I know I’ve posted about music before. About how important it is to me. I grew up with it in my house. ON ALL THE TIME. I know I’ve mentioned the serious stereo system my Dad had in the living room with cabinets FULL of hundreds of records. I have some pretty cool ones. I have some very old ones. His Sgt. Pepper’s album by the Beatles is almost 50 years old. We also had a system in the garage. We spent a lot of time in the driveway. In lawn chairs, with beer. So of course you needed outside music.
I have said that I might’ve been the only 2 year old who knew all the words to “Stairway To Heaven”. I did. And as the years went on I got to listen to The Who, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, The Stones, and a million other rock bands my Dad liked. My Mom often took over the music when he wan’t home. He drove a truck and was gone at weird times. So when he was gone it was John Denver, Michael Martin Murphy, Kris Kristofferson and a few more mellow”er” guys. To say it was eclectic is an understatement.
I remember being a pre-teen (my Dad must’ve been 28 or so) HOLY SHIT…and him saying that he’d never listen to “country music”. It was “old people’s music”. My grandad had several 8 tracks of Merle and Johnny so I knew what that meant. Then George Strait released his “Strait From The Heart” album in 1982 and “Amarillo By Morning” changed all of that. I was 10. Dad was 29. And I guess he became an “old man”. We wore that tape out. I remember we got a tape deck and a cassette and it was a big deal. He said it really was not “old man country”. Whatever….good music is good music.
I borrowed my friend’s “2 Live Crew” tape once in 1989 and my Dad found it in my car. He literally started in on how “this crap isn’t music and how can you….”. Then he stopped. And looked at me. I smiled and said “Kinda like your Dad said to you about The Beatles”? He just laughed and put the tape back in the tape player. I miss him.
There was Fleetwood Mac and Lynda Ronstadt and Crystal Gale and Lynyrd Skynrd and eventually Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet and Garth Brooks and Charlie Robison and so, so ,so many more. There was always music. Always music. And always a beer in the driveway. The very last time I saw my Dad he was in his driveway. And there was music on.
Life can be hard sometimes. For everyone. We all have our shit. Every single day I wake up and go to my computer to work. And the first thing I do is put in my headphones and turn up my music. And Im not sure it could be more crazy eclectic. There’s days I listen to Chris Stapleton (Dad would’ve loved him), Madonna, Stevie Nicks and Eazy E all in the same hour. There’s days I just type in “WIllie Nelson” and every single song he ever sang plays all day. There’s times I play Pearl Jam and Metallica and Boston. There’s days I need Patty Griffin and Kasey Musgraves. There’s times nothing but U2 will do. And there’s always a song. For whatever mood. For whatever need. For whatever memory thats leaking out of my brain and into my eyes. There’s songs that remind me of old boyfriends, old friends, places, times, moments. And its so damn cool.
I remember when George Strait released “Baby Blue”. Some say about the loss of his 13 year old daughter, Jenifer. We were the same age. And my Dad said he could not even imagine how horrible it might be. To lose a child. And for the first time, really, I FELT a song. I realized the words could cut, soothe, hurt, remind, bring joy and heal. It’s the longest love I’ve ever had in my life…….music. There will always be music. Always.
When Im having a rough day or sad or upset or hurt or happy or excited or feel like dancing there is always music. Its an escape. Its a memory. Its a lot of things. Feeling grateful today I inherited a love for it. An appreciation for it. Music….always….