For more years than I care to think about there has been music. The title of this blog even relates to a song from my high school days...an old Kansas song. "Carry on my Wayward Son...There'll be peace when you are done...Lay your weary head to rest...Don't you cry no more." For some reason, that line still means something. I'm not even sure what or why but it does.
A song brings memories that's for sure. I can still hear 'Call Me The Breeze' and 'Come Sail Away' playing on a converted car-stereo in the barn when I used to milk cows and 'Delta Dawn' on an AM tractor radio one summer baling oat straw in the heat. 'I'll Be Standing By' was a long drive home in my '74 Dodge pickup from a bad weekend in Geneseo. 'Don't Fear The Reaper' is still the song of my life since I heard it at my long-gone friend's house in '76. Along the way there was 'Turn The Page' for a thousand miles in one day on a Sportster, 'Runnin' With The Devil' on the cassette deck of an ugly orange Javelin. And then there's all the lost years of disco and the Big Hair days. Kiss and Ted Nugent, Donna Summer and Rod Stewart. 'Aqualung' and 'We Are The Champions' were my first apartment and the first season out of the nest. 'Do You Feel Like We Do' chased 'Like A Rock' around a tiny, one-room house I shared with my wife-to-be and a pet racoon we adopted like an orphan. 'Come Sail Away' segued into 'The Sultans Of Swing' and 'Rapper's Delight' at an ancient roller skating rink I hung at whenever I wasn't working. That's where I first set a diamond in a groove and learned the craft of mixing records from a DJ/college student named The Texan or just Tex to me. He taught me all I needed to get underway before he went home for some dental work and died in the chair from the anesthetic. I see him still when 'If You Could Read My Mind' runs into Yellow Magic Orchestra on the tape he made for me in '79.
We ran with it through 'Funkytown' and 'Situation' on lighted dance floors and hardwood skating rinks all over the east coast until Devo faded to Kool and The Gang and LLCoolJ.
Somewhere in all that, I got into the DJ business and the '80s still live in 12" singles on my shelves upstairs. Occasionally they even grace my old Technics 1200 turntables when I feel the need to 'put the needle on the record' for old time's sake. Even way back when, I paid what seemed like a fortune for those 'wheels of steel' but I loved hooking them to a trailer-load of amps and cabinets outdoors or in a frat and just letting them open up and scream...
'It Takes Two' was 900 high school kids jumping up and down in front of my lights and every watt of power I had on a winter night. 'Welcome To The Jungle' was frat parties 'till 3 in the morning and cops checking IDs. 'Daddy's Little Girl' came and went with years worth of weddings and 'Everything I Do' was there for hundreds of first dances. 'Old Time Rock And Roll' was the Big Gun that got everybody on the floor when nothing else worked. 'You're In My Heart' became "our song" and plays whenever I think of home from wherever I happen to land.
I somehow lived through Breakdancing and Milli Vanilli and found my way from Boston and Eddie Van Halen back again to where I started; Blue Oyster Cult. It all came around from the days of New Jack Swing to where I live now; a world where most anything goes...Enya to Megadeth...Willie Nelson to Black Label Society...Madonna to Drowning Pool...Jimmy Cliff to Pantera...it's all there on my iPod. I still lean into BOC pretty often though...after all, they are the 'Nexus of the Crisis and the Origin of Storms' but nowadays Rage Against the Machine does 'Know Your Enemy' and Korn is 'Falling Away From Me' more often than not. Metal has become the default these days for one reason or another. I don't even know why but the shoe fits.
I once wrote that metal music was the "black steel mirror" that I look into when things are falling apart and it seems like the world is going insane but then, Jimmy Buffett, ZZ Top or plain old George Thorogood pops up and the landscape seems a little brighter.
One way or another, the music is always there...be it as a memory of times long gone or a patch over a hurt this week...it's never gotten very far away and I hope it never does. The 'Train Of Consequences' is running and the 'Wayward Son' is still carrying on. It's come a long way from 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' and 'The Ballad Of Easy Rider' but all the time I spent as a kid watching the 45's go around on the turntable for hours at a time has sure paid off in the end.