Saturday’s Theme Music

Sitting in the chasm between writing projects, dealing with submissions, hunting for acceptance, stamping on depression, and resisting regression. I walk along on slippery wet leaves, gold and red, fallen from trees, I hunt the moment and a song, something to sing to take me along.

I depend on music like I depend on coffee, computers, and the net, soft addictions to deal with what’s left, and what I hope to do and be, striving to leave a little self to the world’s history.

Into the mind stream jumps the Kinks, squeezing alongside Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and snippets of other song links, taking me back to decades gone, sometimes to people and selves where I felt like I more belonged. I offer you a fantasy, a song to help you escape, “A Rock and Roll Fantasy” from nineteen seventy-eight, a time when we had more hope and direction, and people weren’t warning us about civil war, strife, and sedition.

More coffee, stat.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Today’s song came about from Facebook. Stuart Berman posted a gorgeous shot of sunset and the Golden Gate Bridge, with darkening purple and indigo waves in the forefront.

Naturally, my mind injected “Lights” by Journey (1978). I lived in the S.F. Bay Area about fourteen years, from the early nineties to the mid-aughts, and I’m nostalgic about the place. It has a magic, powerful energy. Although Steve Perry originally wrote the lyrics about L.A., he changed the lyrics after he moved to S.F. and saw the light on the bay. Having that so simply stated, the bay, allows the song to be applied to wherever light is going down on a city by a bay. It’s a soft, reflective ballad with some nice Neal Schon guitar work.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Warren Zevon was always up and down to me. Sometimes, I greatly enjoyed and admired his work, but other times, I was left scratching my head. Most acts do that for me, but it seemed like it was more frequently a response to Zevon’s solo stuff. (It’s probably just me, innit?) “Werewolves of London” (1978) stands out as a strong exception. I love its funkiness, especially that simple, melodic piano, and ended up singing it to my cats last night (although my version was, of course, “Werecats of Ashland”, as they’re cats, and I live in Ashland, Oregon).

They were dubious.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Driving on Highway 101 on the Oregon coast, looking for a place to eat, I began humming the Jackson Browne song, “Running on Empty” (1978). We ended up returning to Yachats where we discovered that most of the restaurants were closed. Eventually, a sea food place was found. The place was packed because there were so few choices.

Meanwhile, my stream picked up the song and it was going full on in my head.

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels —
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields.
In ’65 I was 17 and running up
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on …

Well, in ’65, I was just nine, but that doesn’t work well in that song…that’s not really germane, is it? More to the point, I’m just running on.

 

Friday’s Theme Music

Today is all ’bout looking ahead. We were discussing different things while drinking beers the other night. The conversations invited nostalgia into my streams. I’d been in the military for twenty years. Being in the military with a mission and purpose was much different than this semi-kind of life of writing. After that came some startups and then more than a decade at IBM.

There was a gap in mil service though. I got out after four years, bought a restaurant, was running it while going to college, and then got mighty sick. Broke and weary, I went back into the military. My break in service was almost one year. It was a tumultuous twelve months.

1979 was when I went back in. This song, “Don’t Look Back” by Boston, was out. Back in a barracks at Brooks AFB in Texas, waiting for my wife to join me, this song struck me hard. Don’t look back.

I look back often. It’s mostly in context to remember where I’ve been and helped me adjust my course and remind myself where I’m going. It’s uncharted lands. Walking the next day after I had my conversations and bursts of nostalgia, I reckoned there are different ways of looking back. Looking back is fine as long as you don’t shove yourself into reverse and try to get back there by driving via your mirrors. The mirrors of nostalgia only show a few items.

Of course, the filters of the futures let’s us see even less. That’s why the future is more fun; there’s far less known and much greater potential to be shaped.

 

 

Tuesday’s Theme Music

This song, “Still the Same” by Bob Seger (1978) has been on a continuous stream since last night, looping through my conscious mind yesterday evening, through some of my dreams, and on through today.

The dream part was weird and laughable. I’m with others. Confusion is like a drug in my blood. We’re on some mission to get out of a jungle-like setting but I don’t know where we’re going. Sweat, grease, and stinging insects plague me. It seems like we’re on the verge of escaping the jungle. I’m dubious because I believed that before. Others are more optimistic but it seems like they’re pretending.

A quiet dusk is dropping around us. Darkness is seizing the jungle behind us, yet we’re reluctant to move on. I recognize it’s because we’re all tired but we’re not at a good place to stop.

I thought I heard something and then another voiced that same belief. We stop to listen, standing like mannequins. Then I heard, “There you stood, everybody watched you play. I just turned and walked away. I had nothing left to say.” The descending piano followed.

“That’s Bob Seger,” I said. “”Still the Same.” Where’s that coming from?”

No one answered. We instead lapsed into a brief and meandering conversation about what to do.

I didn’t remember the dream when I first awoke. After being up for a little bit, I heard “Still the Same” playing in my mind, and that triggered the dream recall. I was all, WTF?

So I’m posting the song here to purge it from my head. Thanks for taking it on for me. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

Ever experience something unexpected that turns out to help you? Sometimes it’s a friend, an encounter with a stranger, or a pet, but you end up telling them, “You’re just what I needed.”

Yes, had that last night with my beer buddies. My time with them was just what I needed, prompting today’s theme song by the Cars, “Just What I Needed” (1978).

Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

“Forever in Blue Jeans” started splashing through my memory stream this morning. I’m not certain what called it in. My dreams didn’t feature blue jeans or Neil Diamond, so I don’t blame my dreams.

Thinking about the lyrics, I infer from them that blue jeans are okay. From that, and maybe I’m stretching, but blue jeans are the po’ people’s clothing.

If so, that’s from a completely different era, in my mind. Even by the time Neil and his guitarist wrote this song in the late seventies, blue jeans had moved up in income brackets. Way back around two thousand, I recall reading an article about wealthy folks having tailored blue jeans made for them. Although poor and lower classes still wear them, blue jeans are more about being hip and casual now.

Anyone, here’s Neil with his song.

P.S. – what is “baby’s treat”?

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music is from the Van Halen tributary to my streaming music mind. “Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love” is off of their debut album in 1978. Essentially a power trio of Eddie on electric guitar, Alex on drums and Michael Anthony on bass, David Lee Roth provided the vocals. That first album had a number of elemental songs on it, nothing fancy. Eddie’s mind-blowing guitar playing was showcased, especially the solo, “Eruption”. “Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love” offers more of that against a head-rocking beat and emphatic vocals. There’s no doubt that they’re not talkin’ ’bout love.

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