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July 7, 2007

Starbucks Wisdom #267*

Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more - it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, top speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.

- Oliver Sacks
Neurologist and author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

**Dedicated to my brother-in-law, Michael, who has been in the hospital for a month after a serious car accident, and who only recently opened his eyes for the first time. Maybe we should pipe in some 50 cent... if that isn't enough motivation to get out of that hospital then nothing is.


  1. It seems only appropriate that as I read this entry, I am sitting in Starbucks, and on the shop's sound system is playing, "What the World Needs Now (Is Love, Sweet Love)". Maybe Fitty would do the trick for kick-starting your brother-in-law's spirits; maybe one of those "pretty song[s]" by Ms. Sills would speed his healing. In any case, I love to think that what we musicians do might provide more than merely ephemeral pleasure, or respite, or inspiration, or healing for the listener(s). I don't know if he's in a hospital near you, but even if he's not, perhaps you could put together a mix CD of tunes you think might inspire him to keep going or soothe him, to be played at his bedside? I don't know the man, but I'd be happy to consult...(Probably so would Andy, for that matter). Anyway, I figure it's worth a shot (and obviously, my best wishes to you, him, and the family).

  2. I didn't know you were a musician; I learned to play guitar a few years ago and find it very relaxing as I pick through a song.

    Thank you for your kind words and I know my family will appreciate th em also. They usually pop by here every once in a while.

  3. Good luck and God-bless to your BIL, we just got news yesterday that a friend (I was Best-Man at his wedding) was in the Hospital after a car-accident while on vacation in Britain. No other details. [sigh]

  4. Hi, Greg - I finally got Lindsay to help me figure out how to get to your blog - I've missed reading it.

    I think the idea of your putting together a CD of tunes you find comforting, and maybe even a few of you strumming your own guitar is a great one. Just for the record, 'KORN' is one of Michael's favorite groups, and the accident happened when they were coming back from a 'Social Distortion' concert. Somehow I don't think too many of them are on your list of favorites... but I could be wrong :-) We got him a little CD player, and he's got a KORN unplugged CD and I snuck a Carrie Underwood CD in, so I could listen to it.

    Can't wait to see you all next week -