As I sit here at home sipping on cognac, working on my novel, and listening to the creole jazz mastery of Dr. John, I notice that there probably aren’t too many twenty-one year olds in similar situations.
I’ve been told many times before that I have an old soul. Whether it’s my love for fine cigars, passion for smooth jazz and blues, or my tendency to enjoy sipping liquor, it’s been stated many times that I possess an aura of timelessness. There are many things I can attribute this to, but one glaring factor is the manner in which I was raised.
I was the youngest of three brothers born to a family where my dad was a financial advisor and my mom strongly believed in the arts. From an early age, I was in different music classes and learning how to handle myself in social settings with clients and coworkers of my dad. I idolized my oldest brother, Brad. He was my main babysitter and one of my biggest influences growing up. He instilled in me my first favorite genre of music: classic rock.
Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, KISS, and so many more were all the first bands I came to know. In fact, on the first day of second grade we had to fill out an “About Me” sheet for our new teacher, Mrs. Roberts. They were simple questions: what is your name, favorite color, how many siblings, etc. Then came the question, “What is your favorite song?” I’m proud to say that at six years old I put “New York Groove” by KISS. My parents had a laugh about that with my teacher later.
The older I got, the more music Brad would expose me to. Stevie Ray Vaughan was my first taste of blues at the ripe old age of eight years old. B.B. King soon followed. Spending time with Brad was always an adventure of musical exploration for me. Every time my young eardrums would resonate the beat of a new sound in ecstasy, it was engrained in my soul forever. Jazz, blues, rock, country. I became an expert in all of them before I was ten years old.
When we moved to television my cultural horizons were broadened. Sanford and Son, Good Times, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, Emergency!, Dukes of Hazzard, all melded together with the music I had been exposed to and led me to become the man I am today.
Fast forward to the present. Reflecting, drinking cognac, and listening to Dr. John, I understand that I am one of the most nostalgic people I have ever come across. I not only long for things from my childhood, but I long for a time before I was even born. I replicate that in the manner in which I live. Those times with Brad are cherished, and they never end. In December we’re going to see Joe Bonamassa together to get our blues fix.
Until then, I’ll watch Red think it’s the big one or hear J.J. shout “Dynomite!” from the top of his lungs.