Yeah, I’m a successful musician — in fact, hugely successful, as everyone knows — but I never had any formal training. Or informal either. Never took a lesson in my life.
Everybody in my family was musical, but they didn’t teach me squat. Whenever they played music at home, I’d go outside and plug my ears with mud to make sure I didn’t learn anything.
I’m not even self-taught. Any time I was fooling around with an instrument on my own, if I stumbled across something that sounded good I’d put it out of my mind right away and never play it again.
It goes without saying that I don’t know how to read or write music. Or even how to read or write the word “music” — I’m illiterate. I never once went anywhere near a schoolhouse! And don’t go trying to teach me anything either, because I’d forget it faster than you can say “natural-born genius.”
Which I can’t — I never learned how to pronounce most words. I also never learned how to count to ten or tell right from left or right from wrong.
Nobody ever told me what gender I am or what my name is. I can’t tie my shoes, and when we’re on tour one of the band members has to help me get dressed.
They also have to help me get to rehearsals and gigs, because I can’t tell time and never learned to tell day from night. Never needed to.
I never make an effort to memorize my band’s songs or lyrics or anything. I just get up on stage, and play or sing or whatever it is I do, I’m not sure, and then the producer hands me a check for $50,000.
Hell, I don’t even know what instrument I play. If I even play an instrument. I might be a songwriter — I just don’t know!
So don’t talk to me about “theory” or “harmony” or “humility” or any of those fancy-schmancy high-tech musical terms. I don’t know anything about that and don’t want to know. I just make music.
If what I do is, in fact, music. Maybe I’m actually a surgeon or a senator and don’t know it.
We’re with you David!! Spent 91 and 87 years (you have to guess which one is which) trying to figure out what the hell it’s all about. So there. We’re rowing the same boat. Best always, Dolores Lenore & James Jenkins