Over 50: Don Fox

Long time Solano County resident and musician Don Fox gets ready to play his guitar Friday in Fairfield. (Conner Jay/Daily Republic)

The Other Side of 50

Hearing loss doesn’t discourage retired musician

By From page OSF5 | February 14, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Don Fox has given up some of the privileges of his youth.

But like many over-50 adults, Fox, a retiree, doesn’t want to give up on the things he loved when he was younger.

As a lifelong rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and blues musician, Fox blasted his ears while playing in multiple bands for many years. These days, however, Fox is feeling the effects of his history and is facing a musician’s worst nightmare: hearing loss.

Fox doesn’t bemoan his hearing loss as seriously as some musicians might, though he does miss the days of living without a hearing aid. Even sitting in a Starbuck’s can be jarring, he said, because he’s more reactive to the amplified noise.

His love of music and deterioration of his hearing started early, playing with the Fairfield High School Scarlet Brigade Band, where he played trumpet.

Though Fox was born in Japan, he considers himself a Fairfield native. As a self-declared native, Fox kept his schooling, his job and his musical career close to home.

Fox took some classes in music theory at Solano Community College, then he joined a rock band, a jazz band and some mixed-genre bands.

However, Fox never viewed music as a career path, perhaps to his ears’ advantage; he didn’t and still doesn’t want “to make a big career out of it.”

Fox started his painting business – Fox Painting – which he ran for 25 years until recently. During his spare time, he played guitar in multiple bands, performed at venues across the Bay Area and wrote his own songs in what time he had left.

Nowadays, Fox has all the time in the world to play and he does – with multiple bands like the jazz, latin, blues, folk and rock band Loca Mota. He can’t rock quite as hard as he used to – or as he put it, “can’t do loud anymore” – but he’s satisfied knowing that he had and will continue to pursue a lifelong passion, even if he never got to do it professionally.

“I love my music . . . but I don’t look at it as a job,” he said. “Lots of people play their whole lives like me – behind closed doors.”

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.

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