Saturday, February 27, 2016

THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE

            With the recent deaths of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Members David Bowie and Glenn Frey I reflected back on how their music careers more or less paralleled my own life. I listened to a lot of David Bowie throughout high school and not so much since, but The Eagles were a group that provided me with the largest portion of the soundtrack to my adult life.
             It’s not like we were on a first-name basis or anything but the shock of Glenn Frey’s passing at merely 67 years-old really caught me off-guard. I didn’t even know he was sick. I guess he had been battling numerous health issues for years before undergoing surgery in November. Surgery that, ultimately, he would not recover from as he passed away on January 18th, 2016. Again, it was a shock.
After listening and following these types of stars’ careers for years and years a familiarity is built between the performer and the fan. We don’t know these people but feel as though we do as we have followed their careers and lives and allowed them to come into our living rooms and bar rooms and on our car radios as they provided the background music to the lives we were living.
Of human beings’ five senses they say that the sense of smell is the strongest memory trigger but I’m thinking that sound, or music more specifically, is a pretty strong catalyst for memory as well. Just think of any song and it will take you back to a specific time that you heard the song or you might even have multiple memories of a song that you heard at different times in your life.
So it is whenever I hear The Eagles where Glen Frey takes the lead vocals in songs like “Take It Easy”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “Tequila Sunrise” or “New Kid in Town”. Depending on the Eagles song being played, it might take me back to the Bar, Bar at Kenossee Lake during its ‘70’s heyday, or the driver’s seat in the Eldon’s Bakery delivery van that I drove four days a week for my first fulltime job after high school. Remember when Moose Jaw’s 800 CHAB radio was the coolest station on the air waves?
 “Lyin’ Eyes” by the Eagles and “Love Hurts” by the band Nazareth played over and over and over on the limited song list on the juke box in the old, old Kipling Motor Inn. Most of all, though, it’s the 1977 Eagles’ album Hotel California which provided the background music to a summer of fun with Ronnie Balogh along with many, many friends at Frank and Helen Balogh’s cabin at Kenossee Lake. From the bits and pieces that I can actually remember it was quite a summer. Oh boy, that was some kinda fun!
I was just entering Grade 9 at Kipling High School when fate would bring Glen Frey and Don Henley together in California. There would be many other band mates in The Eagles but it was Frey and Henley’s writing talents that distinguished the group and made it one of the best-selling bands of all time. The band played together for the whole decade of the 1970’s and broke up for fourteen years before reuniting in 1994 as they continued recording and performing live shows until Frey’s death. Their last concert performance was on July 29th, 2015.
I’ve had The Eagles playing the background music to my life for close to 45 years. Although he’s moved on we will always be able to access Frey’s musical talents triggering fond memories of days gone by and time well-shared.

“All it takes is one song to bring back a thousand memories.”- Facebook Quote.

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