Earlier this week author Ray Bradbury passed away at the age of 91. If you like to read at all and you're of a "classic" age (borrowing that adjective from Coca-Cola marketing because classic is so much friendlier than just plain old), it's fairly unlikely that you haven't, at least, heard of him or read him.Alas, it's an odd feature of our times when we often only "meet" people upon the widespread reporting of their deaths. For years I've joked, "The best thing I could probably do for my album sales is to drop dead, but I'm just not committed to that strategy." So if you haven't read Bradbury, fire up your library card and go get something. I remember, in particular, The Illustrated Man collection and the story The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (later turned into a play and a movie).
When I was junior high age, I read a ton of Bradbury. But when talking about my own modest career as a songwriter, I naturally and easily always cited other musicians as influences. A long list of people who mentored me via a turntable.
For reasons I don't quite know, it only dawned on my a few short years ago that I enthusiastically took in so much of Ray Bradbury's writing that he would also be properly listed among my major influences.
I expect in the next few days, I'll pull a paperback off my shelf and take fond trip back to his worlds-in-words that so aptly described and informed both our world-at-large and the world inside a young, fascinated reader.