Why Geezerology?

By Scott Sharp

Geezerology has kind of been in the works in some form for awhile now. I've blogged about one subject or another several times over the past few years -- a couple of times serving a useful purpose for a year or two. This particular one has its seeds in one of those tag-you're-it Facebook challenges I participated in a couple of years ago. I agreed to post covers of 10 albums, one per day, that had an impact on my life in some way.

But I turned it into a little bigger project: I not only posted 10 album covers, but I wrote a short essay to accompany each one explaining why that particular album had a lasting impact on me. I enjoyed it so much and got enough positive feedback from it that I went two or three albums past the requirement and formulated a plan to continue it as a series. That plan, though, became an idea for a new blog. And before long, it became an idea that I thought would be a great thing to do in a couple of weeks, whenever the mood struck. But the mood failed to strike for something close to a couple dozen months. 

Then Bob Raukar happened to me again. Bob and I had a few throwaway conversations about music he or I was listening to on a random day. And the blog idea started working its way back to the front of my brain, where it scratched and clawed and screamed for a couple weeks. Then I finally pulled the trigger and asked Bob if he would be interested in doing this with me.

So please indulge me as I start at the beginning with this Bob Raukar business.

Bob and I have been friends off and on for a long time. We met in 1975 or 1976 as students at what was then Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. When we met, I was immediately awed and amazed by the size of his (calm down) record collection, which made my fairly large one seem puny in comparison. The first connection was our shared years-long devotion to The Doors. I believe we were introduced to each other by a childhood bestie of mine who also was an SMS student and a Doors devotee.

Bob and I were besties and roommates for a few years after college. We both landed our first journalism jobs at the same small-town newspaper near Springfield and even hooked up again later when we both landed, independently, in jobs in Central Oklahoma for a time. I moved to South Texas for a time, and then Bob and I renewed our friendship again when we both landed back in the Springfield area, independently again, for a couple of years. Eventually, after a few attempts at separation, our split became permanent when my journalism career took me to the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. and eventually to South Florida, leaving him to keep western Missouri under control without my help. There was no breakup or explosive incident or anything. We just went off and lived separate lives. One of us shortly after my move didn't return the other's phone call or something -- as these things happen to people.

We had no contact at all for about 25 years give or take -- until we crossed paths on Facebook about five years ago. I remember stalking him for a little while, playing the introvert to the hilt and not sure how to approach him directly. I finally did reach out when I read that his daughter had suffered a sports injury and was doing a fundraiser to help pay medical bills. We communicated a little bit through Facebook for a time, as I recall. But it wasn't until I decided about a year ago to delete my Facebook account that we exchanged email addresses and phone numbers and eventually started talking frequently through emails and text messages.

We haven't yet actually spoken in real time via phone or teleconferencing to this point. But I reached out to him via email with the idea to do this blog together, he enthusiastically agreed, and I'm looking forward to actually videoconferencing with Bob in the next few days to do some detailed planning for this project.

We've probably already done that by the time you read this. In any event, it's great to have my old friend back in my life again, even if long-distance. And we're excited to welcome everyone who wants to join us as we go on this journey to examine that thing that got Bob and I together in the first place.

Enough about us, though. Back to Geezerology. With Bob and I the only audience we have in the beginning, our purpose will be to expand each other's horizons about the music he and I have been listening to for the past, oh, half-century or thereabouts. We're not here to do academic critiques or expert analysis or anything like that. We can go to Rolling Stone or AllMusic or a gazillion other websites and podcasts for some stranger's opinions of an album or an artist's body of work. We two geezers are here to tell each other -- and then, hopefully, eventually, the rest of the world -- what floats our boats and to provide some insight into why a particular artist or album or song or genre or whatever works for us. We want to sell our readers on the things we like, with the ultimate goal of providing some guidance as you choose to further explore whatever it is we're talking about.

We'll be offering our opinions as we go along, obviously. But we want you to take our opinions for what they are -- just another guy's asshole or whatever it is that old saying is. If we're doing our job correctly, those opinions that sneak into our writing will be accompanied by clear, valid explanation as to how we arrived at said opinion. Ultimately, we want to explain our point of view as we must while striving to leave the baseless opinions on the cutting-room floor.

That all was the long way around to this: Welcome, friends, to Geezerology. Have a look around. Bob and I are confident you'll find something to like here. We certainly hope we can educate you in some way, open your eyes to something new. Feel free to comment on any post that inspires you. Let us know how we're doing.

This should be fun.


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