I have an affinity, a fascination, a need for old music. What I refer to as old music may not be what you refer to as old music. My “old music” may be the music of your generation, the music you grew up with while your hair was styled like Farrah Fawcett or David Cassidy and you rocked those platforms and bell bottoms. It, however, is not the music of my generation. I was born in 1979 and a lot of these songs had already had their ride. Folks had moved on and were displaying an enthusiasm for the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, and Michael Jackson. A new era of music was being ushered in, leaving my beloved music in the dust. It may be dawning on you what music I am referring to, what tunes put me in my happy place while simultaneously transporting me somewhere else. Let me enlighten you.
America is hands down one of my favorite groups. Anytime I hear their hit tune Ventura Highway I am no longer in Indiana. Suddenly I am driving down highway 154 in Santa Ynez, California with my best friend Evie. We are heading out to do fun California things like going to the beach, wine tasting, hiking, and relaxing. Now I understand that Ventura Highway is not an actual road in California. But highway 154 has become my Ventura Highway. I hear that very familiar intro and the Santa Ynez Mountains stretch before me. It is getting on to dusk and the sun is lending the road ahead a yellow hue. The sky is cloudless, and full of colors, and I find myself warmed to the very bottom of my soul by the gorgeous scene laid out before me. I am not kidding that every time I hear this song this is what I see. It is very refreshing, especially on a cold, dreary day. On a side note, I will be seeing America in concert on July 20. I am so excited I can hardly breathe. At least for part of the concert I will not be in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but in California, traveling my Ventura Highway.
Another singer/songwriter I can count on is James Taylor. I get a very calm, relaxed feeling when I hear his music. It is almost like a drug. Whenever I hear Country Road, I am back in Dodge City, Kansas. I lived there for two years when I was in my early twenties. And like most people in their early twenties, I wandered about trying to find my place in this world. I really delved into James Taylor music at that time. I became very familiar with Mexico, Something in the Way She Moves, Fire and Rain, Carolina in My Mind, Sweet Baby James, and several others. I would listen to them when I was homesick, frustrated, sad, or happy. When I hear them now, they soothe me because I associate them with the peaceful feeling they gave me during a tumultuous time.
Time of the Season by The Zombies is probably my favorite song. I remember the first time I heard it. I was at Woodstock 1969 with my best friend Jen and we were dancing in the rain with people we didn’t know. (I am totally messing with you. I wanted to make sure you were paying attention.) I cannot tell you when I discovered this fine piece of music, but I can say with absolute certainty it is summertime whenever this song plays. I see colors, flowers, and movement. People dancing freely and enjoying friends always springs to mind, perhaps that is why I associate it with Woodstock. It also has a psychedelic beat that is very 60’s-esque. I could listen to it over and over again and not get tired of hearing it.
There are several other songs I LOVE: The Weight by The Band, Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Southern Man by Neil Young, Let it Ride by Bachman Turner Overdrive, Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, and Stormy by Classics IV. This list could go on and on. Anytime, anywhere, I prefer this music to anything else. It puts me in good mood, and takes me away.