I wouldn't say that music has ever played a big role in my life. I certainly like plenty of classical pieces, some opera arias of course, and I enjoy listening to an eclectic mix of pop songs that were, for decades, the casual soundtrack to my life.
But I have no instrument-playing ability whatever, despite occasional strange dreams of being a virtuosa violinist.
And I'm not much interested in live music, as performed in pubs and similar venues. I might politely come to a gig with you, but my attention will wander, and at some point I will definitely feel that I'd rather be doing something else, such as enjoying a yummy meal in a restaurant.
As for huge festival events like Glastonbury, these have always been a complete turn-off for me. Especially if they involve crowds, and noise, and chaos, and mud, and insanitary conditions of any sort. No thank you! I wouldn't attend one at any price, not even if you offered me free tickets. I mean that. I long ago decided that I wouldn't be interested in free tickets to the Wimbledon Tennis Final, nor the World Cup Final, nor anything connected with the Olympic Games. Likewise, even a Resurrection Concert featuring all four Beatles playing together again wouldn't tempt me. I'd refuse the tickets, or rip them up, and simply walk away, my music credentials intact. (The crass credentials of someone who knows nothing about music, I mean)
So it's a bit odd, I admit, that I put any effort at all into perfecting the collection of mp3 tracks installed on my PC, phone and tablet. Moreover, what you might consider a 'perfect' collection, and what I do, are probably not the same thing. I'm after the last hundred or so tracks that will fill the gaps in that 'background soundtrack to my life' mentioned above, and most of these tracks are barrel-scrapingly obscure, and rarely heard now. They were not cool at the time, and are now so mouldy and dreadful that the most merciful thing might be to leave them in the vault. In fact I don't know anyone else who would do what I am now going to do, which is to mention some of them.
Lots of these tracks have already been disinterred, their mummy-wrappings unwound, and the withered corpse left to ming inside my phone. Such classics as Puff, the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary; Downtown by Petula Clark; Love's Just a Broken Heart by Cilla Black; Lydia by Dean Friedman; and Rasputin by Boney M.
Too much information already? It gets worse. I've recently formed the opinion that I'll need to buy more mp3 tracks than I thought. Songs like:
My Old Man's a Dustman by Lonnie Donegan.
Wonderful Land by The Shadows.
Crying in the Chapel by Elvis Presley.
Black is Black by Los Bravos.
Go Now by the Moody Blues.
Gentle on My Mind by Dean Martin.
It's Getting Better by Mama Cass.
Govinda by the Radha Krishna Temple.
Bangladesh by George Harrison.
Knock, Knock, Who's There? by Mary Hopkin.
Bye Bye Baby by the Bay City Rollers.
She by Charles Aznavour.
It Don't Come Easy by Ringo Starr.
Don't You Want Me, Baby? by the Human League.
I'll say no more, not wishing to provoke too much disgust and horror.
It's Amazon's fault really. I thought it was impossible to find a good source for these zombie-like tracks, the Undead of our Musical Heritage. But Amazon sell music, and they have a vast mp3 collection, rivalled (I believe) only by iTunes. And priced at 69p to 89p per track - which makes grave-robbing an affordable passtime. And curiously fascinating. It makes you wonder who owns these songs, and why Amazon thought they could ever sell them in quantity, enough to cover what they paid for the rights. I hope they're not relying on me!
Not every artist or band of yore has songs that can be purchased. Copyright problems and suchlike can make their output inaccessible. For instance, I'm wondering when the Dave Clark Five's output will be released. Lots of lively foot-stomping stuff there. Glad All Over, Bits and Pieces. Can't wait.