Daily Writing Prompt: What does freedom mean to you?

When I was about 10 or 11 years old I loved to listen to music.

I had a pretty nice record player and a decent sized collection of 45’s- own your own favorite song for seventy-five cents- what a deal!

Because the records were so inexpensive I could also buy my favorite magazines and posters featuring my favorite bands, so really I did enjoy that hobby.

Right off, I should say I wasn’t one of those wise little kids who was drawn to rock bands where most of the members were as old as my parents. I listened to bands aimed at kids my age- the Osmonds, The Defranco Family. I also loved the Carpenters because I liked Karen’s voice and the fact that she played the drums.

But my favorite band was the Bay City Rollers.

The problem was the older kids I went to school with- including some in my own family went out of their way to tell me how awful they were and a few of them gave me some pretty graphic descriptions about what Gay men did to each other. It was a sickening thing to do then and as an adult I still see their reaction to a bubble gum band  and the ten year old girl who liked them to be just as despicable.

To hammer the point home, I was told  if I EVER wanted to be a real musician or a REAL rock and roll fan I WAS SUPPOSE TO listen to bands like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones- bands to me who were just old and not fun at all. Plus at the time I didn’t get what they were singing about. On top of that I thought some of them were nasty looking.

Except for Roger Daltrey. He had a nice smile and I liked his hair.

When I became a musician myself and I had a better understanding of music theory and record production I  learned that from listener to listener each person was going to hear something different and each reaction may be rooted in the same feeling but that those songs were going to be taken in and processed differently by the listener.

That’s the way the visual arts work too.

To answer today’s question is, what does freedom mean to me, I think I have a good answer.

Now that I am older I have the freedom to listen to anyone I want to listen too. I don’t have to explain my selections to you, the guy in front of me at the lunch counter or my friends.  I can just flick through my musical library and listen to  Mozart or Abba, I can listen to songs from the Swing Era or the Ramones. And if someone is critical of what I like, I can tell them to Eff-Off with gusto.

When I think about it,  that’s what freedom is- doing what brings you happiness without having to stand with your head bowed  and explain ” WHY. ”

One thought on “Why

  1. Good on you for expanding your musical tastes. I wasn’t really into sugary pop bands, more of a guitar band bloke but did music as a subject at school which gave me a good range f musical tastes, plus Mum played records from her era a lot.Only not keen on opera or self indulgent jazz

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