Retro Reminiscing: A Beginning - Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, The Power Of Music & Memory

Retro music rocks! Let's talk about it.
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Rick Springfield - LiveIt’s funny how things work about.

One innocent comment on Facebook about how I still dig ‘80s music and I don’t care who knows led to a half dozen or so emails from Mr. Hathaway. With a little nurturing that seedling comment has grown into a feature here on Blinded by Sound about my not-so-secret obsession.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved music, whether it was the tunes coming from my parent’s car radio or the albums I began buying on my own in my teen years, or the stacks of CDs and too-numerous-to-count MP3s on my iPod as an adult. But, you know, it’s always gone deeper than the single notes, the chords, or even the lyrics. For me, music is the most perfect way to express emotion.

Once a certain song is connected to an event, everything I felt in that moment is forever tied to it. All I have to do is listen to that song and those feelings rush back to me. Maybe that’s the reason I’m still so drawn to the music of my youth.  Let’s face it, those evil adolescent years are some of the most emotional. It’s definitely when we change the most and experience deeper feelings for the first time. 

Having a musical reference to my youth is a valuable tool for this writer.

What is my heroine feeling the first time her head is turned by the hero? I can pull up the song “I Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon and everything I experianced the first time a guy caught my eye comes rushing back to me. I is my hope that I can convey them to the page in such a way that my reader will feel it all too.

Standing at a Rick Springfield concert a few weeks ago, watching the incredible guitar mastery in front of me on the song “Living in Oz,” I couldn’t help remembering the fact that I got an A on the English paper I wrote. The assignment had been to take song lyrics and assess them as poetry, identifying the different poetic methods used and deciphering metaphors, similes and the like.  But there was more. The lyrics about working hard to chase a dream and how persistence can pay off struck one heart string while cautionary warnings rang just a little truer than they had before.

Music is powerful.

While this feature isn’t about my writing, it is just as hard for me to separate that from my human experience as it would be to stop talking about music. The two things are entwined in way that is often hard to pull a part.

What I’m trying to say is don’t be too surprised if it comes up from time to time.

But at its heart, I hope this feature ends up being about great music that you might have forgotten or the songs that will be forever embedded in your hearts and minds. I’ll share why they are special to me and hope you’ll share your stories too.