I used to have coffee with my Nonna and my father on a regular basis, but now that my grandmother is gone, I still go to my Dad’s house to have coffee with him. Driving over there the other night, I was surprised to see a Cars CD in the player that my wife was listening to.
I’ve gotta tell you, listening to certain bands just gets me all fired up.
The Cars were one of my favorite bands when I was a teenager, and now that I’m in my forties, I’m still impressed with their sound. I’m even more impressed with the way the music makes me feel. That night, when I heard songs like Magic or Heartbeat City, I felt a surge of adrenaline and energy that made me feel like a teenager all over again.
Music has never been just music to me. I consider certain songs and artists to be the soundtrack of my life. Bruce Springsteen has been my background music for nearly thirty five years. To me, there has not been another rock musician that plays with the passion and intensity that Bruce does. And I’ve loved every minute of listening to it.
Whenever I hear a song by Rush, I think of hanging with my childhood friend Mike. Any song by the Clash reminds me of my buddy Chris from military school, who turned me on to the punk and new wave scenes when they were starting to gain musical ground.
Say the name “Tom Petty” to me, and I think of outdoor concerts in scenic Saratoga Springs, with torrential rain always greeting the concert goers.
I could never listen to Bob Marley without thinking of my wife Suzanne, who opened my eyes to the sweet sounds of reggae.
At the other end of the spectrum, whenever I hear Jerry Vale or Al Martino or Frank Sinatra, I will always think of my grandmother, who loved music and used to turn the volume up on the little transistor radio in her kitchen as far as it would go whenever she heard a favorite song. More times than not those sounds were accompanied by the fragrant smells of freshly fried meatballs or soup cooking on the stove.
And she would sing too. Giving in to the power of her favorite sounds.
I’m just like her. Few things inspire or motivate me more than music. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing during the course of the day, it has to be accompanied by m-u-s-i-c. My teenage daughter is the same way. And thankfully she likes a lot of the stuff that Mom and Dad are fond of, like Coldplay and the Beatles. So we can listen too…
Only she listens on her IPod now, not stereos or tape decks like her parents used to. Music in an instant. Just like the instant it takes for all my great music to take me back in time, to when life was a little different but no less sweet.
Bill Davis made a statement with a nice post on his WordPress site that echoes my sentiments exactly:
Music takes you back. There are some songs I avoid, since they depress me or make me feel the unwanted tug of lifestyle choices I gratefully abandoned nearly 40 years ago. They want to take me back to places I never want to see again. But most of the playlist of my youth recreates all the positive feelings and joy I felt the first time I hear it.
A culture, an era, a whole world. It’s all reflected in the music.
OK, the post is a little longer than 500 words. So, what’s your story? Do you love a certain artist or style of music? Does it get you pumped? Or do you take it or leave it? When it comes to music, who do you love?