want you to swallow those air fantasy pills and for just a few minutes become the best damn guitar player in the world. Your audience is freakin massive! THEY’RE GOING WILD FOR YOU! “Oh my lumping glob you’re the best instrumentalist I’ve ever seen in my life!!” That’s what your fans are screaming at you. Embrace it. Feel it. I dare you to. You will find yourself invigorated and feeling vibrant afterwards and that can only be a good thing.

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