Music In Our Lives

It’s early on a Sunday. Let’s have a lighthearted post. Who prompted this?: Adele Archer.

Yesterday, the “International Relations” series author amusingly described the music in her life growing up. I won’t go into detail lifting from it. You can read her full post here.

Free Stock Photo: Closeup of a record player.
Free Stock Photo: Closeup of a record player.

She asks us if music has impacted us similarly. As I thought about it…

…I realized the first “adult” music I recall listening to (in the 1970s as a little kid) was The Monkees, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. I was about age 9. Blame my parents for the latter two: they bought me a Beatles record and a Beach Boys record simultaneously.

I liked the Beatles better, but being age 9 that is probably not a surprise: “I Want To Hold Your Hand” vs. “409.” However, I have to say, though, that The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” – which Paul once recalled listening to with John in envy on its release (“How do we top this? It’s perfect?”) – is now one of my favorite songs.

I was also influenced somewhat by my cool dad, who loved the then similarly cool Chicago. A few years ago, he told me he wouldn’t go into a diner after the bar (a then NY version of hitting a kebab shop or Indian restaurant after the pub) unless they had Chicago on the jukebox. (Yes, “jukebox.”) In 1970, “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” they were definitely not:

I gravitated to them more in my teens as they became more “mainstream,” but I always loved their early edgier material like that. I will also never forget seeing them in Long Island, New York’s Nassau Coliseum with 20,000 other screamers one night in 1985 as they ripped into the Beatles “Got To Get You Into My Life” during their encore. Horn-based band that they are, I felt they played it BETTER than the Beatles themselves did on the Revolver album that originally featured that song.

I also realized in my teens that I, uh, liked girls, and fortunately some few of them seemed to like me in return. As a young adult, on a date I once found myself at an Alison Moyet concert. (She is an English singer who was at her most popular in the 1980s-1990s.) One (American) girlfriend loved her; and I still play Alison Moyet now and then.

Free Stock Photo: A spindle of blank cds.
Free Stock Photo: A spindle of blank cds.

More recently, the mid-1990s the French singer Patricia Kaas was a favorite of another (French) girlfriend. I did like her music; I wasn’t trying just to impress that certain young lady. (Although I was not really a fan of when Ms. Kaas went all “accordion” – I’ve never really liked the accordion.) Anyway, I still have her CDs that I’d bought back then, and have even downloaded many of her songs onto my current Apple products because I still like listening to them, too:

So, yes, the women in my life over the years, including, now, yes, even my wife, have had a huge impact on my musical preferences. My wife’s eclectic tastes are too numerous to begin to list, but generally what she has liked over the years (from Gabrielle to Lighthouse Family and more) I have come to enjoy, too.

Now, as you may also know, I find I’m listening to a lot of Frank Sinatra. My (maternal) grandfather loved him, and so eventually did my dad. I did surreptitiously enjoy him some when I was younger, too; and a discovery of that by at least one 20-something contemporary – a girl – made her chuckle: “He’s so old!”

Suddenly, as I think on that, I’m concerned. I don’t know if moving increasingly toward Sinatra now is worrying? Am I following my grandparents and my father?

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of an antique record player.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of an antique record player.

Uh, strangers in the night… do be do be dooo…

I’m sure you could produce your own memories because, on some levels, we all have them. Music is a “life soundtrack” and a kick to our recollections. When we hear music from years ago, we remember those times more vividly.

Have a good Sunday, wherever you are. And enjoy whatever you’re listening to. 🙂


    • Absolutely. I still recall as a child my granddad opening a brand new Sinatra LP and putting on his living room stereo. It bordered on a religious experience! 🙂


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