One of the benefits of having a great podcast is getting to meet and become friends with incredible people. Among our favorites on the Break It Down Show (BIDS) is Dr. Robert Greenberg. I say this a lot, but creating a show has dramatically improved my life. What matters for this post is, I LOVE Dr. Bob.
I’m writing this post is to introduce each of you to Dr. Bob I did this with Jon and he’s as in love with Dr. Bob as me…trust Ol’ Pedro
Before I ever met him, Bob was my musical sensei. He taught me how to appreciate literate music (AKA Classical music, symphony, Opera).
He inspired my appreciation for string quartets. He corrected my beliefs on Mozart. He gave me dozens of names, works and histories to explore. Each of these things was an escape for me when I was deployed and needed a peaceful, distraction from the pace of work and the cacophony of thoughts that flowed in my head.
I’ve spent hours upon hours on my cot, or on a pile of rocks listening to him teach me about Schubert, Chopin, all of the Bachs. I’ve always had a long love affair with opera…but Bob taught me how to really appreciate the genre. He’s sort of like our musical wingman.
One thing that Dr. Greenberg does is link music from the past to modern times — making relevant entertaining bridges between musical worlds you never knew existed. He can compare the similarities of the lives, choices and music of Mozart and Tupac. He also correlates music to the history of the day. He’s created a series of videos called Scandalous Overtures for Ora.Tv. Watch one and you’ll quickly binge on the rest.
For those of us that enjoy history…Dr. Bob submits “Music as a Mirror of History.” His approach reduces the learning burden, and provides mnemonic devices that lead to a knowledge of topics in a way that also increases the pleasure of the pursuit.
Dr. Bob has a thing I call “Greenberg’s Time Machine.” If you take 3 consecutive lives of Bob’s father who lived to 92, those three lifetimes take you back to 1741…this is where the fun begins. Bob does this better than I do so check pay attention at the 8:30 mark of the show…the point is, classical music, as Dr. Bob says, “IS Modern Music, It is Our Music.”
Note to podcasters — The norm is for us, is to record episodes at Dr. Bob’s house. The ability to be portable and mobile is a game changer in terms of getting guests and creating trust. Our ability to grab a bag, set up mics and start recording at someone’s house has enabled us to get some of the most exclusive interviews we’ve ever recorded. Make it easy on your guest…especially if their time is worth millions.
A warm and entertaining host, Dr. Bob has mastered the Martini; nobody in Oakland pours a better one. The drink is a centerpiece of his hosting style. Dr. Bob has a world-class collection of shakers that drive conversation for hours. Once Bob starts talking, you never want him to stop.
With Bob, it’s a combination of things that make him such a treasure. His hospitality, his collection of martini shakers and storytelling alone make him a wonderful friend…but he has a natural warmth that I simply cannot get enough of.
I invited my friend Curt Dunaway to join Jon and me at Dr. Bob’s. Curt and I grew up on the same street. I’d lost track of Curt decades ago as our lives drifted apart. Then at my Dad’s memorial service, I reconnected with him — we’ve been having a blast ever since.
I needed to return the favor that Bob paid me. In Jan 2017 when my dad passed from pneumonia, Jon, Dr. Bob and I sat down and recorded episode 144 as a means of putting a marker on that date/time.
We had a great visit and discussed how my dad’s musician soul impacted my musical identity. The experience was a positive way to deal with a challenging time. With episode 144 in mind, we planned this show as a means of remembering Dr. Alvin Greenberg, Bob’s dad, who passed away in the fall of 2017 at the age of 92. Alvin was mentioned in each episode and he’s someone I wish that I could have met.
I made a point to bring Curt to Dr. Bob’s because, we both lost our dads in 2017, so I wanted him to have a “Curt,” just like me. This is what I do, I connect people who need to know one another.
Coincidentally, and unbeknownst to me, this weekend on Jan 6th, as we published the 2-part Dr. Bob episode, we marked the 11th anniversary of Curt’s life being saved by a kidney transplant.
Introducing Curt to Dr. Bob, memorializing Bob’s dad, and celebrating Curt’s life by posting a show on the anniversary of his kidney transplant. This for me is what life is about. Connecting, celebrating and enjoying time with people that fill me up with joy; that is a pursuit I’d love to chase for the rest of my days.
Do yourself a few favors — Check out Dr. Robert Greenberg’s work, go spend time with people that light you up, it’s been too long since you saw them. Get out of the house and go see some live music — maybe, if you really want to wow your lover (and we all need to do that more), get dressed up and take them to the opera — trust Ol’ Pedro.