I have loved music for as long as I can remember. At the age of 6, I had my own tape player which was perpetually playing such albums as Music Machine and Bullfrogs and Butterflies along with whatever music my parents were listening to in those days. I later moved on to Psalty and Colby before growing out of that stage of life. All the while, I was taking piano lessons, learning music theory, taking saxophone lessons and playing sax in the church band. Music was an important part of my life.
In college, I became fond of a relatively unknown artist by the name of John Elefante. I was mesmerized by pretty much anything he did musically. I know all of my friends found my devotion to him to be a little annoying as I thought the "great commission" was to share with anyone and everyone the good music that came from this particular individual. There is even a funny story that involves me being on a first date with a girl who had one of his albums playing in her car stereo during that initial date and I figured she must be "the one." (She wasn't.)
I can honestly say that God has blessed me numerous times through John's music. At one point in 1995 while in law school, I was studying with his Windows of Heaven album playing in the background. I was so moved by one of the songs that I wrote him a letter. (This was back in the dark ages when writing a letter meant actually putting pen to paper, paper into envelope, stamp on envelope and envelope into mailbox.) Lo and behold, ten days later my phone rings while I'm again studying. I answer the phone and a voice on the other end says "Brett? Hey, this is John Elefante." The dude called me to thank me for writing him. I asked him if he called every person that wrote him and he said that I was only the second person that he had ever called. ("Sure John, I bet you say that to all the...uh, fans.") He wanted to let me know that my letter encouraged him. Needless to say, this didn't exactly diminish my respect for him.
Fast forward to 2011..16 years later. I still love music. Continuing my trend of liking music that no one else has ever heard of, my favorite musician is now Neal Morse who specializes in what is called progressive rock. Progressive rock is an acquired taste that is actually very popular in Europe, but not so popular here in the States. As a result, progressive rock artists typically don't tour the U.S. However, Neal has just released a new album and was going to put on a concert in Nashville, Tennessee. Since I vowed that I would go see Neal in concert if he was ever in the the Central Time Zone, I simply had to go.
My beloved wife (who absolutely hates Neal's music) accompanied me on this road trip to Nashville. Not only that, she had previously laid the groundwork for us to meet with John Elefante if we were ever in Nashville. As things turned out, I had a very special weekend. I got to see Neal Morse in concert on Thursday night and then met John Elefante on Friday.