SoCS/3TC — Carried Away By the Music

When I hear a particular song from my past, I often feel as if I’ve been transported to a different place, a different time, maybe decades ago. As I listen to the familiar lyrics, hum along to the melody, and appreciate the voices singing in perfect harmony, the music will transport me, and I will find myself awash in memories, mostly pleasant, fond memories.

The music that I enjoy most is classic rock, and when the music hits my ears, I close my eyes and listen to the songs I grew up with, I just let the sounds wash over me, and I am a peace. In today’s crazy days, it’s very therapeutic to let the music carry me away to happy times.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where the words are “wash” and “awash.” Also for the Three Things Challenge prompt from Di over at Pensitivity101, where the three things are “song,” “melody,” and “harmony.”

#WDYS — Shame On Me

My old college roommate, Kevin, considered himself to be a song writer. Well, at least the music part of it. I was the poet who had a way with words and the two of us co-wrote a handful of popular songs back in the seventies, with Kevin handling the music and me taking on the lyrics.

But, after a serious falling out over writing credit and royalties, we ended our collaboration. I decided to go to France to focus on my writing. There I met and married the woman of my dreams, who happened to be my editor, and with her help, I published a few moderately successful poetry books.

Kevin continued to write music, but was unable to find a lyricist he could work with. He tried his hand at writing his own lyrics, but the words fell flat. Eventually he gave up writing music and got himself a “real” job at an accounting firm.

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I received a letter from Kevin. He wrote that he had retired from the accounting firm and started to write music again. It was his passion and he had written the music for some really great new songs. In his letter he said that he hoped we could let bygones be bygones and partner up once again. He asked me to take a look at his music and would consider crafting some lyrics.

Kevin had enclosed with his letter the sheet music to several of the songs he’d composed. I shared them with my wife, who was a good piano player, and she was impressed by Kevin’s musical compositions. She encouraged me to once again collaborate with Kevin. So I sat down with the sheet music he’d sent and scratched out lyrics for the songs.

I wrote a note to Kevin included with my lyrics. I told him his music was beautiful and that I hoped my lyrics did it justice. But when several months went by and I didn’t hear back from him, I just figured he wasn’t all that impressed and gave up on our teaming up once again.

One day my wife said that she heard a song on the radio and the lyrics sounded familiar. She downloaded the song and played it for me, and sure enough, those were my lyrics that I wrote for Kevin’s music. I looked into it and saw that Kevin had claimed to have written the music and lyrics. He had, once again, taken credit for my work.

My wife wanted me to seek legal counsel and sue for compensation for my lyrics, but I refused. “It’s my own fault,” I told her. “What do they say? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Well, shame on me,” I told her. “Let’s just move on.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See prompt. Photo credit: Free images Google.

Throwback Thursday — Rock ‘n Roll

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “Discovering Your Musical Taste.”

Maggie wants us explore the music we were exposed to as a child and how we moved from those early experiences into developing a taste of our own.

1. What music were you exposed to in your family home – genre, artist, or style.

My parents weren’t that into music, except my mother loved Lawrence Welk, for some reason. But I had two older sisters who were into artists like Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Patti Page, Nat King Cole, and Frankie Laine. It was a period when popular music was transitioning from the Big Band sound to a more easy listening sound.

2. Did you enjoy that type of music or did you rebel against it?

I preferred Top 40 music to what my older sisters generally listened to.

3. How did you listen to music in your childhood home? Radio? Record player? Television?

Mostly via radio and record player.

4. Did you buy records, tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks or CDs?

When I was younger, all that was available were records and I bought mostly 45s. But as I grew, I used cassette tapes, some of which I bought, but most of which I made as “mix-tapes.” And, later, when they became available, CDs. I never bought 8-track tapes. Now all my music is downloaded MP3s.

5. What performers were you drawn to most as an adolescent?

Top 40 performers (e.g., Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, Roy Orbison, Dion & The Belmonts, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Del Shannon), and Motown (e.g., The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Ronettes).

6. Who did you go to see for your first concert? Who did you go with?

I think it was The Four Seasons, who performed at a local high school, and it was with friends.

7. What concert has been your favorite concert to date?

I’ve been to so, so many concerts, so it’s hard to narrow it down to one, but it may have been when my wife and I went to see Jackson Browne at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater in Columbia, Maryland. It was that concert where most of the tracks on his “Running on Empty” album were recorded live.

That said, I’ve seen The Eagles live four times and they were fantastic. And I’ve been to two Billy Joel concerts, and he is great live.

8. When do you listen to music? In the car? At work? While studying or doing projects?

I have Sirius XM in the car and also streaming on my TV as well as on my iPhone. And I can also listen to my iTunes using Apple Car Play in my car.

9. Did the music you listened to affect your attitudes, way of dress, or view of the world?

That’s hard to say. I think perhaps it was my world view that affected the music I listened to.

10. How has your choice of music changed over the years? What is your genre of choice at this phase of your life?

I started out listening to Top 40 music and to what used to be called “soul music.” Then it was rock and roll, heavy metal, psychedelic music, most of which is now deemed “classic rock.” In the 80s and early 90s I was into “new age” music, then briefly in the early 2000s, into pop, but now my genre of choice is classic rock. I’ve never been into country & western or rap.

Bonus Question: What band or group posters did you have hanging in your room? Extra extra bonus points if you can share a copy of it or a link to it.

I never had any rock band posters in any of my rooms, although in college I did have a poster of Farah Fawcett and a map of Middle Earth on my dorm room wall.

EXTRA EXTRA BONUS: Care to share a playlist from Spotify?

Sorry, I’m not on Spotify. But here are the last ten songs that I listened to on iTunes.

Share Your World — 04/18/2022

Better late than never, right? Here’s Melanie’s Share Your World for this week. Here are her questions.

In your opinion, what do you buy way more of than most people?

I honestly don’t know how to answer this, because I don’t know what most other people are buying. However, ever since we adopted our rescue dog last month, I can tell you that I’m spending a lot of money on dog food, dog toys, dog treats, and dog stuff. More than most other people? Maybe. Maybe not.

Which workers have the worst jobs?

I’m thinking it’s the people who have clean out the animal habitats at zoos. In my opinion, it’s a pretty shitty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Opinion. John Cage is a composer who composed a piece named 4’33” for any instrument. The performance are instructed not to play their instrument for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Is this music or is this art? A combination of the two? Neither, it’s stupid. Your opinion?

I have no opinion because I’ve never heard of John Cage, I don’t really get what his composed piece is supposed to be, and I’m neither an art critic nor a music critic. So at the risk of sounding ignorant or apathetic, my answer is I don’t know and I don’t care.

How good are you at drawing?

I used to be pretty good at it when I was younger, but I haven’t really done much drawing of any kind in decades. So I’d say I’m not very good at it.


Feel free to share one amazing thing you’ve experienced (any time frame).

Four amazing things, actually. The births of my two children and the births of my two grandchildren.

Throwback Thursday — Technology

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “technology influences.”

1. What kind of technology existed around your house as a child?

Keep in mind that I was an early Baby Boomer and in my early years the only “technology” we had was a 10” B&W TV console and a Victrola record player that played 78 RPM records. We also had a land-line telephone with a “party line,” which meant that multiple families shared the same phone number.

2. What technology do you remember coming into your home for the first time?

I think it was the late Fifties when we got an RCA color TV console and a Telefunken HiFi record player that had three speeds: 78, 45, and 33 1/3 RPMs, and an AM/FM radio. I also got a small Zenith transistor radio (AM only). We also got our own phone line.

3. What kind of televisions or radios did you have – post pictures if you can find them.

See answer to number 2.

4. How did music technology change in your lifetime? When was the last time you purchased music? In what form was the music?

It evolved from 78 RPM records, to 45 RPM “singles” and 33 1/3 RPM LP albums. FM radio stations took over radio for music, 8-track tape and cassette tape players came along and the Sony Walkman was the portable tape player everyone got, except for those who got off on boomboxes, the bigger the better.

Then music CDs supplanted vinyl records, but that was shortly replaced by downloadable MP3 format songs and the Apple iPod player. Now there are all kinds of music streaming options, like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. I think the last time I actually purchased either a single recording or an album was on iTunes for my iPhone maybe a few years back.

5. Did you have a home computer? If so, what was it? Did you have a webcam? Did you stream content with it?

My first computer (circa 1982) was the original IBM PC, with a blazingly fast 4.77 MHz 8088 chip and two 5 1/4” floppy disks (i.e., no hard drive), and with a Princeton Graphics monochrome monitor. Shortly after I got it, I added a 10 MB hard card, figuring that would suffice for the rest of my life. My next addition was a Hayes 300 baud dial-up “Smartmodem.”

My initial connectivity experience was with so-called bulletin boards that, if I recall correctly, I accessed through CompuServe. It was all text-based and rudimentary. Eventually I upgraded to a faster computer with a larger hard drive and a 1200 baud dial-up modem. Woo hoo.

At some point I discovered Prodigy, the first of the early-generation dial-up services to offer full access to the World Wide Web and to offer a graphical user interface. Then America Online (AOL) began giving away floppy disks and soon, with its email, instant messaging, and chat rooms, it displaced Prodigy as the internet access point of choice. It, too, was primarily dial-up.

None of these early computers had broadband connectivity, webcams, or streaming functionally. Those were all 21st century technologies.

6. What kind of phone did you have? Do you have a landline today?

Back in the early Fifties we had party line phones and then single family lines. As adults, we had landline phones up until around 2010. Now we rely solely upon our mobile phones.

7. Did you have toys with integrated technology, robots, automation, etc?

Only video games like Atari, Sega, and then the Xbox, Sony PlayStation, and now the Oculus Quest VR headsets.

8. What technology ‘blew your mind’?

The World Wide Web.

9. When did you get your first cell phone? What brand and model was it? Did you carry a pager?

My first cellphone was an old Motorola “brick.” After that it was a flip phone. Then a BlackBerry, and since 2010, iPhones. and yes, before I got my BlackBerry device, I had a SkyTel pager for work.

10. Is there any current technology you refuse to own or have in your home?

Are DVD recorders and players considered to be current technology, because we don’t have any in our home? Other than that, I can’t think of any technology that I would refuse to own or have.