While standing in a very long post office line this rain-soaked past Saturday (had a Flintstones children's record to ship to Boise and TV Guide to send to Massachusetts; see this post for further explanation), I dug a five-month old Vanity Fair article by Tom Stoppard out of my bag and finally read it. Not surprisingly, it's about the Syd Barrett, the reclusive former member of Pink Floyd who figures in Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll.
But what caught my attention was this early paragraph, where Stoppard admits there's at least one thing he doesn't have a talent for:
"I have no understanding of music, none at al. Much as I love the noise it makes, I can stare for hours at a guitar band and never work out which guitar is making which bit of noise. Also, my brain seesm incapable of forming a template even for sounds I've heard a hundred times."
I read a similar confession from another literary Brit favorite of mine, Stephen Fry, both of which made me feel a lot less insecure about my own musical shortcomings. I think that's where my desire to write the book of a musical comes from — the need to do something involving music from a place where I can't do much damage.
Coincidentally, my pal Amy brought this article to my attention just this morning. Time to dust off that old violin. I think I still remember how to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."