The Tenth Big Fifty, Music That Made Me

Ok, I think by now I’ve established my penchant for skipping around this particular blogging project.  It’s  been ages since I wrote the last Big Fifty post, so before I get started, I’m going to repimp.  The Big Fifty came from the Demanding Joy blog and I got hooked on it by reading A Little Wicked and Oh Shit…She’s Awake. All of my Big Fifty posts are in a cute little group here at The Big Fifty, and if you’re paying attention at all, you’ll notice that I’m not exactly going in order.  Today’s post is not an exception.

I last did the seventh topic on the list, which was Good Things That Happened This Week, and now I’m skipping to number 10, Songs For The Soundtrack of Your Life.  While researching for this post (looking through an old CD book, in awe that I used to own so many of these things), I found a burned CD with “Music That Made Me” written on the front.  It’s been so long since I used to burn CDs and manage music in any way more complicated than starting up a Pandora Channel that I’m honestly not sure what’s on this CD.  I’m going to hit “play”, list each song I hear and we’ll see where this ends up.

Here goes nothin’.

1.) Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

What a fun song.  That’s pretty much it for this one.  There’s no deep meanings, no crazy experiences, no nothing, really.  Just a fun song that I love singing along to.  Maybe this won’t be as meaningful as I thought.

2.) Piano Man – Billy Joel

Ahh, that’s more like it.  Let’s get our poetic melancholy on with a classic everybody knows.  What gets me about this song is the fickle romance between talent and fame and fortune.  The first person story about a man watching his dreams waste away in the corner of a neighborhood bar is something that I think many of us feel linked with.  The bartender, John, who’s quick with a joke and is sure that he could be a movie star if he could just get out of that place has always been me.  Since I was a little kid, I felt like that guy.

3.) No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley & The Wailers

I bet you didn’t know that I used to be an emo reggae kid.  To this day, I could dig out an old reggae album and be completely at peace sitting and listening.  Preferably on a sunny day with my beer of the moment, but just the music is enough.

4.) Drift Away – Dobie Gray

Love this song, that’s really the it for this one.  I’m singing along as I type.  Is that weird?  I’m also trying to figure out where I was in life when I made this CD.  I have no idea yet.

5.) American Pie – Don McLean

Oh jeez.  Really, Josh?  I do have a specific memory of associated with this song, though, and I have a feeling that there are a couple of folks out there who will remember it with me.  A long time ago, in other lives for all of us, there was a coffee shop in North Olmsted called the Magic Unicorn.  (Go ahead, laugh.  Get it all out.  It’s a long song, I have a couple extra minutes.)  A group of my friends started spending tons of time there.  We did everything you do at coffee shops when you’re young; we wrote, we sang, we played games, but, mostly, we were just together.  But like they always do, things change.  Eventually we grew up a little (a little) and the business took a bunch of weird turns.  One day in the middle of all of our youthful self-imposed drama, we found out the Magic Unicorn was going to close.  Now, I don’t remember the exact order of all the stuff that happened, I don’t remember it was the last night, or just the last good night, but I do know that at one point we all sat in around the coffee shop knowing that the jig was up.  We sang this song.

6.) Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

I have no idea, but I started giggling before the first bar ended and I haven’t stopped yet.

7.) Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Fantastic.  This is my favorite song, it’s on one of my favorite albums and it’s from one of my all time favorite bands.  The album Blood Sugar Sex Magic is a must buy for anyone even remotely into awesome music.  I’m much happier about this CD.

8.) Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones

Ever want to learn a world history lesson while listening to one of the greatest rock bands of all time?  This song inspired me to be smart with my creativity.  Pop culture is meaningless without tempering the current experiences with their future historical significance.  Right?  Or, did I just use to party to old school music?

9.) Hey Jude – The Beatles

I love The Beatles, I love this song, but I’m really starting to wonder what I was thinking when I made this CD.

10.) Hotel California – The Eagles

I’m not 60, I swear.

11.) Two Joints – Sublime

I told you I wasn’t 60.  Ahh… Henry’s house.  There’s still little bits of my sanity hiding in the corners of Henry’s house.

12.) It Hurts Me Too – Eric Clapton

If you love blues, you’ll love this standard.  It was first recorded in 1940 by Tampa Red, has been performed by Elmore James, Junior Wells, BB King, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Animals, Keb Mo and the Grateful Dead.  But my favorite version is Eric Clapton.  Love it.

13.) Changes – Tupac

Because, deep down, I’m a little gangsta.


That’s not really my soundtrack, but it’s a snippet of my life from whatever particular time it was when I made that CD.  I constantly have music running through my head, and I’m always finding new songs (even if they’re old) that inspire me.  I can tell you that the first CD I can remember listening to and thinking, “I want to make music someday” was Rancid’s “…And Out Come The Wolves”. I don’t know why,  and I never made any music, but I still throw that CD in my truck from time to time and listen to it way too loud.

Someday I’m going to realize that an adult doesn’t need to be blasting Rancid, DMX or Sublime CDs on trips to the grocery store, but that’s not going to be anytime soon.



Filed under The Big 50

2 responses to “The Tenth Big Fifty, Music That Made Me

  1. first I hope you never learn that you don’t need to blast music on the way to the grocery store.


    also I may or may not have saved your pic and then drew crappy looking dreadlocks on you because of the emo reggae thing and well I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    also sympathy for the devil I can listen to anytime and anyplace over and over. When writing one of my plays (A Devil of a Time) at one point I listened to it on repeat for like an hour.

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