Music has played a huge part in my life.
I got my first kiss at a fifth grade lock-in while slow dancing to Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye” off the seminal Slippery When Wet. When my house burned down, the only thing I actually mourned was the loss of my KISS records.
I got dumped right before junior prom while Cinderella’s “Heartbreak Station” played in the background and discovered that nihilism can be cool thanks to Bad Religion’s “Stranger than Fiction,” which had lyrics like Procreation without gain or purpose/languid wills and torpid minds/catapulted ever faster by the arrow of time.
I got into my first fight at a Slayer concert … only to realize that I was the only one fighting. And I can still remember my first ever shipment of tapes from Columbia House’s 12-for-1-penny promotion that included the likes of W.A.S.P., Joan Jett, Iron Maiden, KISS, Ratt, Keel, Y & T, Krokus, Pat Benatar and Stryper.
The only “Our Song” I was ever involved in choosing was “Love of a Lifetime” by Firehouse (she wanted “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles) and I got an autograph from Kip Winger in a Woolworth’s where he was reading a Hit Parader magazine.
I dove down the rabbit hole of a CD completest (meaning if I like a disc, or heck even a song for one band, I had to then own everything they ever put out, which was especially difficult when I discovered Motorhead) because this girl made fun of me for not knowing who the Ramones were.
The first CD I ever bought was Tom Petty “Live” because I confused “Don’t Do Me Like That” with “The Break-Up Song” by the Gregg Kihn Band after looking like a fool and singing the chorus for the dude working the counter at MusicLand.
And while hair metal was the lynchpin of my formative years (I’m a child of the ‘80s), it’s no longer the lone driving force. I fell forever in love with My Lovely Wife because she knew the word’s to “Informer” by Snow (all I knew was “licky boom-boom down) and would spontaneously break into “Regulators” by Warren G.
She’s the only person I’ve ever met who might have more songs rolling around her head than me – though her musical stylings lean more toward Indigo Girls, Loggins & Messinna and the Sister Act 2 soundtrack. I actually bought her the Easy Rock CD set from all those infomercials for our first Christmas. To wrap up her tastes in a nutshell – My Lovely Wife loves The Beatles, but only albums before Sgt. Pepper.
But I fear our shared musical obsession has transferred to Jellybean’s DNA. As the Go-Go’s might say … “she got the beat.” From Glee to Disney, Grease 2 (Awesome, and possibly the most unintentionally funny movie since Urban Cowboy) to Little Shop of Horrors, if there’s music, Jellybean will watch it. And she’ll listen to just about anything – save for Judas Priest which she calls “Screaming Man.”
And if she hears it once, it’s stuck in her head ‘til something else comes along to knock it out of there, which mainly punishes the parents for she usually only remembers the chorus. That’s why she’s been walking around for the past three days going, “Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?” and “We will/We will/Rock You (occasionally adding “F-O-R-E-V-E-R”).
She also makes up her own songs with a bunch of nonsiquiters with titles like, “This is My Love who is a Zombie but looks like a Cute Little Puppy Dogs” whose lyrics make about a much since as 90s-era REM.
Those are cute. It’s this recent musical mystery that’s steadily driving the entire household mad. We’ve been told it’s a song she learned in chapel but nobody at school knows the real song. Meanwhile, Jellybean’s constantly bouncing around the house singing, “Roll of God of cherry in of all/roll of God of cherry in of all/and we lock tag a line behind.”
And you’ve gotta do that first part twice or she makes you sing the whole thing over again.
This is the price musically inclined parents pay and fortunately Jellybean’s tastes are as cheesy as ours.
Brett Buckner is an award-winning freelance newspaper/magazine writer who was raised in Albany.