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MUSIC: an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or
vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner. That’s what the dictionary says. But it’s so much more complicated than that. Music will pull memories from the deep dark recesses of your mind. Good ones, bad ones, happy, sad, sexy, and on and on. You can relive some of you past through the emotions music brings forth. Poetry set to notes. Stories, others have written, but somehow you find the simile that bonds you forever to that song. It’s now YOUR song. Everybody’s life has a story, and not too many people realize that their life also has a sound track. This is the Sound Track of My Life. . . Music. One of the passions of my life. Always has been, all ways will be. I am the “baby” of six kids, raised by our father and our deceased mothers sister, Aunt Peggy and her husband Uncle Dick. I am married now, fast (like a freight train) approaching fifty. My wife and I are the parents of one child, our son Harrison, who, at the time of this writing is twelve. In my childhood, music really was a big part of our family. No, no musicians, but certainly singers. My dad, the master vocalist. Not a professional (although many people that heard him sing said he could have been). No, he was a pharmacist who just really loved to sing. His daughters, (my sisters) they were singers too. Us boys, three of us, nope, no singing talent what so ever. Me: I love to sing. Unfortunately, my voice is not that of my fathers. (but that doesn’t stop me) So what brought this all about, this musical memoirs of mine? The ‘butterfly effect’ of sorts. One too many of my music CD’s got scratched. A favorite, . . .right in my favorite part of the song too! “SHIT!” I thought, “I am so damn sick of this….” Yet another ruined CD. Oh sure, you can get one of those scratch taker offers things, but it’s a real pain in the ass. “I oughta just start downloading my own music and keep it all digital on a stick. . .or an MP3 player…” The more I mulled it over, the better I liked it. Sharing this idea with my wife Debbie, we decided to get a membership on a legitimate music download site, and well - the next thing you know we’re having a great time,
reliving old memories through the songs we grew up with. The search engine of our new site is awesome; just type in a part of a song and hit enter. Cruise the hundreds of hits and find what you’re looking for. Download it and move on to the next. We’ve been at it pretty much non-stop for a little over a week. The songs I’ve heard, the memories they brought back, oh man - very nice indeed! So, this will be a journal of sorts. I‘ll try and keep them in order, the order at which they came to be known to me…somewhat in order. The songs I treasure, and the story and reason why. I wanted each song to have an accompanied MP3 file you could download. Scribd unfortunately does not accept MP3’s. SO: You want the song, email me, I’ll send you any or all. Read the story, email me and I’ll send you the file, then listen to the song. . . Each song, a chapter in my life. . . The Sound Track To My Life. Guitarnotes52@gmail.com I’d like to start at the start. The song that I feel encompasses completely who I am, and what I’ve become. My life story BEGINS with this song. You know him, you love him, you can’t live without him. Lady’s and gentlemen, Jimmy Buffet singing “Harry’s Song” also know as, Changes in Latitude by Jimmy Buffet As your life relentlessly moves forward, your attitudes changes. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Your circle of friends change, you lose touch with some while holding strong to others. Every person experiences change for change is inevitable. What keeps me sane is the ability to find humor in most all situations. Laughing makes you feel good, plain and simple. I find a peacefulness and sense of well being by just hanging out with my best friend / friends and reminiscing. (and knocking back a few cocktails) Telling our story’s. Chapters of our lives that make us laugh, sometimes making us cry. But in the end, we’ve spent a night with people we love, and learning more about each other as our lives move forward. Learn to laugh at yourself, learn from your mistakes and
afterwards you can laugh at them too. Everybody needs a grave yard in which they can bury the bad thing. Mistakes, the hurt, the pain, the anger. These things do indeed make you a stronger person, but dwelling on them will never do you any good. Learn from them, then dig a hole and bury them. Keep and relish the good things. The joy and wonder of all that life has to offer. God has blessed us all, learn to recognize His blessings. He gave us all the ability to laugh, laughing is good.
Lonesome Cattle Call by Eddie Arnold If my father, William “Bill” Conlon had a signature-song, it would be this. He sang it better than Eddie! Dads voice was deep and clear. I’m sure in his prime, my father could have been a contender on “American Idol”. Seriously, he was THAT good. He owned 4 eight track tapes. One was Eddie Arnolds Greatest Hits. Dad love to hear that man sing this song. I don’t think he was capable of listening to it without singing along. He’d sing it solo too, no problem. On long car trips, out fishing, where ever the mood stuck him, he’d sing us kids a song. We all wanted to hear him sing Cattle Call, his most popular requested song!Eddie Arnold - Cattle Call Going to the Chapel of Love by The Shirelles My sisters. I have three of them. Each a unique singing voice. Together, their harmony was awesome! This was a song they sang regularly when the three of them were together and dad would ask them to sing something. It would usually be late at night, dad just getting home from work. He’d have a cocktail or two, nothing on the tv, and maybe he’d ask his girls to sing him a song. On my wedding day, all three of my sisters were with me. My Aunt Peggy and Uncle Dick driving us all to the ceremony. Without anybody asking, one of my sisters began to sing this song. As soon as she began, the other two joined in and they serenaded us all the way there. . . My sisters love me, and they joined voices once again to tell me so. A song for our father, now sung for me. . .from their hearts. I went to my wedding serenaded by angels!Shirelles - Going to the Chapel of Love Like a Rock by Bob Seagar
The United States Navy. The year, 1976. Me and boot camp: Not a pleasant mix. I’ve always had problems with authority and authority figures. A normal 8 week boot camp took me 18 weeks. I kept getting “set back” for discipline problems. Seriously! Yeah, me. I was 19, fat and out of shape, lazy. My father had died in my senior year of high school. After graduation, I moved to Arizona where, by this time in my life, Aunt Peggy and Uncle Dick lived. I was going to start my adult life in Phoenix. Three days after graduation I found myself knocking on their door. Uncle Dick retired from the Navy after 20 years of honorable and highly decorated service. The stories that man could tell, man did I ever love them! I listened to him tell his stories to his now adult nephew. I was completely enamored with them and finally joined. My oldest brother Joe, (a former Marine officer and pilot) told me (he knew I was going to have problems) “Hey, it’s just head games. Learn to play their head games and you’ll do just fine.” My arrogance held me back from learning these games at first. But eventually, I did learn them. And I learned more about myself in those 18 weeks than I had in my short lifetime. In all of my grade school and high school, the lessons I learned were nothing close to what I was learning then, in boot camp. After my 18 weeks of hell, I finally stood on the parade grounds, leading my company through their ceremony routine. I had been elevated in rank to RCC - Recruit Company Commander. (When the real company commander wasn’t around, I was in charge) I had my “shit together” like nobody else. My first taste of leadership, and my fellow recruits looked up to me. We looked sharp as razors on that field. My family was watching from the bleachers, Aunt Peggy, Uncle Dick, and my sister Marty. Uncle Dick had an excuse to wear his dress blues, something that filled him with pride and patriotism. It bore a chest full of ribbons from his long career of distinguished service, and gold rather than red ranking insignias which indicated perfect honor. In his career he had never once been in trouble, so his dress blues bore gold, very rare. I had always been proud of Uncle Dick, but now, seeing him here in his regalia. . .I beamed with pride! After graduation, he left the ladies at the parade grounds and followed my company as I marched them back to the barracks. I pulled them to a stop and ordered “DIS-MISSED!” and all their hats flew into the air as they cheered. Uncle Dick came over and faced me, a very serious look on his face. He popped to attention and gave me his snappiest salute. I turned and faced him and returned it. My face and lips
quivering, I was trying my hardest not to cry. And then he said it. “I’m so very proud of you son!” I lost it when he said that. I laid my head on his shoulder and he put his arms around me. “I made it! I didn’t quit!” I said. “No you didn’t. And you probably never will again buddy.” All the guys were milling about, some were coming over wanting to be introduced for they had heard of my Uncle. I had retold his stories them at night in the yard during ‘down time’. No other parents were allowed in this area, Uncle Dicks uniform gained him access with no questions asked. Last to enter the yard was our company commander. He saw me in a tearful, relaxed conversation with a gold master chief petty officer, and a dozen of his recruits standing around us. Rushing over he screamed “What the fuck is going on here?!?!” and uncle Dick stopped him dead in his tracks. “BACK OFF CC. . .I’m talking with my son!” to which CC replied, rather surprised “Aye, chief, sorry!” Uncle Dick held out his hand and introduced himself to my CC. My CC told him how impressed he was with who I had become. He then told us he had put my name in for S.E.A.L.’s training. I was the only one he had recommended from his 50 or so men. All I had to do was accept the offer and I was in. I was honored. Pride in myself was a new experience, and I liked it. This all happened in the spring of 1977, thirty years ago! About 10 years ago, this song came on the radio and as I once again listened to it, really listened, I thought how perfect of a piece it was for this time of my life. Every time I hear it, this chapter of my life is what I remember. I think about it often and use it as motivation for my new lifestyle change. I want to be buff again, I want to be “like a rock” again. I need to drop about fifty pounds, and at fifty years old, I need all the help I can get. The ‘help’ needs to come from within though. This song and those memories. Joining the United States Navy was the best thing I ever did with my life. Like a rock baby, like a rock.Bob Seagar - Like a Rock Marlboro Country by Henry Mancini Growing up in Indiana, Arizona seemed so far away. Not only in miles, but in “will I ever get to go there?” It was Christmas time of 1968. I had just turned eleven. My best friend at the time was Phil Unrue. Everybody knew him as “Gumby”. His hobby was electronics, and his dad had taught time a lot. In turn Gumby taught me what he knew
and together he and I built me a stereo. Now, this was ‘back in the day’. No CD’s, no mp3’s, no digital anything. Only vinyl and 8 track tapes. We had taken an old and busted turn table, fixed it, attached an amplifier and some skanky speakers, and viola, I had a stereo. It was a piece of shit, but it was mine. One problem; I had no records. My brothers and sisters all had records, and I had to beg each time I wanted to listen to something. The only other stereo belonged to my older brother George (we called him Buzz. Why? Different story). Buzz’s stereo: HANDS OFF. That Christmas, Buzz gave me an album: Music from the Marlboro Country. If memory serves me right, he had gotten it from sending in empty Marlboro cigarette packs which he picked up from my two older sisters (he himself did not smoke). He didn’t care for the album, so he gave it to me instead. I LOVED it. I reminded me of Arizona and Aunt Peggy and Uncle Dick. They had moved back to Arizona after staying with us for about eight or nine years and I / we missed them madly. Shortly after Christmas, dad told us we’d be spending the upcoming summer in Arizona with AP & UD. We were THRILLED! It would be me and my three sisters. My brothers had already graduated high school. Joe was in college, Buzz had a job working with dad. We were going to Arizona, land of cowboys and horses. The grand canyon. The painted desert, cactus, John Wayne. . . I could hardly wait! My oldest sister Maggie was graduating and AP & UD were driving back for that. After, we’d all pile into their station wagon and head back to Arizona for a summer of fun. For 5 months I listened to that album each and every night when I went to bed. I’d listen until I fell asleep, visions of the wild west filling my head. I took the album with me, and AP & UD let me play it as loud as I wanted on their very fancy stereo. They loved it too! A few months ago, I found the music for guitar on this song. I have found great joy in learning to play it. As I play, my own personal music video plays in my head. . .a young boy, warm and safe in his bed, dreams of the wild west filling his head. Eye’s closed, my face gently smiling. . . I remember. ------------------------------"What is wonderful about music is that it helps one to concentrate or meditate independently of thought, and therefore music seems to be the bridge over the gulf between form and the formless. If there is anything intelligent, effective and at the same time formless, it is music. Poetry suggests form, line and color suggest form, but music
suggests no form. It creates also that resonance which vibrates through the whole being, lifting the thought above the denseness of matter, it almost turns matter into spirit, into its original condition, through the harmony of vibrations touching every atom of one's whole being. Beauty of line and color can go so far and no further; the joy of fragrance can go a little further; but music touches our innermost being and in that way produces new life, a life that gives exaltation to the whole being, raising it to that perfection in which lies the fulfillment of one's life." -Sufi Hasrat Inayet I have no idea who Sufi Hasrat Inayet is (or was) but he sure seemed to know what music is!