Sitting in hospital with a couple of good books and my iPad. A friend turned me onto 1) Sound Man, by Glyn Johns, the English engineer/producer whose work has graced so much of the classic recordings of the '60s, '70s and '80s that many of us on this board value so much, and 2) Mo Meta Blues, by Questlove, drummer of the Roots.
Johns' book is extraordinary in detailing his involvement with the Stones and then so many English and American artists. That guy has done so much for music! Questlove's book outlines the story of black music from the early '70s through more or less contemporary times. Both of these books have the potential to open our ears and hearts to many musical events we may have missed the first time around due to our youthful need to commit to one genre of music in order to define oneself. At age fifty nine (or anytime) it can be nice, albeit difficult, to throw off the shackles of habit.
As an aside, and given the outcome of the recent political event, it is an ironic coincidence that two of the classical gigs I'm playing on this month are featuring the symphonic work of the Russian composers Prokofief and Shostakovich. These guys were creating music that strongly opposed the political powers they worked for, often utilizing sardonic melodies to make their points. It seems obvious that the musicians were sublimminating their feelings into playing this music forcefully as a way of speaking out without fear of ending up in some gulag. The bass parts are bitchin no matter how you cut it. If interested check out Shostakovich Sym #11, 2nd mvt. Unbelievable!