Hey everyone! I thought it would be fun to have a musical journey through my life, from beginning to end.
I was born in 1977. The very first song I remember listening to was “The Logical Song” by Supertramp. I remember listening it to my brother, and we expressed ourselves to the music by running in a circle on and off of his bed. We’d jump on from one side, leap off the other side, go around in a circle, and jump back on. I’d guess I was five years old.
When I was six or seven, I had my very own little tape deck. It was so cute! In fact, it’s downstairs on a shelf in my dad’s office. Please remind me to photograph it. It’s broken now, but it was epic. It plugged in and also had a little carry handle.
I usually listened to Disney stories on it (I’d completely forgotten that until now), but my very first tape was Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. I still remember how excited I was to discover that I could fast-forward music. Prior to that discovery, I’d only thought I could rewind music. Those were simpler times.
But anyway, I listened to “Beat It” on one side of the album and then “Thriller” on the other side, again and again. My only regret is that I never discovered or realized how cool “Billie Jean” was. Fabulous song. Billie Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who thinks that I am the one. But the kid is not my son!!
(Has he looked closely? Maybe the kid is his daughter. Just sayin’.)
In fifth grade, I spent spring break with Granny Franny, and she played “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber, and it terrified me. I’d already developed a phobic reaction to it for reasons unknown. She was nice about it and turned the music off, but she found it mystifying that anyone would be afraid of it.
If I recall when I went through puberty, I thought that “One on One” by Hall & Oates was incredibly erotic. (Heck, I still do.) See, it sounds like it’s about a midnight game of basketball, but it isn’t. It really turns me on and seems exceptionally racy to me. As a twelve-year-old, I was quite impressionable.
When I was thirteen, I had a bit of a menstrual accident (actually, I had several) in Granny Franny’s bed. She was really nice about it, but I felt awful. So I spent the whole day listening to “Say it isn’t So“, also by Hall & Oates.
At that same age, my mother was going through a painful divorce, so she listened to “Losing My Religion” by REM until the CD scratched. I like the song, too, and I listened to it earlier while I was on the treadmill.
At fourteen, I’d listen to “Fantasia on a Theme” endlessly and dream of astral travel and otherworldliness. I think it’s the most amazing piece of music ever composed. It’s ethereal and heavenly, and listening to it proves that God exists.
When I was fifteen, I loved the movie My Girl. I had the soundtrack on audio cassette. I loved the main background theme music. I think they play it at the very beginning of the movie.
I loved the whole soundtrack. At that same age, I was listening to the second song on it, “More Today than Yesterday“, by the Spiral Staircase, in my attic bedroom. I’d just gotten back from youth camp where I made all these new friends, but they were no longer with me. When this song came on, I burst into tears and had a complete meltdown. I was home alone. My mom’s friend, Debbie, came over and could hear me from the front porch, so she came inside. Long story short, my mom had me arrested and I wound up in the mental hospital. But anyway, that song (or my mother) was my undoing.
At the age of seventeen or so, Seal came out with his 1994 album. It was love. I loved the whole album, so I’ll just give a link to one song from it. “Kiss From a Rose” was the most well-known, but here’s “I’m Alive“.
In twelfth grade, I loved No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak“. It reminds me of hanging out in the newly designed youth lounge at church. I also loved “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” by Sting. I linked it in my mind to a guy I had a crush on.
In college, I discovered why I was terrified of “Adagio For Strings”. Dr. Satan, the head of the music department, taught music history, and he mentioned the music, saying it had been played in the movie, The Elephant Man. I went out and rented it on VHS cassette that very night and watched it. It seemed dimly familiar, and by the time the closing credits played (with “Adagio For Strings”), I was a hysterical, weepy mess (“I am not an animal!”), and the movie’s storyline felt distantly familiar. Because the movie came out when I was three or four, my theory is that a clueless adult watched it with me in the room, and I developed a phobia that I was already aware of (without knowing its origin) by fifth grade.
Oh wow, I should wrap this up!! This has been fun.