In the future, we will each only listen to one song.
I didn’t think I listen to a lot of music. I used to. I used to live for music. As a teenager, I’d lock myself in my room with only the company of Rick Dees and Ron Jordan on WMPS in Memphis and the only rock and roll on the air in my boondockie hills on the edge of the Mississippi delta.
They inspired me to be a disc jockey. I would lock myself in my room, listening to old 45s on a portable record player. Working on the details of each song, looking for the qualities that made it work — that made me want to listen to it. That made me want to be a part of music — me, this tone deaf guy who couldn’t play a piano, a guitar, even a radio.
But I figured out how to work in a radio station. Playing music when “digital” was a series of red LEDs in an expensive wristwatch.
The problem was that working in radio was like working in a sausage factory. When I saw how the sausage was made, I wouldn’t eat it. So I got real picky real quick about music.
As time went by, I quit listening to music. I couldn’t hear the soul or emotion. Only the soulless tastes of focus groups armed with yes-no knobs in darkened theaters listening to the first four seconds of a tune to see if they’d stay tuned to a station playing the whole song.
Then came CDs, with clearer sound than the slickest FM station. Then came the ability to burn your own CDs. Soon I had a collection of CDs with only my favorite songs, pages and pages of CDs in my car. It was like carrying a law book out every morning to make my commute. But it was a collection of only those songs I liked — 15 to a disc.