The Wide Angle: File this under being an audiophile

Published 6:36 am Saturday, February 23, 2019

I’m not sure when I became an audiophile necessarily.

I mean, I’ve always liked music and it’s always been an important part of my life, with exception of course of an ill-advised six years of high school band. Not ill-advised in joining it, but ill-advised in how I handled my time as Chandler-Lake Wilson’s only kid ever to be out-played by the trombone.

Literally, the trombone posted me up like a power forward my entire time in band, largely because it was for most of those years bigger than I was — naturally, everything was bigger than I was in those days.

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It’s always been a regret that I didn’t take it more seriously, just because of how important music has been in my life since then.

I suppose what it did more than anything is make me appreciate those who did have talent while lamenting my inability to read music without the band teacher having to write in the slide positionings because we both knew it wasn’t going to happen any other way.

So early on I was attracted to at least listening to music and dreaming of living the lifestyle. Sure, I wanted to rock and roll all night, and party every day even though the reality was I was playing Nintendo on the weekends rather than living the rock and roll lifestyle. Ace Frehley I was not.

But whatever. A boy can dream.

Still, I don’t know if I was ever an actual audiophile until later in life, but I found myself in the gateway steps of becoming one.

It started when I began diversifying my musical appreciations. When I was in high school I was firmly in the hair metal camp: Guns ‘n Roses, Firehouse, Poison, Skid Row and all those bands who stood ruggedly in band photos, luxurious locks of rock framing the faces on posters adorning every teen queen’s wall.

I even held on for dear life when I got to college before I began experimenting with other kinds of music. At first it felt like a betrayal. I first listened to Garth Brooks in a locked and darkened room with the blinds pulled during my first year. I felt dirty in a way, like I was betraying Warrant lead-singer Jani Lane by even thinking of listening to anything else.

Of course it’s kind of his fault. To this day I’m not sure what a Down Boy is or where the Down Boys actually went, but considering I didn’t know where the Down Boys went it was probably because they were cool and I was playing Nintendo on the weekends.

Either way, I started spreading my interests out in college and through my professional years in South Dakota which, came to an end when I moved to Austin and graced you all with my sunny disposition.

One thing about South Dakota — whether you like it or not — you gain an appreciation for country music because honestly … it’s South Dakota. Not exactly a hotbed for new alternative unless you are in Sioux Falls or maybe Rapid City. Otherwise it’s country roads, pick-up trucks and every excuse in the world to right a country music song.

I’m not saying that’s bad. Afterall, why I can’t necessarily say I’m a fan, I can say with all honestly that I’ve seen Chris LeDoux in concert and that man could put on a show. In fact, another one of my great laments in life is not seeing Garth Brooks live during his heyday.

I’m always a fan for good shows.

Along the way, my tastes continued to change and my appreciations grew into other vague areas. Along the way I started to go back in time a little and I started listening to classic rock a little more. Granted I’ve always been a fan of groups like Boston, Queen, Heart and the like, just not as hardcore as some of my other likes.

It’s hard to say when exactly I got so protective of these bands though. I stated this recently on Facebook and Twitter that one should not interrupt me during the chorus of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.”

Our newest reporter Hannah Yang did that the other day and I was disappointed. Not in Hannah, because she was simply asking a question and couldn’t know one of the greatest rock songs ever was playing in my earholes, but it came at that part of guitar prelude just before Brad Delp begins with “It’s more than a feeling, when I hear that old song sing…”

Oh yeah, you hear it now don’t you? In fact I would wager it’s firmly stuck in your head now.

Of course I would never be mad at Hannah for this, however, I was a little disappointed when I jokingly told her not to interrupt Brad and she simply shrugged. It’s disheartening to know that Boston apparently doesn’t span space and time.

These days I pretty much have to admit I am an audiophile. I recently purchased noise-cancelling headphones to truly enjoy the music and while I’m not to the point of buying a record-player yet, I can’t really make fun of those that do anymore because I’m pretty close and that’s something I have to come to terms with that.

Your safe this time Jason Schoonover.

The purchase was a bit of a gut-punch, but I have to admit they’ve been worth the purchase. It just makes me feel a little closer to the music and that’s always a good thing.

Gosh, I guess I do have to own up to the idea that maybe it is all more than feeling.

More than a feeling … when I hear that ….la, la, la.

On a side note

I did some checking back in the archives and I can confirm that yes, Steve King, you are officially Reader No. 6.