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Sinking your teeth into music

Country Musings by Robert Loy, January 2005

I had a root canal the other day, and I must say it was the most enjoyable hour and a half I've spent in a long time.

No, I'm not kidding. What made it so pleasant was the fact that I had the foresight to bring along my Walkman, and the dentist was very generous with the laughing gas.

When we started the procedure, Eddie Money was singing "Two Tickets to Paradise," which I've always thought was a silly song, but now I was catching all the nuances I'd been oblivious to before, and I instantly became an Eddie Money fan.

Then they played "Turn to Stone" from the Electric Light Orchestra, and it occurred to me that this magnificent band never got the love and respect they deserve. When the DJ started playing stuff I already liked such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer's trippy "Lucky Man," I was once again 16 years old, and I didn't care at all what they did to my jaw as long as they didn't talk to me or make me turn the music down.

I had (barely) enough presence of mind to switch to the country station, and I had the great good fortune to catch Restless Heart singing about getting hit by a fast-moving train. I was in heaven; my only prayer was that the operation last all afternoon.

So here's what I want to know -

(First though, this DISCLAIMER: Drugs are bad. I know because I did a lot of them in my younger days. And I wish I hadn't. I'm not saying that to be PC; for reasons too lengthy to go into here I wish I had never used anything illicit. And I don't think using legal drugs unnecessarily is any better than using illegal ones)

But honestly, people, how come music sounds so much better and affects us on such a deeper level when we're under the influence? And if one doesn't want to use drugs, is there something we can do, some yoga tantric breathing exercises that would focus the mind and make us appreciate how awe-inspiring and beautiful the music we take for granted truly is?

Or, in order for me to fully appreciate Eddie Money, do I have to spend $375 and let a man root around in my jawbone?

I don't have the answers. Do you?

The views in this column are those of Robert Loy and do not necessarily reflect those of CST.

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