Eddie Van Halen died few days ago at the ripe old age of 65. I’m 64 so that’s hitting pretty damn close to home although his odometer was considerably higher than mine.
I was a resident in general surgery from 1983 until 1988 when Van Halen ruled the airways, even in Salt Lake City where I was living at the time. Back in those days, it was normal, or even expected, to listen to loud music while operating and Van Halen was the often the band of choice. And think about what that meant. There were no smart phones, no iPods, no Pandora or Spotify or even Napster. In order to rock out to Eddie and the gang one needed a portable CD player and Van Halen CDs. It took a little effort to set this up but Van Halen was worth that effort. And don’t think we were all playing air guitar and not paying attention to the task at hand. There have been studies that have shown that listening to music does not adversely effect surgical outcomes. I think music actually contributes to the high energy OR vibe, that is unless it is opera which just makes me want to turn that scalpel on myself.
These days I’m older, suffer from tinnitus and listen mostly, on low volume, to what would be called Roots or Americana but for my OR day tomorrow, we’re gonna stream Van Halen.
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