As a teenager full of angst, I took heed to rock and roll, never mind sex and drugs. I spent most of my time banging my head to the astonishing depth of Led Zeppelin, the depressing tranquility of Kurt Cobain, the pure rawness of Guns and Roses, and the culminating riffs of Pink Floyd. I craved the thundering of the drums, percussive tone of the bass guitars, and the thought-provoking lyrics. Like most deaf people, I would spend countless of hours passionately trying to learn the lyrics, if I was lucky, they were printed on the insert. When the lyrics were not printed, I sought the soundless gum flapping renditions from my friends and the rare event of close captioning on MTV and VH1 music videos. I had a better chance of seeing Halley’s Comet. Then the mother lode entered my humble abode, the internet and I was formally introduced at a ripe age of sixteen. The world and the lyrics were at my fingertips. Finally, I was content because my lip-syncing ability exceeded my friends. I felt that I proved that I was no different from anyone else, but then again no one else spent hours listening to the same song repeatedly committing the words to memory. Rock and roll was my ultimate solace while my hormones were running amiss until the pleasant tone of guitars started to wither away from the melody.
Rock and roll never sounded the same, it died. A proper analogy is that you could never look at a smashed mirror the same again after seeing countless of pleasing reflection. Rock and roll and all the esoteric elements slipped away. I hopelessly wondered from genre to genre discovering that I could hear mostly bass. At least I could still hear voices. When I heard Chris Daughtry’s voice for the first time on American Idol, I knew he was going to go places even after hearing that he was voted off. His voice had the passion and soulful resonance of successful rock and rollers before him. Just hear that kind of voice again stirred up of emotions that lied dormant for years. Then his voice and all others started fading from songs replaced by white noise. They began to fade from the telephone and the television. Eventually voices faded from people that were fifteen feet away, then ten, then two. Music was never heard, only felt the sensations from that point on.
The cochlear implant rescued me from a world of silence. Music returned better then ever and victory was ever so sweet. To celebrate, my wonderful and incredibly thoughtful friends surprised me with SECOND row tickets to see Chris Daughtry’s concert this past Friday! It was simply breath taking and an absolutely amazing experience to hear. Daughtry intimately approached the microphone and began to serenade the audience that just so happens to include one happy bionic woman. His sultry voice possesses Herculean power that tickled every single electrode of mine that was happily downloading his every pitch. His dulcet tones are incredibly diverse that ranged from savory sweet that had the power to beat your heart to powerfully rockonian with a just a drop of southern comfort. He performed an acoustic rendition of “All These Lives” that when I closed my eyes, I felt that he was sitting right next to me soulfully playing the guitar. His passionate performance brought the memories of jejune moments of the yesteryear. It was so surreal.
When it was over, I left knowing that rock and roll was still very much alive.