Music. How can you not be a fan? Everyone seems to have something (or someone) they like. A song. An artist. A band. I grew up with music all around me on the radio, the turn table, family musicians, friend musicians, boyfriend musicians (come on–what’s hotter than a good looking, long haired guy and a Les Paul–or a Strat). I loved it. I breathed it. I moved toward it and it moved me.
Once it did, I thought, well, that was a great ride. I didn’t recognize the transition. But at some point I realized that I actually had kept music in my life–just with fewer bright lights and overnight parking lot stays (maybe not such a bad thing, really). It just found new places in which to fit, like my ipod. And when my kids came along, they were soothed and rocked to sleep with Eric Clapton, Peter, Paul & Mary, Fleetwood Mac. My son has most definitely inherited a piece of my musical soul–and now he’s the guitarist I love to listen to. My music is still here. More importantly, my musical soul is still here. It never left me.
As a kid I remember sitting up in bed (when I was supposed to be going to sleep) with a portable white radio/tape recorder listening for the top 3 requested songs of the day so that I could tape them. I listened to my awful recordings over and over again, thinking I had captured something really special for myself. I had: freedom. A gush of good feeling that ran through me whenever I hit the play button. I didn’t have to wait for the station to play it again to get my fix.
I listened to my favorite bands and songs and studied lyrics harder than I studied for any test in high school–and my Chemistry grade reflected that, sadly. I wrote song lyrics all over my Pee Chee folder from pure memory, around the cheerleaders and track runners. Who needed to know the Periodic Table of Elements? I had Van Halen, Led Zepplin, The Doors, Stevie Nicks, Motley Crue, Cheap Trick . . . I had Rock and Roll! I wallpapered my room with Eddie and listened intently to my LP’s and CD’s on my new stereo as I felt every strum throughout my body, each note shooting through my veins. Rocking, dancing, swaying, and sometimes just sitting perfectly still, I let the loud music flowing from my stereo envelop me, hold me, excite and soothe me. My world was perfect, full of nothing but the music and all its universe offered during those moments.
Now, I think of all those concerts, L.A. rock clubs (some of which I had to sneak into since I was underage, heh heh), countless nights hanging out with my friends and music. At the time, I knew I was living much of my life connected to music, but it never really occurred to me how deeply I immersed myself in it until these many years later. Piece by piece, the memories came back to me. All those nights at band practices, spending the night in the parking lot of the Forum to get Van Halen tickets, getting rocked and smashed and trampled by the crowd beneath the stage front at so many shows (never did learn that lesson), hanging out at Gazzari’s and The Whiskey watching band after band try to make it. Seemed like that was my life for such a long time. Never thought of it stopping.