It was the late sixties and I was a piano major in a small Ohio conservatory. I was trying to wrap my hands around Chopin, Beethoven, and Mozart, and never thought to give pop music any love. Three chords! I was strictly long hair, and not the hippie kind.
My younger brother was also a pianist and had recently joined a band. They called themselves DKS (the initials of their last names, not some drug, or political group) and were debuting at a dive called The Lion’s Den. My family---father, mother, big brother, little sister—all agreed to show.
I rushed from a rehearsal of Eugene Onegin to enter a barroom hung in black light. The air was both sweet and sour, and I saw my older brother sniff it approvingly. I remember wondering why.
When the music started, lights swept the bandstand, and my brother, dressed in a fringed leather vest over tie dye, a red bandana around his head, began. Well I came upon a child of God, he sang over the Farfisa organ, and filled me in on everything I’d missed.
Only three chords? he would tease me later. No. G, C, B flat, F, G7, I said, my mind blowing open.