He is a journalist, and for him, notes have a double meaning.
Jim Beal has been a fixture on the music pages of the San Antonio Express News for almost three decades. Friday will be the final column, the final note from this revered music critic. "It's just time. It's time. I'm 63-years-old," said Beal.
Beal is hanging up his backstage pass, and he will be missed. More than just the music critic for the Express News, he's a historian
"I'm probably one of the few rock 'n' roll writers that's seen both the Beatles and Justin Beiber, but it's just not as much fun as it used to be," said Beal.
Beal’s enthusiasm dampened, not by the music, but the commercialization of the music industry. Beal's seen the change at places like the annual Austin music festival South By Southwest.
"You could find a place to park, you'd see a bunch of bands. Now you go there, and all the parking lots are taken up by some corporate party,” said Beal.
He is up to date with technology, but the critic in him doesn't think it's necessarily made music better. "It's easy to make a record today, but that doesn't mean everybody should do it," said Beal.
Beal isn't leaving the music industry completely. He'll still do weekly shows on local San Antonio college station KSYM-FM 90.1, but it won't be the same for those who've worked with him at the paper.
"I've been here since the '80s and I've not been here without (Beal), so I'm not sure what it's going to be like. I'm fixin' to find out," said Robert Johnson, Express News Friday magazine editor.
"You need to have somebody that cares about the latest kid band, and you know, I'm becoming more and more interested in music for, by and for, people my own age," said Beal.
So after 30 years, Jim Beal is exiting the Express News stage, but what about an encore? "I’m keeping my options open. Who knows? I have no firm plans. I'm just going to wander off, you know?” said Beal.
You can catch Beal's final column in Friday's edition of the Express News.