The Soundtrack of Our Lives

No, this post is not about an obscure rock band from Sweden, but it is about music (I warned you this blog would be an eclectic collection of all my passions!) and how music intertwines itself in our lives. It is amazing to me how music can bring back long lost memories and emotions. I can still tell you what book I was reading in the early seventies when I first heard “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles.

It is also striking how music can tie us together. How many love-struck couples have “their song”? For Carmen and I, its Eric Clapton’s “Pretty Girl”. When I was a teenager all I ever wanted to do was to be a rockstar, so much so that I was never without a radio or stereo blasting away some Rod Stewart, Rolling Stones, or Eric Clapton. (I later found out, you actually had to have SOME talent to be a rockstar so I went into computers instead!). As my teens turned into my 20’s and 30’s I was never without music (probably why I have that “Ton deaf ear” today). I can remember pulling into our neighborhood with my two sons in the back seat, a favorite song would come on and I would circle the block until it was over (yes, I am weird). What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was composing the soundtrack that would form the foundation of my relationship with the two of them.

It’s still Rock ‘n Roll to me

When Jeremy (my oldest) was a little guy, he was extremely colic-ie. The only way to console him was to hold him while standing up. I spent hours and hours (and hours) holding him while I played darts in our apartment listening to Billy Joel’s Glass Houses. As he grew into a toddler, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” became “our song”. Anytime it came on the stereo or the radio, he and I would sing it together at the top of our lungs. Even as we battled through those teenage years, music still bound us together. He became my “date” for many a concert…Tom Petty, Kiss, and more.

A couple of years ago T (Jeremy became JT, which became T) called my cell. I was unable to answer so he left a voice mail. “Hey Daddio, I was driving home for lunch and I thought of you when this song came on and I wanted you to hear it”…

How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
“You could really be a Beau Brummel baby
If you just give it half a chance.
Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers,
You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers.

You got it…”It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll to Me”. I still have that voice mail on my phone and EVERY time I listen to it I get a huge grin on my face.

Just this past week, as I sat in the waiting room and he was back in the delivery room awaiting the arrival of Braxton, his son and my first grandchild, T and I were texting and quoting that song to help relieve some of the waiting and waiting and waiting. I can’t help but wonder what song T and Braxton will be singing together 30 years from now.

Emotional

That brings me to Brad (my youngest). Unlike his father, Brad actually does have musical talent. Otherwise known as Brad Real (www.BradReal.com), he is a popular rapper here in the midwest. When he was an adolescent, my favorite local band was Push Down and Turn. Their lead singer, Jason Brown, grew up in our church (I was actually his junior high sunday school teacher, if you can believe that!).  Whenever Push Down and Turn performed an all ages show I would take Brad with me to see them.

Fast forward to Father’s Day 2012. Brad’s gift to me was a framed copy of the lyrics to a new song he had written. “Emotional” is a tribute to fathers, but more personally, it is a tribute to me, Brad’s father. What makes it even cooler is that he arranged with Jason Brown to sing the hook on the song. Unbeknownst to me, it was going to those Push Down and Turn shows and watching Jason that inspired Brad to pursue his music! http://soundcloud.com/brad-real/emotional-brad-real-x-jason Click to listen or download

Please allow me to introduce myself
I am a man of wealth and taste
I hear it every day, it’s the soundtrack of my youth
 

To thank Jason for the vocals on the song, Brad suggested that he and I, along with T go to see Jason’s new band Cousin Roger. So a few nights ago the three of us headed out to catch the show. On a set break, Jason came out into the audience to talk with us. We were able to thank him and Brad gave him a copy of his CD “Married to the Music”. As they were about to wrap up their final set, Jason walked up to the microphone and said:

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, Satisfaction, just to name a few

a direct quote from “Emotional”. They then broke into an awesome cover of “Satisfaction”…and there in the front row. were three guys, bound together by music and blood, singing their hearts out!

No matter how crazy life gets, or how busy our schedules get we will always have music. We will always have “our songs”!

I am sure you have many examples from your own soundtrack. I would love to hear about them! Oh, and the book? The Hardy Boys Great Airport Mystery…

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Thank’s ….I always knew you were Cool Jeff….I absolutely Love being “Dad” more than anything else on Earth…So Do You…

  2. Anonymous says

    Wow. Can’t wait to see you. I have a very similar connection with my two sons. In fact, just a week ago we were at a Ben Folds Five concert together in the front row. See you Wednesday, cuz!

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