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The Jukebox

There are so many experiences I can write about, things that happened to me or around me for the past few months. Overall, year 2023 is the year that, I will be very descriptive about in my upcoming book. 

However, there are things I would like to get off my chest until that occurrence. It is almost 1pm and I am sitting in my office with my windows wide open. It has been drizzling rain all morning, the non-stop traffic noises and occasional clickety-clack of the trains arriving to the “28th May” station. 

All these urban noises are accompanied by my spotify playlist. For the past few days I have dived into the world of Blues, Jazz and Soul. This song below is a perfect example.

I have to thank a specific person for that. His name is Rovshen and this is a story of how I rediscovered Blues music. Before we move on, I would like to tell you the story of how I fell in love with it the first time, which happened thanks to a beautiful movie called “Cadillac records”. To me, that movie is among the best movies about music creation. That list is something worth checking out. It includes movies like Amadeus, Whiplash, Elvis, Pianist, Green Book, School of Rock, Star is Born, Soul, Ray, O Brother Where art thou? and of course Cadillac Records.

Cadillac records is about a record label which gives birth to such artists as, Muddy Waters, Columbus Short, Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry. All those roles are reenacted by amazing artists such as Adrian Brody, Beyoncè, Mos Def and etc. If you have not watched it, add it your list. The love for that genre of music was so strong that, the only painting I have ever spent money on, is the painting of Ray Charles I bought in Europe. If you have been to my office – you have definitely seen it. After more than a decade, that same genre of music, unfolded with a different flavour.

On 14th of September, Baku had a perfect Autumn weather, I was having a walk from a meeting to my home. The downtown was traffic packed and noisy. Luckily, yet again I was wearing my chunky noise cancelling headphones. At a point when I was walking by a Bang & Olufsen store, I walked in. With no expectations, but with curiosity.

I was greeted by a middle aged man, who managed the store all by himself. He greeted me with a salesman’s suspicious yet friendly greeting, whilst trying to figure out If I am a potential buyer. If you are not aware, Bang & Olufsen has a “big fat” price tag on all of their luxury sound systems. 

He was very friendly and enthusiastic, because luxury brand stores do not have a lot of walk-in customers. He offered me to test the speakers, so I did. I started with small portable ones, because I live in an apartment & travel around Azerbaijan a lot, during which I take my carry-on speaker. I like having my speaker by a fireplace up in the mountain lodge or cabin. 

As soon as I hit play, the sound quality kicked in real nice. It was not disturbing at all no matter how high the volume was, even though it was electronic music with high bpm(beats per minute).

I was gradually switching speakers to test them all out, as soon as I got to the big ones & each time music got louder. The sound quality kept getting better and better. I saw Rovshan cringing a bit to my electronic music & I decided to change the genre. We were listening to the same song on various speakers up to this point. I asked him about his music taste, to which he replied with a grim on his face “I am blues and jazz kinda man”. Immediately my mind said “hold my beer!”.A couple of screen taps later, I put this song on.

As soon as the first 4 piano key strokes were heard & Rovshan sang the first line of the first verse & gave a very satisfying smile. I was very surprised & it was written all over my face, gave me him a respect “fist bump” while Donny kept on singing.

From that point on, we listened to that song for 2 minutes, that is where I understood. I fell in love with Blues & Soul again. The second thing I understood was “ I am gonna get one of these big ****ing speakers, these are awesome!”

We exchanged contacts with Rovshan & I told him that I will come back for that big speaker someday, because right now I do not need it. I am fine with my portable Marshall speaker back home. How wrong was I !?

Upon exiting the store, we even had a brief chat about consumer electronics business, I shared my past experience in that industry & exchanged opinions about current trends in gadgets & appliances. We even found out that, his previous store location was neighboring with my retail store.I come back the same day to my place, put “Leon Bridges – River” song on & got into shower. You can not imagine how awful the sound quality of my Marshall seemed after my experience with premium speakers. Rovshen ruined my in-home musical experience. It was time to ditch my Marshall, my “musical travel buddy”. 

On Saturday that same week, my friend Allan picked me up from my place in order to attend an art-show. Surprisingly the art gallery was across the road from Bang & Olufsen store. You know where I am getting at right? I asked Allan to follow me, with the words “follow me dude, you gonna have a surprising experience”.

We walked in, I introduced Rovshan to Allan. After 2 minutes we were listening to Blues again, but this time Rovshan was hand-picking the songs. The three music enthusiasts listened to some fine tunes for 7 minutes. Allan was “Shazaming” the whole experience not only with the app, but also he could tell why I am here for the second time. He heard the music too, just as I did 2 days before.

Rovshan gifted me a memorable experience & I walked out with my new portable “jukebox”. Next time when I am walking by that store, I will drop by for a chat, with a whimsical comment, to let Rovshen know that he is part of my story now. And just maybe, we might listen to some good music again.

Pura Vida!


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