Sunday, March 11, 2012

Music and My Youth

I was brought up around music since my dad was in a band and played many instruments - from guitar to base, banjo to fiddle, my dad seemed to be able to pick up anything and play it right away. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of lying in a laundry pile next to the drums in our basement while his band practiced.

At some point during my childhood I discovered the LPs that my mom had stacked under the stereo. It was around the age of 8 or 9 that I began to cultivate my own interest in artists and bands like The Moody Blues, The Monkees, Neil Diamond, Cat Stevens, The Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkel. I specifically remember A Question of Balance by The Moody Blues because of its jacket.

To an 8 year old this is nightmare fuel.
As I grew into my early teens the music attached itself to the events of my childhood. I would pretend to sing How Can I Tell You by Cat Stevens to my crush. I would put on a mock performance of Father and Son by Cat Stevens to a crowd of my classmates and descend from the stage into the welcoming arms of everyone. Okay, so I had self esteem issues...sue me.

When I reached high school I formed a band with two other friends and we enjoyed local fame for about five years, and we eventually were told to put together a demo tape by a recording industry agent. While we never sent in that demo because the other two members were leaving for college and wanted to concentrate on their education rather than trying to keep a band together, I'm not bitter of the loss of potential fame and fortune...and here's why.

When I listen to these artists today I can still feel the same feelings and emotions that I felt so many years ago. Obviously I am older now and I can laugh about some of the scenarios which I dreamed up, and enjoy the memories of those which did come true. I never got the girl, but my band did play for my entire school on the last day of school before summer break. I didn't step off the stage into a mob of groupies, but I still remember looking out from the stage and seeing students and teachers alike enjoying the music, and even some teachers dancing with students. This was 18 years ago and it feels like yesterday. I can close my eyes and see it as if I were still there.

To everything in life, there is a song with which can accompany it. To almost every event which occurred in your life with music in the background, you can probably recall which song it was which was playing.

I crashed my first car into a tree listening to We Are the Champions.

The point is this: Music is a powerful thing! and I hope that your feelings, your emotions, and your memories are more happy than troubled. Everyone deserves to feel the way I feel when I listen to The Beatles - Let It Be.