JT relives a poignant scene from his early days as a record plugger at Decca, when the boss of Threshold, the Moody Blues record label, posed a thought-provoking question.

In the long and distant past, I used to plug records for Justin and John from the Moody Blues when they were a band called the Blue Jays. Their label Threshold was managed by a dark glasses wearing American with a deep voice called Gerry Hoff.

I had known him a year when one day he came into Decca and owned up to us all that he was going blind…a process that would take another two years. He asked us what we would prefer – going blind or deaf? His answer was that he knew what his wife and kids looked like, could remember that, and thanks to the Moody Blues had seen all the places he wanted to see – so it was an easy and in his case predetermined decision, besides which there was still a lot of music he wanted to hear.

I suspect he could have added that being able to hear and talk to people would be an antidote to loneliness too. Difficult choice, given the temptation to believe technology solves everything sooner than later.

  • Would you be able to handle going blind or deaf? And if there was a choice which one would you choose?

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