I played 7 songs which resonate with me on the deepest level or just simply stick in my head and I can't get them out on "The List" December 17th...my birthday! It was totally self indulgent and a treat to hear! So hear are my selections and a brief explanation why I chose each song;
Radio Free Europe by REM-I was early in my radio career and working in Boulder at KADE, a small and very cool AM station with a loyal following. I used to cheat and play Radio Free Europe more than I should have because I simply couldn't get the song out my mind. Even though, until I read the liner notes, I had no idea what Michael Stipe was saying. It was the sound of the song and the promise of the band from Athens Georgia that caught my attention. When I listen to this day, memories of my early days in radio and my first few years of marriage wash over me. It's a good feeling.
Brilliant Disguise by Bruce Springsteen-When this song came out I was still deciding whether or not I was going to go all in with Bruce. When he dropped his guard on the Tunnel of Love album and looked inward to ponder a love gone wrong, he gave us all a very personal look at his life and times as a husband, rock star, and cultural icon in the 80's. It was an unselfish, revealing and healing gesture.
Bad by U2 (live)-It's all about memory connections for me. Bad (live) off the Wide Awake in America EP by U2 reminds me of my first big radio job. I was doing mid-days on 106.7 KAZY in my hometown of Denver. Friends from Cheery Creek, and South Junior High and Greenwood Elementary School would find me on the radio and call to renew friendships. For some reason, this song brings out those memories. I don't know why, but I don't care! For that reason and the mad skills of U2 live...it is one of my all time favorite songs.
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters by Elton John-Elton is the first artist I ever latched on to as a favorite. When his albums came out, every six months or so during his prime, I would have to have them on the first day. I head out on my Schwinn 5 speed with the ram handlebars and ride down to Budget tapes and Records on Colfax in Aurora and pick up the album. I couldn't wait to get home, pop open a cold one (Pepsi), and listen along while I read the liner notes. When I first heard Mona Lisas, I was lost inside my Koss Headphones listening to Elton's pure vocals and the amazing "self harmonizing" he pulled off. It is his best work and my all time favorite song...period!
Tumbling Dice by The Rolling Stones-I like it! Plain and simple. The single from the double album Exile on Mainstreet is the Stones at their best. Not a note is out of place.
A Man I'll Never Be by Boston-An album cut from Boston's historical first album. It's the soaring nature of both Brad Delp's vocals and Tom's sonic guitar meeting in perfect precision that makes the song for me. These past few years, since the suicide of Brad Delp, the singer’s tale of failing to meet expectations, personal and external, and the inherent sadness truly resonate. Having spent an hour speaking with Brad at Red Rocks about a decade ago and finding him to be the most genuine and warm "rocker" I have ever encountered, I am saddened by the loss of a man I could have been friends with.
Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox-Strings, Annie’s voice, a 19th century vibe...it all works for me in a way that few songs do. At this time of year, for some reason, I think old time English Christmas in my imaginary Castle in Kent. It is nice to dream!
So that's it, that's the list for December 17th. Friday night I'll be rockin around the Menorah with some of our greatest Jewish rock stars in celebration of the last night of Hanukah.