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Clarksville, TN – I took a motorcycle trip this weekend and with it comes lots of time for reflection as I roll down the highway. It’s one of my greatest pleasures now. The music and me. Alone.
It’s been a sad couple of years for losing musical icons. It seemed like every day there was one right after another. I remember thinking, “boy this year sucks.” Then another, and another.
I remember when George Harrison died and it hit me pretty hard. I couldn’t figure out why until I realized what a big part of my life he had been.
When I was 9 years old, my family was living in France on a military tour. We didn’t have access to American radio and TV and all we had was Armed Forces Radio, and television shows that would arrive weeks late. The radio was something I fell in love with and the music that came from it. The Beatles had just exploded onto the scene and I was hooked.
In the late sixties, I returned to Tennessee to finish school and discovered Led Zeppelin, Blood Sweat and Tears, Three Dog Night and so many more. The music was now my soul. My very being would be defined by the music..
When Harrison died, my mind went back to those days. To the places I lived, the people I knew, the sweet memories of my family.
Tears? Why the tears I wondered. I didn’t know George Harrison.
But they weren’t tears for George Harrison, they were tears for the memories.
Then David Bowie, Glen Frey, Prince and on and on.
I remember each time one of them died, I would spend weeks and weeks just listening to their music. Each song brought back different memories and times in my life. It was just my way of saying, “please don’t go yet, I’m not done.”
Each and every song puts me in places and with people I know longer see anymore. People who have passed, or just memories of my life that God wants me to never forget.
I know I’m not unique in this regard. The music means something different to you or brings memories of a time in your life that’s special, but one thing is certain, a piece of my soul dies each time we lose one and I think that’s why I get so sad.
For me, the music isn’t just a good beat, or a snappy “hook,” it defines who I am and where I’ve been. It reminds me that life is short and there are no guarantees.
When we lose a musical icon, we always hear the phrase, “well, at least we’ve got the music.” That’s true, but for me, the music is a blueprint of my life. The good, the bad and definitely the ugly.
It makes me cry but the tears aren’t just for the loss of life, but for the memories those songs represent.
10 years old: “I wanna hold your hand”
16 years old: “Wichita Lineman”
20 years old: “Ziggy Stardust”
I could go on and on.
So as I’ve been re-living my life through the songs of Glen Campbell, each song reminds me of something different and it’s beautiful.
Isn’t it amazing that we take for granted how good things are until they’re gone? How blessed we are until something drastic happens?
The MUSIC never lets us forget. The MUSIC reminds us of a simpler time. The MUSIC defines “from whence we came.”
The time will come when my life’s “music” will end, so in the meantime, I’ll just shed a few more tears and remember what the music means to me, and just rejoice and be glad in it.
Hank Bonecutter is a retired broadcaster and media consultant based in Clarksville, Tennessee.
His career includes stints at WKDA/WKDF and WKQB Rock 106FM, WLAC-AM in Nashville.
He concluded his career as owner/talk show host at WJZM-AM in Clarksville.
Currently the President of Bonehead Promotions, he’s an advertising consultant and media strategist.
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesmotorcycle.com/
TopicsBeatles, Blood, Clarksville TN, George Harrison, God, Led Zeppelin, Music, Prince, Tennessee
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