The Songs of Me

ZZ Top - Eliminator

ZZ Top – Eliminator

Quick nod to yesterday’s post: I’m having a really hard time sitting still to pencil a cover for an anthology I have work appearing in. I would rather be scripting a friend’s biographical anecdote. Anyway.

I ran across a nifty little throwaway article on NPR that requires a bit of navalgazing, & so it’s perfect for me to blog about. I, after all, am my favourite subject.

The premise is that what you listen to defines you. Is it even true? Certainly not as a totality, but I think it’s important to recognize our cultural touchstones, especially considering our era’s media & marketing, where two people who live next door to each other can have touchstones seemingly alien in comparison.

To the naval:

What was the first song you ever bought?

Van Halen - 1984


I honestly don’t remember. My first few albums in the early-mid 80s were a smattering of gifts & the spending of allowance money. To the best of my memory, & with no preference, they were Platinum Blonde’s Standing in the Dark, ZZ Top’s Eliminator, Judas Priest’s Defenders of the Faith, Mötley Crüe’s Shout at the Devil, Van Halen’s MCMLXXXIV.

What song always gets you dancing?

My clubbing days were my early 30s. There are a small handful of tunes with that undeniable, booty-shaking beat. I’ll single out Eminem’s Without Me b/c it’s one of the few I’d actually put on for pleasure listening.

What song takes you back to your childhood?

I have to name two here; Mom’s taste was definitely AM radio, & she had both of these albums. As it happens, both are pleasure-listening-booty-shakers in adulthood: Staying Alive & Rasputin.

Prince - Lovesexy

Prince – Lovesexy

What is your perfect love song?

What kind of love – unrequited, engaging or heartbroken? The greatest heartbroken song ever is, of course, When Doves Cry

How can you just leave me standing alone in a world that’s so cold?

For an engaging love song, it’s Prince again with When 2 R in Love

Bathe with me – let me touch your body ’til your river’s an ocean
Bathe with me – let’s kiss with one synonymous notion
That nothing’s forbidden and nothing’s taboo when the 2 R in love

The perfect unrequited love ‘song’ is Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

What song would you want at your funeral?

Bee Gees - Greatest

Bee Gees – Greatest

Something I wrote, back when I did that kind of thing. Of the set you can peruse, 109 is probably the most appropriately soothing, but I’d really prefer 103 – it sounds final. 106 is too creepy (& I’m disappointed that my 40s have caused an important compositional texture–half of a melody, actually–almost completely disappear, as its frequency was somewhere in the 16000 kHz range).

Of course, if I wanted to be a total hipster about it (b/c you’re never heard of them), I’d claim to want D02 or After Failure, What Is Left? (both as final–& inappropriate–as 103). [EDIT: After a bit o’ schmoove file management, I uploaded a few more old compositions, including these. Apparently, MySpace’s 3-song limit is long gone.]

Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.

Apr15 was a song written & recorded for an unreleased album by a once-upon-a-time band I was in called The DiViNE. It was the only tune on that almost-album that I had sole music credit on. I’m very proud of the instrumentation, & I’ll see if I can get permission from my former bandmates to post it.


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