As I was driving home last night, it hit me. It’s happened. I’ve become THAT person. You know. The person who gets stuck on the music of their teens and won’t leave it.
Well, okay, its not that I won’t leave it. I do like a lot some of the new music out today. And I am HUGE fan of 70s rock. Huge. And I can dig some of the 80s. But an interesting phenomenon occurs these days in my truck any time I am driving around town alone.
I am almost always tuned into 90s on 9 or Prime Country (Channel 61 on Sirius Satellite Radio). I was born in 1980. I went through my junior high and high school years in, of course, the 90s. Then, of course, college in the early 2000s. So, any rock music post-2003 is pretty much lost on me.
I mean, you know, except for your huge mainstream people that you can’t turn on entertainment news and not be blasted with their music and every make-up and break-up. I know who Lady Gaga is. I know about Katy Perry. I’m even aware of Justin Bieber. But I couldn’t name any of their music outside of their biggest hits, and even then I’d probably stare at you blankly for 5 minutes before it all clicked into place.
So all of that being said, I’ve found huge joy in reclaiming the music of the 90s. Not a trip goes by in which a great memory doesn’t come flooding back at me all due to the song playing on my radio. Especially if I happen to be on some two-lane road when maybe an early Matchbox Twenty song comes on the radio. Suddenly I’m 18 again, cruising home after band practice. Or I have Prime Country on and Bryan White sings “Sittin’ on Go” and I’m suddenly back at UIL competition waiting to compete in my News Writing event.
Music has a way of taking us back in time, and I think that’s why the phenomenon of sticking to the music of your teens occurs. I contend that those are not the “best times of life” but they are definitely the ones in which you experience the most change. You’re learning not only from the books, but you are learning about life. You’re making memories that you will NEVER experience again. You live in some element of bliss, and while you think life just couldn’t get any more stressful, looking back you realize you were never as free as you were then.
And maybe, as a song plays on the radio and you go back in time in your mind, you are able to recapture some of that freedom… even if it only lasts three minutes and its abruptly stopped by a bad commercial about consumer debt or some magic pill guaranteed to help you lose weight, gain hair and sing like an opera star. Those three minutes are like a little dose of medicine for the mind and spirit.
So forgive me if you see me cruising down the road singing “Baby Got Back” followed by “Time Marches On” followed by “Zoot Suit Riot” (complete with arm motions trying to remember the old flag routine). It’s just me time traveling for awhile.