Radio Ga Ga – The Jukebox of my Mind and Life (The Early Years)

Well, I am not sure what happened, but this post was somehow deleted earlier along with about 35 comments.  If you commented previously, please feel free to do so again.  Thankfully, I had saved the text in Word (per Adam Waldman’s advice).  Here is the post as it originally appeared last night, although there may be minor differences:


I was challenged by Ginger Wilcox and Paul Slaybaugh to write a blog with the title “Radio Ga Ga”.  I was also asked by Shannon Lefevre (it’s pronounced “La Fever”, by the way) to write a post about music awhile back.  I have decided to combine the two tasks into one post, which will be the first in a series for me.  I do not know how long the series will take me to write.  


I have struggled with the music post, because it seemed so all-encompassing to me.  It started as a discussion between us in the comments section about what you can tell about a person from his/her iPod selections.  I am not intending to post a long list of my iPod tunes, but rather to give you some idea of songs that have shaped me and stuck with me through my life.  This initial blog will focus on my childhood years, and some of the popular songs that still take me back to being a kid. 


There are two songs that seem to have a strong visceral effect on me, as I can distinctly remember where I was when they got “stuck in my head”.  One of them is “Sailing” by Christopher Cross (you can click the link to hear it).  I remember hearing this song when I was with my mom and stepdad looking at homes when I was about 10 years old.  This may have shaped my desire to get into home sales, because frankly it was one of the best days I can remember from that period in my life – weird, huh?


Another song that always makes me feel like I am a kid is “Heart of Glass” by Blondie.  I can vividly remember hearing this one around the same time as the other song, and I was in the car with my mom waiting at my stepdad’s office – I had my head in the floorboard and my body on the seat, so I was upside down, as kids often are.  This song was on the radio quite a bit around that time, and I simply can’t hear it without experiencing a flash of poignant emotion as I remember being nine and not having a care in the world.



Even though it was released just before I was born, “The Long and Winding Road” by The Beatles reminds me of grade school, because I was about eight or nine when my good friend Jimmie Van Arsdale turned me on to Beatles music.  Although I wasn’t quite ten years old, I still remember hearing about John Lennon’s assassination, and it affected me.  There was a period of time that I almost wore out my turntable (yes, TURNTABLE) listening to this song, along with their other hits from the same period.  My friend Jeff Kelley and I even listened to Revolution #9 backwards, trying to hear secret messages (I won’t torture you with a link to that one – it is a terrible experimental “song).  That same summer, I learned how to play the first few notes of “Yesterday” on our TRS-80 computer “piano”.  I was a deep and profound child.  What can I say?



One of the seminal sports medleys of all time has to be “We Will Rock You” coupled with “We are the Champions”.  STOMP, STOMP, CLAP!   STOMP, STOMP, CLAP!  STOMP,STOMP, CLAP! until your hands and legs hurt.  I remember doing this as countless sports events (Cowboys, Mavericks, etc.) as a child.  I still  like hearing those songs if I happen to catch them on the radio.  Regardless of how you feel about Freddie Mercury’s lifestyle choices, he could wail.  I still enjoy hearing these tunes if I happen to catch them on the radio.

If you have read this far, I applaud you for sticking with me.  One last memory – I was almost twelve years old and my “girlfriend” gave me a mix tape with some Fleetwood Mac tunes, including “You Make Lovin’ Fun”.  That was the day of my first kiss (actually it was two very brief pecks) under a large oak tree in a park in east Dallas. We held hands until my hand was sweaty, but I didn’t care.  We walked all the way from her house that day, and when we walked back from the park, I was changed forever.

Thanks for reading this sentimental and mushy post.  I seem to excel at writing these.

Lest you feel tempted to make any negative comments about my song choices, please keep in mind that these are my childhood memories, so tread lightly with your comments.  Thanks!

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