Column, Movie Diary

Things are heating up

By Dom Cioffi

I was finishing up a run the other day when my neighbor motioned me over to his house. I walked across the street and met him in his yard where he proceeded to pull out the name and number of a tree service that I had inquired about the day before. 

I thanked him and was ready to head home, but he insisted that I see his new motorcycle that was parked in the garage. I’m not much of a motorcycle guy, but he was obviously excited, so I obliged him.

We walked around the side of his house and headed into the garage where I saw his beautiful new Harley Davidson. I circled the shiny specimen and asked a variety of questions that he was more than happy to answer. 

Once the excitement of that conversation settled, I couldn’t help but notice how warm it was in his garage. I finally inquired where the heat was coming from, thinking he might have a wood stove or electric heater running. He laughed and then sheepishly admitted that his garage was heated on the same system that heated his house. 

We finished our talk and then I headed home. As I walked back, I couldn’t help but think what a luxury it would be to have a heated garage. 

My garage is not heated. I don’t mind that much, other than the fact that I have a room above the garage that suffers because of it. 

When I originally moved into my current home, the room above the garage was a main selling point for me. It was spacious and well-lit and screamed music studio, which is something I’d always dreamed of having. I have a ton of music equipment and every gadget you can imagine, but these external items do not equate to me being an accomplished musician. But I have a lot of fun trying. 

So, I made half the room into a music studio and the other half a lounging area with a large leather couch and big screen television. A few years later, my son became a drummer and a bass player, so I made room for his kit as well as our growing number of guitars and basses. 

However, there was one problem: whenever it got cold, that room felt like a refrigerator. I could turn up the thermostat, but I quickly learned that, given the poor design and lack of proper insulation, the room barely held the heat.

Over time, I went up there less and less. Conversely, my son, who is never cold, slowly took the space over and made it his domain. He played music up there, watched his TV shows, and hung out with his pals whenever they came over. 

Soon, my son was inviting friends from his music class over to jam since all the equipment to make noise was readily available. In a way, I felt alienated from my dream, but deep down I was happy he had a creative space to explore in.

Occasionally, when I heard something recognizable, I’d go up with my phone and video them playing. I have a fun backlog of videos that clearly shows my son’s progression from barely capable of functioning on an instrument to being a legit musician. 

I can’t tell you how many burgeoning and wannabe musicians have visited my home, but it’s been in the dozens. Most have been average, but occasionally a kid would come over who had legitimate chops. 

There were a few times when some girls would show up. They have generally been singers and often much better suited to the activity than the boys. The worst scenario is when you get some kid who thinks he can sing but clearly can’t. Those sessions tested my patience more than anything else.

Nowadays, the jamming has dissipated a bit as other interests and the ability to drive away in a car have made the sessions less frequent. I guess the room above the garage served its purpose. Maybe I’ll take it back when he finally leaves, but not until the heating situation is fixed.

This week’s feature, a mini-series called “Daisy Jones and the Six,” is a fictional story about one of those ragtag garage bands that actually makes it to the bigtime. 

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, “Daisy Jones and the Six” imagines a Fleetwood Mac-type trajectory both in story and character. Set in Los Angeles during the 1970s, each episode traverses the seedy music scene that exemplified the era. But it also delves into the creative forces that help manifest memorable art.

If you love music and enjoy the interplay of characters as they look for meaning and purpose, definitely give this series a try. And it doesn’t hurt that the songs are really good. 

A rockin’ “B+” for “Daisy Jones and the Six,” now available for viewing on Amazon Prime. 

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at

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