The Beatles were on the radio constantly as a child, and whenever I hear one of their early songs I’m transported back magically as if I were Tony on that old TV series, The Time Tunnel. The Byrds’ Turn! Turn! Turn! does it as well.
For a long time as the youngest in the family, I didn’t own but was permitted to play albums provided I was careful.
If rock music was in the foreground, classical music was in the background. My dad listened to it constantly. He was also a big fan of Beverly Sills and would occasionally play opera, which was incomprehensible to me as a child but made for some very childish antics, which amused everyone and offended no-one. His feelings for opera could be summed up succinctly: The Italians understand opera. Most of the time, however,when his stereo wasn’t being used for ill purposes, symphonies were heard.
My dad and I had a shtick going: I’d make fun of Beethoven, whom he considered a master, and he would distort his perfectly good singing voice to sound like Dylan, the man I considered master.
It would be years before I would be able to appreciate classical music.
The turning point came when at sixteen my brothers walked in on me listening to Days of Future Passed. “It’s classical music,” my oldest brother said with all the scorn he could muster.
The unintended consequence of his comment was the beginning of a discovery that continues until this day.