Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday "Free-for-All": Music

I love music.
Who among us doesn't?
Music has always played a huge part in my life, from as far back as I can remember.
At around age 8, I used to fall asleep with a scratchy sounding little AM radio under my pillow.
My parents loved music, and I grew up with their many different favorites as a background to my daily life.
When they were younger, going out to see live music was one of their favorite dates.
My mom plays piano and has a lovely singing voice.
My dad used to wake me on early school mornings with the KMOX Radio 6 am "March of the Day"!
I once walked into our house after arriving home from school to hear the sounds of my beloved Donny Osmond crooning from my daddy had made sure that his new 45, released that day, was spinning on my turntable when I arrived home.
My first "real" rock concert was with my parents-to see the Eagles-when I was 11 years old.
Over the ensuing years, my parents (mostly my mom) and I would enjoy many rock 'n roll concerts together.
She even waited in line for eleven hours, (yes, you read that right, ELEVEN HOURS!)  to get me tickets to see Led Zeppelin.
The seats were behind the stage. I whined and complained. (brat!)
But I got to see Led Zeppelin. (a band which was not even among my top 20 favorites!).
I think the tickets cost like $12, which was quite expensive for back then! (mid- '70's).
My mom also worked as the ticket counter manager for a major airline when I was growing up...
which meant that she was privy to flight manifestos, and she would often check them on the day before or of a major concert, to let me know when and on what flight the band was arriving in St. Louis.
More than once, I was there to greet them.
She got to meet Alice Cooper when the airline "lost" his boa constrictor.
(she said he was "a very sweet gentleman")
I sang in choirs all through school, and absolutely loved it.
In high school, I auditioned ("cold" music reading/singing) and was chosen for several small travelling acapella singing groups...athough I have never been able to read a single note of music.
After graduating from high school, I worked in record stores for almost 10 years.
Record Bar, Peaches, Camelot, Streetside.
The best jobs I ever had in my life.
I met tons of bands- in the stores, backstage and bascially wherever I could find them..
Gene Simmons from KISS called me when I was 18 years old...
I like to think of myself as quite possibly the only female KISS fan who ever turned him down...
(No, I was NOT a "groupie", just a huge fan who happened to be a female)
I met a guy working security at an Alice Cooper concert when I was 18, who also worked running lights for a very popular local rock band...and married him a few years later.
And then a few years after that, I married a guy who played in that local band.
(let's not go there).
For my 30th birthday, I got myself a heart shaped music note tattoo.
I took my daughter to many concerts starting when she was about 11 years old.
My son is a very talented play-by-ear guitarist and drummer.
They are both adults now (mid-twenties) and music remains a big part of their lives.
I met my soul mate, now my husband, at a club, seeing a local band play...a band that we both loved and went to see almost every weekend for several years...
and we still go see the lead singer sing & play solo acoustic, some 20 years later.
I, like many others, can hear the timeline of my entire life through various songs.

Tonight I get to see one of my all-time favorite bands, Counting Crows, for probably about the 9th time.
My daughter and I met them at a record store appearance in 1995. She was turning 10 years old and I was taking her to see them for her birthday. They autographed her jeans and the lead singer sang "Happy Birthday" to her in the store.
I love this band...many of their songs have been the background to my more emotionally challenging times over the years.
Even now, more than a few of their songs can bring me to tears.
They are playing a small venue tonight, quite a difference from the last time I saw them live, at a huge outdoor ampitheatre, 3 years ago.
Tonight I expect to get that feeling (those of you who are music fans like me will know what I mean when I say that feeling) that I only get when I stand in front of a band I love, seeing them expressing their passion and living their purpose, connecting to that shared emotion, hearing that one song, that one line, sung in that certain perfect combination of notes and tone of voice that can bring me to tears.
I know I'll feel the same rush of emotions tonight as I felt that day, so long ago, when I heard Donny's voice coming from my bedroom...
because, for me,
no matter what my
or the bands
music is a timeless joy
and necessary element of my life.

Counting Crows
"Goodnight Elizabeth"
live from Bimbos in San Francisc
(date unknown)

Have a wonderful day filled with the music that brings you joy.
Happy Me-Laurie Z


  1. I love music too! I'll never forget getting to go back stage and hang with some of my musical heroes, Dead can Dance, a handful of years back.

    Music has literally saved my life over and over again.

    I make my living as a musician these days, and is by far the most fulfilling job I have ever had!

  2. I love live music but rarely have the opportunity to attend concerts any more. But back in the day?? Oh my!