Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Elevator Music

     What is the exact moment when you know for sure that you are over the hill?  Getting old?  Preparing for a diet consisting of prunes and applesauce?  That moment is clear once you start to hear the music that once was kind of a big deal, and now it is being piped into an elevator.  Or even a Piggly Wiggly.  I recently realized this was the case as I entered the Pig the other day, and was greeted with the Richard Marx classic, "Endless Summer Nights."  I thought to myself, "What the heck is going on here?  This tune used to be a make-out classic.  The world has turned upside down."  I've also heard one of my favorite bands of all time, Bon Jovi, being played in a Doctor's office.  Doc, tell me it ain't so.  You can't be playing "I'll be There for you" in the waiting room.  Come on man.  I never liked it when I heard Francis Albert Sinatra and Dean Martin in an elevator, and I sure don't like it when you mess with my 80s music.  Leave it alone.  I should not have to hear Ratt rock out in an elevator, and Skid Row should never be played in a Sporting Goods store.  Give me a break.  Stop the Muzak!

     These young folks today listen to some odd stuff.  Trust me, I know.  My son, Jesse, is a big fan of the popular music of today.  He forces me to listen to that stuff.  Pretty much all I've learned from his music is that the players are gonna play, play, play and the haters are gonna hate, hate, hate.  Plus, I know the sound the trumpets make when they go....cue music.  Don't tell 'em, Don't tell em.  Most importantly in this line of thought is that it's all about the bass, no treble.  Don't you give me any treble, because all I want is bass.  I understand this way of thinking more than young Jesse knows, because after all my generation does like the cars, the cars that go boom.  Same thing.  See, I'm not an old fuddy duddy - I'm hip.  I've got the moves like Jagger, although I remember what Jagger really moved like and it wasn't all that special.  Love the music, but Mick wasn't exactly Dancing with the Stars quality or maybe he was- have you seen Tommy Chong.  Sorry, I digress.  Just don't start Mick up, because if you do he may never stop.

     Recently, as I have mentioned several times before, I've taken a turn as a 42 year old college senior.  However, now I am officially a 42 year old college graduate.  Which is cool, but I miss hanging with the younger set on the lovely campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  I was really able to learn a lot, and hopefully teach the young'uns about my brand of ancient history.  I had a discussion with a couple of young ladies concerning music, and the topic was how great Taylor Swift was at singing the revenge/break up type songs.  While, I'm no expert on Taylor Swift, I do believe I know a few things about break up songs.  I provided a thesis for what I thought was the greatest woman scorned song of all time.  My contention was that the bitter break up angst filled greatness of "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette was by far the best song in that particular genre.  The two twenty something young ladies looked at me and said almost in unison, "Who is Alanis Morissette?"  Then, I thought I could enlighten the younger set about what I thought was good music, so I played the song.  However, it had been a while since I had listened to Alanis belt out her revenge laced tirade.  So, it slipped my mind what happened in the theater, and what she did with her nails.  Bad idea for a middle aged guy, with good intentions mind you, to play such things for the youth of America.  They were rather shocked, but surely not that much - Miley Cyrus is a product of their generation.  What Alanis chooses to do in her song is her business, and while I would not promote such behavior it does make for a pretty good song.  I want you to know, that I'm happy for you...sure Alanis.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  That's a fact.

     We all have different taste in music, and that is really a good thing.  It definitely keeps different types of musicians employed.  I always knew there was a reason that Yanni had a job.  However, when it comes to the music I listen to when I work out there is no substitute for some good Rock 'n Roll.  I like to amp it up with a little AC/DC, Motley Crue, or even old school rock like Led Zeppelin and Rush.  It gets the blood pumping, and can help put your workout over the top with an added dose of adrenaline.  However, my wife and I share songs on my iPod and sometimes her songs pop up.  I love the Grateful Dead like the next guy, but Uncle John's Band doesn't exactly help me push and pull that extra weight.  You may disagree, but it is what it is.  Just the other day I was performing the bench press on chest day, and I was really getting into it.  I decided to up the ante a bit, and add some weight.  I was feeling really good and getting after it until all of a sudden Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band" dropped on the ole' iPod, and it was a bench pressing buzzkill of epic proportion.  It's really a good song if you want to sit and watch grass grow or mellow out, but it doesn't do a whole lot while you're trying to push a bunch of weight off your chest.  At least it wasn't Barry Manilow.  Her name was Lola, She was a show girl....you know the rest.  I heard that in an elevator the other day too.  That's all I got.