I've been listening to a couple of John Cale albums from the early 70s, the pop masterpiece Paris 1919 and the "I was classically trained, you know" The Academy in Peril. The latter has performed a miracle on me. It has got me into classical music.
But where do I start?
How I could have done with middle class parents, a mother who read Shakespeare and a father who listened to Bach, instead of being saddled with a mum who listened to Jimmy Young and a dad who read Wilbur Smith. I wish I'd had expensive private lessons to learn the cello instead of learning basic strumming guitar chords from my dad's long-haired factory worker friend.
My humble background is a cross to bear, but I don't let it get me down.
On Saturday I got a few classical CDs out of the library and I kind of like them. But I'm a newbie to all this and I don't know which are the cool composers, the majestic musicians or the commanding conductors. It's all a mystery to me.
Is Brahms the U2 of classical music? Is Bartok the James Blunt? Who do I adore and who do I avoid?
How on earth do I acquire taste with no guidelines, no classical "blood", no classical "ear"?
I'd be grateful for your suggestions, my learned friends.