Influences and Inspiration

Influences and InspirationsI read an interesting article some time ago about Viggo Mortensen and his influences.  Viggo is an actor of no mean accomplishment and a Watertown native.  He spent a number of his growing up years here in the North Country.  People who frequent neighboring Clayton see him from time to time as he comes back to visit family.

The article was not so much commentary as it was comprehensive lists.  Being a list junkie, I found it fascinating and invigorating.  You can read about it here.

I heard a wise speaker remark once that we are all composites of the people who influence our lives, whether directly or through their work.  I resonated with this observation and it helped put to bed the nagging urge to “be an original.”

So I thought I would list some of my own, collected over forty-eight years.  I’d be interested in yours if you choose to comment.

Guitarists:  Phil Keaggy, Julian Bream, Christopher Parkening, Jeff Beck, Alvin Lee, David Russell, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Brian May, Chuck Berry, Andres Segovia, John Williams, Earl Klugh, Larry Carlton, Ted Nugent, Paul O’Dette (lute), Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Slash, Steve Howe, Eric Clapton, Joe Fava, Konrad Ragossnig (lute), Tommy Emmanuel, David Gilmour, Rick Foster, Angel Romero, Wes Montgomery, Jacob Moon, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Anthony Phillips.  And many more.

Music, Artists, Performing Arts: Dan Fogelberg, Keith Green, Richard Souther, Elton John, The Allman Brothers, Paul Clark, The Beatles, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Donovan, Honeytree, Sara Groves, Vineyard Music, Maranatha Music, Hillsong Music, James Taylor, Larry Norman, John Michael Talbot, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Jethro Tull, Randy Stonehill, The Eagles, Billy Joel, Kemper Crabb, Lamb, Peter, Paul & Mary, Michael Bublé, Queen, Simon & Garfunkel, Twila Paris, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Card, Miles Davis, Bob Bennett, Twyla Tharp, Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), Brian Doerksen, Debby Boone, Kenny G, Norah Jones, Diana Panton, Andrea Bocelli, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dave Brubeck, Ralph Sharon, Tony Bennett, Neil Young, Jascha Heifetz, Glenn Gould, Malcolm & Alwyn, Phil Ramone.  And many more.

Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, John Dowland, Gaspar Sanz, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Erik Satie, G.F. Handel, Ludwig Von Beethoven, Jimmy Webb, Francesco Da Milano, Henry Purcell, Pyotr Illich Tchaikovsky, Harry Gregson-Williams, Domenico Scarlatti, Enrique Granados, Isaac Albeniz, Michael Praetorius, Joaquin Rodrigo, Antonin Dvorak, Ennio Morricone, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Jerry Goldsmith, Rachel Portman, Felix Mendelsohn, James Newton Howard, John Williams, Mychael Danna, Stephen Schwartz, George Gershwin. And many more.

Film: Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Marlon Brando, Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Steve McQueen, Ben Kingsley, Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Sir Laurence Olivier, James Caan, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Steven Spielberg, Gus Van Zandt, Jim Caviezel, Franco Zeffirelli, Francis Ford Coppola.  And many more.

Writers: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Eugene Peterson, Morris West, C. S. Lewis, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Will & Ariel Durant, Viktor Frankl, Chaim Potok, Ralph McInerny, M. Scott Peck, J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael D. O’Brien, William Manchester, Dan Brown, Daniel Silva, Leo Tolstoy, Randy Alcorn, Joel Rosenberg, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Elie Wiesel, Sol Stein, Mitch Albom, Mortimer Adler, Will Strunk & E.B. White.  And many more.

Leadership and Self-Development:  Jim Rohn, Peter Drucker, Michael Gelb, John Maxwell, J. Oswald Sanders, Jack Canfield, Dean Karnazes, James Allen, Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins, Stephen Covey, Earl Nightingale, Dale Carnegie, Warren Bennis, David Schwartz, Zig Ziglar, Warren Bennis. And a few more.

Politics and Economics:  George Will, Henry Kissinger, Abba Eban, Ronald Reagan, John Kenneth Galbraith, John F. Kennedy, George Schultz, Thomas Sowell.  And a few more.

Science and Technology:  Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, E.F. Codd, Stephen Hawking.  And a few more.

Enough for now.  Who inspires you in your talents, work, avocation, and hobbies?

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Hobbies: What Are Yours?

hobbiesBill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago—one of the nation’s largest, recalls a time in the late 1980’s when the church was experiencing unbelievable growth.  This growth taxed him and his staff in a big way.

Eventually Bill reached a breaking point.  Burned out.   Letting fly on his colleagues in an unprofessional and inexcusable way.  He needed help.

He’d been urged by friends to get counseling.  Ego caused him to balk at this until he could take no more.  He went to a counselor.

One of the first questions his counselor asked was, “Bill, what do you do for relaxation?”

“That’s easy.  Nothing.”

“This has to change.”

He urged Bill to find an outlet.  Recreation.

A hobby.

As a younger man, Bill loved sailing.  But, worried about the disapproval of parishioners, he didn’t pursue it.  What will people think if their pastor buys a sailboat?

He decided to let the critics think what they may and bought an old sailboat.  He remodeled it and made it seaworthy.  Then he formed a sailing team and entered regattas.

It has been a godsend for him and he’s had the time of his life.

Everyone needs a hobby.  I’m a musician and an audiophile, so mine happens to be collecting music.  As far as tape goes, cassettes are okay, but no 8-tracks (the hiss on both formats is annoying). Mp3’s are great.  CD’s are better.  (I just recently acquired a number of CD’s of old masters from the era of the Great American Songbook–Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, etc.)

But by far, my favorite is records.  33&1/3 vinyl albums and 45’s.  The sound is better.  The music breathes and the layers are more apparent to the ear. The artwork is outstanding.  And I can get treasures on the cheap.  It is quintessentially cool.

Recent vinyl acquisitions:

Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits” (Simon and Garfunkel)

The Music Man” (Original Cast Recording)

Beautiful Noise” (Neil Diamond)

Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder” (Al Jolson)

How do you relax?  Tell us about your hobbies.

Enjoy!

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Hobbies

Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago—one of the nation’s largest, recalls a time in the late 1980’s when the church was experiencing unbelievable growth.  This growth taxed him and his staff in a big way.

Eventually Bill reached a breaking point.  Burned out.   Letting fly on his colleagues in an unprofessional and inexcusable way.  He needed help.

He’d been urged by friends to get counseling.  Ego caused him to balk at this until he could take no more.  He went to a counselor.

One of the first questions his counselor asked was, “Bill, what do you do for relaxation?”

“That’s easy.  Nothing.”

“This has to change.”

He urged Bill to find an outlet.  Recreation.

A hobby.

As a younger man, Bill loved sailing.  But, worried about the disapproval of parishioners, he didn’t pursue it.  What will people think if their pastor buys a sailboat?

He decided to let the critics think what they may and bought an old sailboat.  He remodeled it and made it seaworthy.  Then he formed a sailing team and entered regattas.

It has been a godsend for him and he’s had the time of his life.

Everyone needs a hobby.  I’m a musician and an audiophile, so mine happens to be collecting records.  33&1/3 vinyl albums.  The sound is better.  The artwork is outstanding.  And I can get treasures on the cheap.  It is quintessentially cool.

I’ve just begun a rather long vacation, the longest in years.  I plan to indulge my hobby as I hit thrift stores and some record stores as well.  I have a few in my sights (“From Genesis to Revelation” by Genesis and “The Geese and the Ghost” by Anthony Phillips).  It is an adventure.  Recent acquisitions: “Dreamboat Annie” by Heart and “The Rose” Original Soundtrack to the Motion Picture

How do you relax?  Tell us about your hobbies.

Enjoy!

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