A music lover’s moment of horror

Like millions of people around the world, I love to listen to music. A great song can really give my spirit a much-needed bolt during a difficult day. Very few things, besides exercising and working out, clears my mind than some good music. My main outlet for music, besides my nice MP3 player, is my car radio which is programmed to my favorite stations. I live in a huge metropolitan area so the selection of stations is wide and great for all types of music. Depending on my mood, I turn to a particular station and cruise down the freeway or streets with the tunes blasting. However, as many people know, listening to music on the radio can be a rather excruciating experience when those stations play THE SAME SONGS OVER AND OVER AGAIN! It drives me nuts!

During a recent Saturday morning trip to the gym, I turned to a pop station for a little morning  get me up before a workout. A popular song came on, which I had previously heard about 100 times. Nevertheless, I still liked the song so my hands did not wander to the quickly change the channel. That song stayed in my mind throughout the workout; I could not escape it even if I tried! About 45 minutes later, it was time to go and head back to the parking lot and my car. I turned on my radio and you guessed it, the same song was on again on the same station! Really! What happened to a little variety for crying out loud! There should be some law against doing that.

When I got home, I jumped in the shower with that song still enriched in my head. Maybe the water will mysteriously erase the song from my head. It sadly did not! After my shower, I decided to take care of some errands which involved a rather long trip of some 20 miles. A new station was the first order of business as I hopped in my car. For curiosity sakes, I turned to my original station and to my amazement, that same song was playing yet again! 3 times in a span of nearly 2 hours! Are you serious? This is absolutely insane! In record time, I quickly changed the radio station and I was off on my trip.

The trip went well until I reached an unannounced construction delay with backups running about a mile long. No problem, I was tuned into a great station and the delay was not affecting me. To my horror, that dreaded song suddenly came on that new station. It was at that point that I lost it! I felt the need to slam my finger on the off button and leave the radio off. I think the folks behind me thought I was some insane person who needed psychiatric help as soon as possible. For the remainder of the trip, I turned to an AM station and listened to a little news talk. To my horror again, one of the bumper music songs was that original song! I just could not escape the mental anguish of listening to the same song.

The point of my story is this, why do radio stations do that to us listeners? Is it too hard to have some policy put in place which states that no song can be replayed for at least 4 hours or 2 times max in a day? That original station in my story is a prime example. Why can’t stations change up their music playlists to include more variety? I think many listeners like myself will be happier if they do. By the way, I went to treatment and got that song out of my head. My physician recommended that I ditched the radio and develop a playlist on my MP3 player. He may have a very valid point. Listening to top 40 music can be dangerous to your mental health.


Memories of Dick Clark

Like many folks across this country, I was saddened to hear of the passing of a true icon in the television industry, Dick Clark. With his boyish looks, Clark might have been the youngest looking guy for his age of all time! I just could not picture him growing old and senile with gray hair but eventually, father time catches up to everyone.

Most people remember Clark from his annual appearance on the New Year’s Eve show from New York. My memories of Clark were a little different. I remember him from that very popular show, American Bandstand which ran over 30 years. I started watching the show as a preteen when I first developed my great taste in music, some people might argue with that!.  Saturday mornings were not the same without seeing that bandstand symbol in the background and a very young-looking host of the show. He seemed to blend right in with the crowd of young people. I still remember that rate a record segment and Clark playfully teasing the guests because of their short explanation as to why they liked the record. The response typically would be “Because it has a good beat to it” .  I also enjoyed his interviews with the musical guests he had on the show.  Of course, who can forget that painful interview he had with Prince! I have so many memories of that show which was a part of my Saturday for many years. Besides watching all the young people dance and seeing the wild fashions,  Clark was another reason I watched the show. He was one of my favorite television hosts.

Maybe there is an American Bandstand show up in heaven and Clark is needling one of the angels to give a better answer as to why they like a certain song.  He was one of a kind and certainly a big part of my childhood television viewing. Nobody did it any better or looked any younger than him.

The best and worst bands of all time

There have been many music bands formed over the course of history.  Some bands such as the Beatles and the Bee Gees have become icons in the music industry and their songs are as much a  part of American history as baseball and apple pie. Others bands quickly form and breakup because their music is a piece of crap!! In fact, many bands fall into this category, especially those all boy bands. Everyone has an opinion on this subject and having listened to bands for a long time, I would like to offer my 2 cents worth.  Below, I have listed some of my most favorite and least favorite bands of all times. Not artists but bands. Let the drum roll begin.

Most favorite.

1. AC/DC –  I don’t really have a true number one choice but how can you go wrong with this awesome group.

2. Metallica –  Right up there with AC/DC.  Forget about taking a shot of caffeine in the morning. Just listen to a song from this band and you will wake up in a hurry.

3. Steely Dan-  A very underrated band.  Unlike Metallica, listening to this group will decrease your blood pressure and cause you to relax.  Great music to listen to if your spending a lazy summer afternoon somewhere.

4. The Bee Gees-  They have to be the best band of the 70’s.

5. Duran Duran-  arguably, the best band of the 80’s.  I have many fond memories of this band during my college years.

Honorable mention.   Black Eyed Peas, Pink Floyd, Styx and U2

Least Favorite.

1. Air Supply-   Easy choice for least favorite.  I swear you will never find an Air Supply cd in my collection of music. Listening to their sappy and awful love songs makes me want to cry (for being tortured!!!)

2. Abba-  Many of you 70’s music geeks probably know of this awful Swedish band.  I wish their music would have stayed in Sweden!

3. New Kids on the Block-   I just had a throw in an all boys band for good measure. Groups like these appeal to mostly teenage girls and that’s it

4. The Beatles-   Most overrated band in music history. I know I will offend some people but why all the hype over this band? There are many bands who have produced better music than this group.  This band had more style than substance.

5. Rolling Stones-  Another very overrated band.  I wish some of the oldies stations in town would quit playing so many of their songs. They were bad 30 years ago and still stink today!!

Honorable Mention-  REO Speedwagon, Hootie and the Blowfish,  KC and the Sunshine band. Although they are more a duet, Wham and the Carpenters also make my list.