Allow me to apologize now, as this article is 100 percent inspiration and emotion. Watching the 2004 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on VH1 and it truly moved me to write this rambling that is about to come forth from my mind, through my fingers, and on to the computer screen.
Can't help but think about all these many years watching Enjoy the Music.com grow. In many ways it has been an immense joy, yet sometimes i just want to friggen scream! The long hours, the thousands of miles traveling, the nearly endless e-mails and server work and editing and dealing with personalities and "this guy saying this about me" and "that other guy stabbing you in the back" and the company that got a bad review is trying to sue us, and this other guy bugging me ever day to review his "incredible revolutionary new cable" and how can XYZ magazine review their millionth product by SuperMoFo and we have not and well... stuff like that. You know what? Frankly all this can go bugger off.
Now before you stop reading the remainder of this article and start calling me an ungrateful wanker, please hear me out. There is a reason immeasurable amount of hours and "sweat equity" have been poured into this website. It became ever clearer while enjoying the music of Traffic, the performance by Prince, ZZ Top, and many others on VH1. Because to me what really and has always mattered is the music!
What It Is Not
It is not truly about having incredible system transparency to hear the second row third violin player to the left scratching their left nut (because i can tell it is the their left and not the right nut by the way the air around the violinist reverberates). It is also not about having spent more than the guy next door, or down the street, or some cat-like figure who talks in a way only the truly demented could possibly fathom, let alone comprehend and understand. And it most definitely is not about the car you drive, the clothes you wear (or the lack thereof), or the amount of groupies all us high-end audio guys get (you mean we actually have female groupies?).
What It Is
It is about the music! Can only blame myself for, at times, losing sight of this to some extent. Enjoy the Music.com has grown by leaps and bounds. We have evolved, changed, and expanded... but have never, ever-lost complete sight of the music. Sadly, it feels as though it has taken a back seat (of sorts) at times. While i shall not begin to say how many times i would have loved to destroy this computer, taken a sledgehammer to my world handphone, or had the balls to just walk away from yet another snake oil peddler. Yet there is the magic.
Yes, those times usually late at night... Could be Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Zeppelin, Rush, the Stones... Perhaps Bach, Beethoven or Stravinsky is in order. Maybe some Miles Davis, Ella, Billie, Coltrane. Then there is BB King, Muddy Waters, Clapton. Funkadelic, James Brown, Little Richard... Could even be ZZ Top, King Crimson, Greg Brown, Prodigy, DMX, and the Chemical Brothers. Why not include Lang, Norah Jones... Whatever it is, for me it is those magical times when i can get lost within the music. Not around it, not nearly kinda sorta, and in no way is it just because it is being produced by a high-end audio system.
It could be 8-track, cassette, CD, or LP. Frankly my dear i don't give a damn what the format is because the music transcends it all. Yes the experience may be more satisfying through my main rig than via a crappy $59 boom box. What matters is the feeling of being one with the music. If it wasn't for the music, then all we have left are basically space heaters, and damn expensive ones at that!
This is not to say the pursuit of bettering your high-end audio system is not worthwhile, far from it! For me the better my system can convey the feeling within music, the more complete the experience. Notice i did not say have the deepest bass, or the most extended highs, or widest soundscape, or the ultimate in transparency that is so clear and clean i can hear a musician picking their left nostril.
What Really Matters
Ya know, i remember (or at least think i remember through the stupor) of all those years in high school. Playing in concert, marching, and jazz band all the while honing my technique and learning music theory. Once school was out i would go home, put on some music and play along. On many occasions other musicians would stop by and we would play various song or spends hours in free-form jam sessions. It made no difference if we got it right or wrong. Frankly, would probably not know if it was "right"... and could care less if it was. Of importance was the joy in having the ability to play. To express myself through my incredibly vast drum (both acoustic and electronic) and various percussion instruments.
Playing music when i was in high school is, for me, like high-end audio of today. It is not about the car, the clothes (or the lack thereof), or the amount of groupies (but at least there were a good dose of females ones to satisfy my teenage hormone infested body). It was about personal satisfaction of my soul. It transcends my life's troubles, goes beyond a simple hobby or momentary fad. It is something that is deeply an expression of me. And no matter what anyone say about my musicianship, or my high-end audio writing skill or lack thereof, the passion is there and could care less what others feel.
Fortunately many people over the years have appreciated the efforts, and dare i say talents, that have been put forth and shared with others. The e-mails like "Love the site", "You guys rock", or "You have brought more joy into my life." For me, this is a huge dose of icing on the celebration cake of life. It is truly humbling having the ability to share my joy with others. This happily infectious diversion (or perversion) that makes all our lives just that much more enjoyable. Of course in the end what really matters is that you...
Enjoy the Music (Traffic "Dear Mr. Fantasy" right now),
"Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
You are the one who can make us all laugh