Nine Questions

Ted Abrams, 42, is a Tucson city magistrate and a former public defender. He's also a lifelong music fan. As a member of the board of directors for the Tucson Film Society, Abrams organized last Saturday's benefit for the Loft Cinema, which included a screening of Martin Scorsese's 1978 music documentary The Last Waltz, starring The Band and many contemporaries, as well as live performances by Tucson musicians covering songs from the film. He and wife, Lisa, have two sons: Ben, 9, and Henry, 5.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

The Doobie Brothers at the Tucson Convention Center Arena in 1976.

What CDs are in your changer right now?

Frank Zappa, Over-Nite Sensation; Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul; Secret Machines, Ten Silver Drops; Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain; The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots; The Band, The Last Waltz (Disc 2).

How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?

Several hundred CDs and about 400 vinyl recordings.

Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?

No. I am not very computer-oriented.

What was the first album you owned?

I remember my parents having Paul McCartney's Ram, which I considered mine. The first recordings which were truly mine were 8-tracks--David Bowie's Young Americans, Stevie Wonder's Fulfillingness' First Finale and Don McLean's American Pie.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

The Band's version of "I Shall Be Released" from Music From Big Pink and Neil Young's "Helpless," the version on Unplugged.

Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

Goofy 1970s rock like Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, and all K-Tel collections of that era.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

When I was in junior high school at Doolen, I first heard The Clash--they were the band that really mattered for me. They had that focused, appropriate anger and a message of knowing your rights and fighting for them that really spoke to me. It's probably part of what led me down the road later to being a public defender.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Neil Young's After the Gold Rush or Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

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