Friday Five: Throwback Tunes

Oh those RevGals! They ask the best questions; maybe this is how they became Reverends. Rev. Michelle Torigian posed these:

Which musical artist from your teen years would you love to see in concert?
Which album was your favorite during high school?
If you could create a festival (like Woodstock, Lilith Fair or Lollapalooza) of your favorite bands from high school or college, which bands would you choose?
What was the best concert you’ve attended in your life?
What song from your childhood, teen years or adulthood means more to you now (because of lyrics or the power of memory)?

led zeppelinMusical artists…. so many, but in High school I was a devotee of Led Zeppelin all the way. That is the concert I never saw, along with The Who, which I always wanted to see. The sound of The Doors is inseparable from my California childhood, but Jim Morrison was long dead by the time I reached High school, though the music carried on. Every time I hear Riders on the Storm, I can see, hear, and almost smell the beach I was on the first time I heard it, when I was nine years old.

eight track deck
Once upon a time, there were 8 track tape decks…

Favorite albums during High school:

Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti and Houses of the Holy were almost always in my car’s eight-track deck. That’s right, eight-track tape deck. And that deck was hungry for Zeppelin and ate at least three Physical Graffiti’s, which as a double album was expensive to replace, but replace it I did, every. single. time. Steely Dan’s Aja was popular in the shop building, where my photography class was held and where the darkroom was, and our indulgent teacher let us blast it while we processed film. Nothing like a bunch of teenagers wailing, “Drink Scotch whiskey all night long…. and die behind the wheel…”. The glamour of that thought diminished substantially when a popular football player actually did die our senior year, in an accident fueled by speed and alcohol. The year I graduated Pink Floyd released The Wall and though of course I was familiar with them, that, along with Punk Rock which had made it’s way over to the US, opened new musical doors for me.

My dream festival: Zeppelin, of course, The Who, The Kinks, U2, Cheap Trick, The Jam, The Clash, Paul Simon. Funny, writing this down I see my late teens and early adulthood were a sort of cuspy period, with great bands waning and great new bands just arriving.


u2 nashville 2
U2 @ Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN photo Kerry Wood Photography

Best concert ever:

U2 in Nashville. It was the first trip I took with my husband, Paul, so it was romantic, and being the romantic he is he took me to the one band I’d always wanted to see and never had. I feel we’ve grown up together, U2 and me, from youthful idealism to jaded cynicism, and now back to an educated, realistic idealism. In concert, they understand their job: to entertain. Bono gets his pitches in for his causes, with a wink and a smirk covering his genuine concern for them, like all good stoic Irishmen, and they give it their all. It was a great show, and I was with a lovely man I was just realizing was going to be very important to my life, in a beautiful city. One can’t ask for more than that.

Song(s) from childhood: Literally hundreds but to narrow the field, when I was very little, I lived with my Auntie Helene, and her daughter, Leonora, was a true fan of folk music. I can see her now, with her long red hair and beads, strumming her guitar and singing Peter, Paul, and Mary. Along with the Beatles, my earliest childhood was full of Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan. In High school we analyzed The Sounds of Silence at some point in an English class, and I knew about silence used as a weapon from my mother, but silence as partner to violence, societal despair, and loss of humanity were concepts growing up helped me understand. Bob Dylan’s Tangled Up in Blue always captured my imagination as wonderful storytelling, but gaining first-hand knowledge of love and loss and a return to hope has enriched the experience of the song for me. Like films and books, revisiting good music throughout one’s life reveals more truths within it, or maybe the truths are within ourselves.

What about you? How would you answer this Friday Five?

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