Healing Hymns

Healing Hymns

This is a Blog on the Healing Nature of Albums and Songs.

Music soothes the Savage Soul, they say.

There is only Good Music and Bad Music. In my Meditation Chamber, the name of my music room, I choose to listen (meditate) to Good Music any day, every day.

My CDs (Compact Discs) collection, 8,000 and counting, are arranged alphabetically in artistes and band names – from ABBA to Zappa. The bulk of my collection is in storage.

Depends on my mood, I will listen to the Eagles, Captain Beefheart, Bee Gees, Metallica, Ray Conifff Singers, Beatles, Tom Waits, Olivia Newton-John, Carpenters, Cecilio & Kappono, America, Santana, Grateful Dead, Blondie, Mountain, Barry Manilow, Beach Boys, Byrds, Warren Zevon, Raspberries, Fleetwood Mac, Kitaro, Robert Johnson, Rolling Stones, Kalapana, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob Dylan, Sparks, Grand Funk Railroad, Budgie, Righteous Brothers, Allman Brothers, John Denver, Pet Shop Boys, Led Zeppelin, Link Wray, Ronettes, War, Neil Young, Yes, KC and the Sunshine Band, Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Jefferson Airplane, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Supertramp, the Who, Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, ELO, CCR, OMD, Bread, Travelling Wilburys, Tom Petty etc etc etc.

When rock stars come to hang out and chill, the first thing they see from my medicine shelf is that I happily pay for my quality hi-fi music. A portion of the royalty proceeds go back to them and their creativity.

I believe Music must not just be heard, you must touch and feel the physicality of the album package, be informed of the credits (who produced the album, which studio, who played that amazing guitar solo, who’s the photographer(s), the composers for the songs etc.) and enjoy the album artwork and design etc. In some ways, you can judge the music by its cover.

I listen to, at least, three hours of music a day. Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth deluxe edition album is blasting in the background as I type this blog.

The Medicine Shelf in my Meditation Chamber at my home (above image).

I tell my kids that when I look at this cabinet, I see the enormous cost of foregone cigarettes (vaping these daze), drugs and booze that I could have spent on BUT didn’t. This would also include the medical and hospital bills I might have to incur due to the resulting bad health. When I look at the CD shelf, several times a day, it’s a sobering but thankful sight.

The irony is not lost on me that most of the beautiful healing music were composed by artistes who had partook in cigarettes, drugs and booze. Let’s call it occuptional hazard.

Great songs come out of anguish and pain.

You can’t sing the blues when you drive a Lexus.

As a rough gauge, a CD (Compact Disc) could have bought me three packs of cigarettes back in the day. Two packs these inflationary days? I shudder to think of the nicotine and other impurities that could have coagulated or congealed (nasty blockage sounding words) into my heart, arteries, lungs, and other vital organs over the past decades. Unfortunately I doubt if my body is fortified enough to withstand prolonged and massive pharmaceutic abuse like Keef Richard’s.

During the Covid lockdown, my CDs provided a daily stream of sonic sanity to me. Always great to have a fully stocked “mini-Tower Record store” in the comforts of my home.

My three signed Beach Boys mini surf boards (above image) and other memorabilia on the CD shelf, always brings fond rock and roll memories. All five Beach Boys signed on each of the three mini surfboards.

The three mini surfboards are featured in the Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Live album sleeve (above image) with my hero Brain Wilson seen signing on the surfboards.

To quote the yellow Tower Records, Singapore badge “No Music, No Life.” (above image). The two tassels (left of pix) are from the mortarboards that I adorned for my BBA and MBA graduation ceremonies. Work hard, play harder!

The “No Studying” restaurant table display (above image) is a reminder to leave all stress-inducing activities outside the Meditation Chamber, while the optimistic Beach Boys “Surf’s Up” album is playing.