How Much is too Much?

This is the question for anyone who is obsessed with collecting. Doesn’t matter if it is comics, albums, movies, action figures, whatever holds your interest. When do you hit your saturation point when you look around and say: “That’s it, I have enough of the thing”.

Thirty-Five years ago, my answer would have been you keep collecting until you have it all; until every little bit of flotsam and jetsam is yours. My weakness, my kryptonite if you will is music. I was always buying music in some form or the other. It actually started for me at a young age. I was always surrounded by music. My brother and sister, my mother and a lot of my family loved music. They formed the building blocks that evolved my love, my obsession of needing to hear a new sound. I remember as a kid I had many of the Disney story records from their movies. The soundtracks from the Jungle Book, Robin Hood, and Winnie the Pooh played on my cheap turntable I had received one Christmas. I also found my brother’s and sister’s old 45s. “Old Brown Shoe” by the Beatles and “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino found a comfortable place next to my Disney Soundtracks. I would sit for hours and listen to these albums. They opened my imagination and they made me want to seek out more. Little did I know just how expensive an endeavor this would be over the years.

I remember in high school Left and Poncho and myself would go buy cassette tapes of everything we could afford and get our hands on. We would listen to these together and on our own. We discovered new music and I can say for myself, I realized just how important music was to me. It was my friend during late hot summer nights when I couldn’t sleep. It was my companion in the car when I would drive around. Picking out music for our trips was just as important as the trip themselves at one time. The right album for your mood at the time. The wonderful thing about music is that it is the one consistent thing you can count on. No matter how sad, angry or happy you were, the music you listened to was the same. For better or for worse, I learned a lot of lessons through the music I listened to. The music was there for you. It was just a needle drop or a pressing of the play button for you to get lost and forget the outside world for awhile.

Now looking back after all of these years and at all of the music I have collected, I find it is different now. The collecting took over of the enjoying of what I bought and sought out. I have probably over 100 cds right now that I have bought in the last few years that I haven’t even listened to yet. The hunt was the important part. The listening would come later, but as of right now, it hasn’t. I don’t get the same joy as I did when I was younger. Write it up to not having the time, depression, age or a combination of these things and more. My main listening area is in my basement and I bet I haven’t sat down there in over 6 months to listen to anything. Mostly my music comes from Spotify either on the computer or in the car. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but that is not the same as laying back after putting a cd in the player, drink in hand and just losing yourself in the music. I still love music, I just do not have that youthful feeling of awe I would have listening to Van Morrison or Stevie Nicks or the Stones. I am trying to get that back, but I am not sure how.

I guess my point is after all of this rambling is to enjoy the present. Do not get so caught up in collecting and wanting that you forget to enjoy what you have in your hand. That is one positive thing I can say about Spotify. Whether you agree with their business model or not, they have made it extremely convenient for me to find something after just a couple of key strokes. It has opened me up to music I might not have listened to normally. I will admit it is a bit “soulless” compared to listening to an album or CD and looking through the sleeves to experience the total immersion that comes with that. It is a trade off for this modern world.

Please let me know how you feel and how you listen or experience music. was it a life changing event for you when you were younger or even now? I’d love to hear from you. That’s all I have for right now. I will try to be back sooner with some more ramblings. Until then, look after yourself and those around you.


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