My journey through music

And now for a journey into my mind and thoughts.  Caution:  Squirrels ahead!

Okay, so I got to thinking about my taste in music today.  Okay, okay I got to thinking about Heavy Metal today.   I remember the first HM song that I heard.  I was over at Troy's house and he played Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train for me.  Growing up we had listened to the radio station KVIL.  It is AMAZING that I still remember that.  I heard Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and many of those have songs I still like, except, of course, Barry Manilow.  But this was different.  The electric guitar sent vibrations into my body, the drums thumping my ear drums, and that distinctive voice of Ozzy and I found a style of music I was enthralled with.  But it wasn't until I heard Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil that I was hooked (My Mom is cringing now!).   I heard this, along with Billy Idol's Rebel Yell from my aunt's boyfriend and that little rebel inside of me screamed for more.  Of course this was not the music of my parents.  Why is it that most people I've talked to have different tastes in music than their parents.  Of course I was a teenager, and during those teen years we all, at some point or another, try to seperate ourselves from our parents.  My opinion.

Of course, during this time in the Christian community, I heard so much about this being the devil's music.  I have thrown away countless cassettes, and even a few CD's in an emotionally charged sermon that talked about how I was sinning and needed to repent.  Though I liked the music, I would feel guilty for liking it.  Wanting to please those around me, or the church, or whatever, I wasn't really being guided by God, just an effort to please others.  Don't get me wrong, I never got into the Black Metal, bands such as Venom or Mercyful Fate or Slayer. I'm reading a book about the history of Black Metal right now and it's influence on society, but screaming is not my style.   Of course, some think HM is screaming too.   But on the same line, I did like the Glam Rock, bands like Cinderella, Skid Row, Poison, and yes, Motley Crue.  I liked the older HM bands, like Queen, AC/DC, Judas Priest, and especially Iron Maiden and Def Leppard.  Songs I grew up with, songs that I had fond memories of.  I remember, for example, Poison's Nothing But a Good Time, because my brother and I would air guitar in the pool to the song.  Def Leppard's Hysteria is one of my top albums of all time, I'd play the Nintendo and play it over and over.   Fun times.  There is some music that to this day I choose not to listen to, for example, Queensryche, which reminds me of a particularly dark time in my life.  I never associated my addiction with the music I listened to, particularly because I listened to it before, during, and after my addiction years.  Interestingly enough, many of the bands I listened to had their own battles with addiction, and some found recovery. 

Of course, at the time MTV was popular and I loved their videos because of the girls.  Come on, I know I'm not the only one.  A teenager with raging hormone's, yep that was me.

So I guess the argument could be made that the influences that came from the music were not good for me.  Drinking, girls, and such.  I listen to Pour Some Sugar on Me and I think of Ginger.  I think you get the point.  And I make it sound as if this is the only music I listen to.  It's not.  In fact I just saw Mercy Me in concert and they rocked the house!  My favorite band of all is a band called Skillet, a Christian rock band that even Ginger likes some of their music.  One of my favorite singers is Enya, and you'll find me painting at work listening to her.  My car radio is set to KVNE or Bot Radio.  I have a myriad of interests in music.

The fact is, depending on the mood I'm in, and if I'm in a squirrely mood, I'll put "my" music on.  I just want to hear the electric guitar, feel the beat of that drum, and just, well, just be me.  Am I a rebel, well, Ginger does call me her lil rebel.  And now I don't apologize for the music I listen to.  Am I a bad witness?  I don't think so.  But then again, I go beyond the guitar's and drums and listen to the lyrics.  Papa Roach sings a song called Last Resort.  It is about suicide.  It is a haunting portrayal of what some teenagers or adults have gone through (like me) and seeking a way out.  It's a deep, raw song.  It has a message.  And some songs, well, they are just fun.  And that is what it is about for me most of the time, fun.  It reminds me of the good times I've hads, but mostly, the fun I am having now.  Depending on the day, you may find me singing Counting on God, or Iron Maiden's Trooper.  Like it or not, I don't push my music on anyone but I'll tell anyone why I listen to it.

I've felt the conviction of God on certain songs, and I'll refrain from those.  But that is just it, I've decided that ultimately it is I who will answer for my actions and I don't have to feel guilty when I'm dancing to AC/DC's Shook Me All Night Long for Ginger, because, well, if you listen to the song you'll get it.....

So I read this to Ginger and she goes WOW, that's really open.  But as she says, I have to let you breathe, to be yourself, I don't want to squash you.  I want you to be free to express yourself.  I appreciate that so much from my wife.  She says I'm not a cookie cutter person.  I'm outside of the box.  My opinions, for so long, were what other people thought as if we were one person.  Please understand I'm not saying my way is necessarily the right way.  But at this point in my life I'm willing to make mistakes, I'm willing to be wrong, I'm willing, well, willing to be me.  And with a wife that supports her husband on this journey he is taking, well, that is a priceless gift.  I've always wanted this blog to be an honest portrayal of me.   Not what others wanted me to be, just me and my journey through recovery, through life.  And best of all, I have the right to change it at any time....

Baa

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