I was 15 years old the Christmas of 1972. I had flunked my permit test twice and was about to flunk it three more times (a story I may tell here some day). I was a miserable dark poetry writing teen. I thought my theme song was I Am a Rock by Simon and Garfunkel. (Janis Ian hadn’t recorded At Seventeen yet.) No one understood me or the horrific challenges I was……….
You get where I’m going with this, right?
I was the major pain in the ass of my Father and Step-Mother.
Fast forward to this morning, and as I was making my way up from a suburb by Northeast Minneapolis to Cambridge, I came across Casey Kasem’s 100 top song recap for some year. I didn’t catch which one, but I’m pretty sure it was 1978 because Deacon Blues by Steely Dan was on the list.
1978 wasn’t iconic for me. Even though I was 21, it wasn’t anything special.
But 15, now there was a ripe time in my life.
Looking up the top 100 songs from that year refreshed my sense of diversity in music. There were genres back then. but the same radio station would play all of them, not just country, soul, pop or rock. They played everything and we listened to everything. My generation may be one of the last that finds it as easy to embrace Charlie Pride as it does Al Green and Alice Cooper.
All three of these artists are on the list from 1972 and all three played on the same radio station when I was 15.
I can’t decide which one of them was my favorite or least favorite. Vincent by Don Mclean came in at 94 and I think that is one of the most explicitly poetic songs I’ve ever heard. Roundabout by Yes blew me away. Three Dog Night came in with several hits, and Layla was almost rock perfection for me back then.
There is one song that, when I hear it, I sing it loud. It’s the one song that, IF, I ever really learn how to play guitar I want to learn to perform.
Minnesota born Jonathan Edwards and Sunshine. This song makes me strangely happy each time I hear it.