Gaps in the Timeline

When I was a kid, a minute or two away from teenage existence, I was a huge fan of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I don’t know how many days, weeks and months I blasted their sometimes overly flourished stuff through my (KOSS) headphones, but that’s not the point right now. What matters is that in 1974 they put out this triple-live LP entitled “Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends“. I loved that release. I studied every nook and cranny of the layout and package, I listened to every single second a million times over and, at the time, thought that things didn’t come any better that that. I blasted it across the neighborhood and got into trouble with my parents for the noise emanating from my room 24/7.

In that very spirit, I’d like to welcome you back to the never-ending “show” that is the old, new, revamped and once again breathing deus62.com, which used to be the old deus62.com, livingwithmusic.com, volkher-remembers.com, grumpyoldgeezer@tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, and, and, and.

Blogging.

I cannot really remember when I wrote my first few lines on the World Wide Web, but it was back in the 1990s, around 1992 or 1993. That’s a long time ago, even for an old fogey like me.

It started with the odd comment on at that time rather rare forum-like pages, continued with first baby steps on my own pages and culminated in the first version of deus62.com, only to continue on its grown-up successor, livingwithmusic.com a little later, which, for a while, was a member of the prestigious 9rules Network when it was still, well, prestigious.

Then I did not feel like it anymore.
Then I joined social networks.
[…]
Then I got frustrated.

I have decided to keep the social-networks aspect of my online life somewhat functional, simply because it allows me to stay in touch with the many people I have gotten to know throughout my 50-odd year life, but, and I am quite sure you might have similar feelings, social networks have developed quite a few downsides to the positive aspects that made me (and perhaps you) sign up. Facebook, after quite a successful run in my online life, has become a quick succession of often meaningless tidbits, superfluous pet photos and interrupted exchanges. It has also become a time sink. Twitter, which I still prefer today, is perhaps the best way to gather information on subjects I am interested in, but it is absolutely useless when it comes to discussion or any sort of in-depth analysis. No surprise there really, as it wasn’t meant to be that in the first place. Flickr? Meh.

Blogging, which I started ages ago, is almost totally “out” today, considered old-fashioned and, for many, to be a complete waste of time.

I disagree.

See, and I have often written about it on the various reincarnations of my online presence, it allows me to take a break from life to write about something that one, two or more people might possibly find interesting. Because I often spend time hunting around the Net to unearth more in-depth information on things only a few people might be interested in, I try to provide the odd piece of exactly that on this site right here.

So far, it has worked, although I am far from any source many people run to. I have had blog posts online that garnered a bit of attention – and still do – but what I am after is for that one person searching for “Bristol Music Center“, “Jazz in Paris“, “Mosaic Discographies“, or perhaps even “Daiquiri“, the – unfortunately defunct – band from Venezuela (whose former leader sent me a nice mail from Miami just after I published that post), to chance upon my site and find what he or she is looking for.

I have had lots of people stumble across my “Trials and Tribulations” series, my “Chris Rea: Blue Guitars” post found lots of readers on some fan forum of his, my in-depth post on “Eugen Cicero” is still one of the only ones around the Web, and my use of the cheapo “IKEA Ivar” system has inspired lots of people to do the same (it’s the most linked-to post on this site and has taken me to many discussions of it elsewhere on the Net).

I have written quite a bit on CD and LP storage systems, and will continue to do so, I’ve covered bands and musicians I like, such as Ed Thigpen (my drum teacher), the Oscar Peterson Trio and The Tord Gustavesen Trio, the little-known “Jan Johansson“, and even “Ted Nugent“, all of which seem to be popular with lots of other people as well.

I have also had a personal take on everything, as is evident in almost every post on this site, but at some point I also started diving into the more personal file cabinets to write about important people in my life such as Rafael del Villar Sr. and Anthony Vadala (“Mr. V.”), my love for Danish music, which will be greatly expanded on in the near and far future … I even briefly wrote about the first cigarette I ever smoked and featured a photo taken at the very spot decades later.

782 comments later, I feel like I achieved what I had set out to do when I started those many years ago. The number is nothing compared to bloggers who get that in a single fleeting day, but for me every single comment on my site proves that there are people out there who were and are looking for exactly that one reference I have in this or that post.

When I decided to relaunch this site under my old domain that I started with, I also decided

  • to get rid of all the fluff,
  • to not care about any “blog” advice found around the Net
  • to write as much or as little about whatever I feel like.

Getting rid of the fluff was easy. I pulled together everything from everywhere that had survived until November of 2013 and deleted more than 80% of it. Hence the often massive gaps in the timeline. Only 112 posts survived and, to be quite honest, I was going to reduce everything to around those 50 posts which I still consider to be somewhat worthwhile today. I didn’t, for various reasons.

I don’t know how many (probably thousands) of sites I chanced across these past decades which told me that the writing needs to be concise, any and all adjectives should be removed, important stuff had to be above “the fold”, posts had to be arranged in short digestible chunks and that my posts should be cut down to 10% of what was there originally. Bullshit. The sites I like to visit are the ones that don’t care, that have kilometer-long posts on something I am interested in or feature an author who is passionate … about something. The chunky stuff the IT guys can have. So, yes, verbosity is my name of the game.

In summation, I pulled together all my former activities around the Net, deleted the largest part of it all, tied it into a Facebook page and … started. After lots of back and forth, I wrapped it into a simple and minimal look (which I hope works), got rid of the visual (but not the verbal) fluff and … threw it all into a massive blender. The result is what you are looking at this very moment.

Divided into two main categories for now, “living.with.music” (for what what was once livingwithmusic.com) and “life.stream” (for all the rest), this site has been streamlined and, with the little time I have left for all of this online stuff, I hope it will keep me sane, help me shake of the shackles and let me blog about whatever I feel like. As much and as often as I feel like.

I’ve started, as you can see.
So, once again, …
welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

  1. I’m so glad I could attend!
    As always, I enjoy your writing style and look forward to future postings 🙂

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Dave.
      Future postings will be a bit more diversified but besides that, things will stay pretty much the same. 🙂

      Reply

  2. With curiosity I’m looking forward to follow the updates on your refurbished site! Happy New Year!

    Reply

    1. Welcome (back), Jan.

      Nice to have you around (again).
      Happy New Year to you, too.

      How are you doing way up north?

      Reply

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