Watching the Grammys tonight made me realize how much music is a part of my life. For as long as I can remember, my parents almost always had music on in the house when I was growing up; be it James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, etc.
I got my first CD, Radio Disney Jams, Vol. 2, when I was 7 or 8. It was then I was introduced to more pop music (it had songs on it like “I’ll Never Break Your Heart,” “Boogie Shoes,” “The Saga Begins,” and others). I also slowly started listening to other things then, like Weird Al Yankovic. Eventually, I also got volume 4 of the RDJ (it’s funny how many of these songs I can still find on my iTunes today, nearly 10 years later, like Eiffel 65’s “Blue,” Hoku’s “Perfect Day,” and the Baha Men’s “Who Woke Snow White Up?”).
Music has always been a constant in my life, even if my music taste has changed. It's been my rock when I didn't want to talk to anyone (pun somewhat intended). It puts a smile on my face. It makes me laugh, cry, and some other emotion in between. I can't imagine life without music.
My first concert was when I was 16. I can remember the show like it was yesterday: Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe McDonald, and Tom Constanten (from the Grateful Dead). It was at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg. My dad had picked me up from my cousin's where I had stayed the night before. We arrived pretty early, so we went to get dinner beforehand. On the way back from dinner, we passed the tour bus. While none of the members were on board, it was still pretty amazing to be close enough that I could run my finger along the dust it had collected from who knows how many miles of travel.
In the years since that show, I have seen more shows. I've seen Styx, Foreigner, Kansas, Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, David Cook, Green River Ordinance, and a few other obscure artists not many people have heard of. Except for two of these shows, every one has been with my dad. I'm really fortunate to have such a close relationship with him. He and I are similar in a lot of ways (it's sort of funny, but obvious), and these concerts are some of my favorite memories, be it my first concert or the most recent one where we both got memorbilia (for free!).
I have an incredible range of music in my iTunes collection, ranging from Harry Connick, Jr. and Michael Giacchino to Metallica and Apocalyptica to U2 and Fleetwood Mac. Each and every one of the 2500+ songs in my collection has some meaning, memory, or person attached to it that I think of every time I hear it. Some make me laugh, some bring back sad memories, and others just defy any sort of discernible explanation. I guess it’s just one of those things that you keep to yourself because you don’t want to come across as a fool, but you want to tell that one person. The one who you’ll tell anything; even those things you never thought you’d entrust to another person. Those are the secrets that are begging to be released, freed, expunged... But that's a story in and of itself that's saved for another day. Another time.