Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I want my MTV!

The 12/12/12 Concert for Hurricane Sandy relief is on. When I turned the TV Eddie Vedder was singing praises to Pink Floyd. Admittedly I was not an original fan, a new appreciation experienced.
Adam Sandler's rendition of "Broken Halleluyah" hilarious, yet poignant and heart-felt.
Jon Bon JOvi is singing "Livin on a Prayer" and it seems all of Madison Square Garden is singing along. Thanks, Glee! ;) The Boss, Springsteen performed a minute before. Too cool!

As they announce the next acts: Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, along with Chris Martin, Alicia Keyes and Paul McCartney, I can't help but regress back to the summer 1985. I want my MTV! I don't quite recall how it all started. What came first, the music or the artist? The wake up call and discovery of music, music videos and the great musicians, singers that created magic. And it was ON TV!! 
It was the year of "We Are The World", "Material Girl" and "Like a Virgin" and when Cyndi Lauper showed me how to have fun- with funky, spiky colored hair! Yeah, yeah, it was the age of Duran Duran, Michael Jackson's Thriller and Bad and wait for it, wait for it..."Can't Fight this Feeling" by REO, "Careless Whispers" by Wham!- George, you are a such a hot mess now! :) and the best, "I want to know what Love is" by Foreigner. What a year... and I didn't even get into the St. Elmo's Fire soundtrack.

Mind you, this was a time in my life when I was also embracing English, not only as my second language, but as my favorite- yes, favorite- and fun- wait, what? -yes, FUN, subject in school! Appreciation of music in my native Spanish came a bit later as significant as "American Rock and Roll" was, mind you. Hombres G, Los Sacados, Joaquin Sabina and Jose Luis Rodriguez, el Puma! LOVE them all. Later came the love of the true LATINO, Puerto Rican "popular" music, rock en espanol, salsa and merengue. While not as cool for high schoolers at the time, always part of our lives. Now, of course, I can't get enough of El Gran Combo and the likes...Sabor!

-----Hold the phone, back to the 80s------ ;)

What I always thought it was kind of weird, and yes, I am kind of weird, was that while I identified with everything, and I mean, everything, pop rock and MTV, I was also fascinated with the likes of The Eagles, The Doobey Brothers, Kansas, Chicago, Air Supply. The "slightly older" crowd-pleasing performers. Also, Queen, Rolling Stones, and so many more... I learned about Jim Morrison and The Doors' music, which was more poetry and therapy, than music, piercing the heart and soul of the ears that dared to listen carefully to the lyrics. Pain and heartbreak beautifully masked in songs of love and loss.

The Beatles were a favorite. I know my dad loved their music and was a big John Lennon fan. Imagine all the people... Yesterday, all my troubles seems so far away. I believe in yesterday. I also have to give a shout out to my aunt, who belted out songs from Toto, humoring me, as I attempted to learn how to use my vocal chords. Sing from the stomach, she would always say. I learned a few years later, right G? :)

I thought I was only suppose to like one kind of music, one genre, one language. I can't, I refuse. I even had a RATT LP and remember wanting to go see KISS in concert. Gene Simmons and his family jewels rock!

Wait... here comes Sugar Lips Mick Jagger!!  LOVE the fact that he is still rockin' at 70?? Bring on Steve Tyler and Aerosmith and Sir Paul. You got me rockin', baby!  Pause for Public Service Announcement in thanksgiving to Disney for hiring Keith Richards to play Jack Sparrow's dad in Pirates. Johnny Depp couldn't have any other man play his dad. It was type-casting genius and now a new generation will, hopefully, recognize him tonight even if he is sober. :) I love it!

Dear higher power above, whether or not we have YOU to thank for the invention of melody, lyrics, instruments that make sound, noise and whatever makes IT happen, Thank you! Music, the instrumental kind, classical, rock and roll, gospel, rap, the hideous reggaetton I have come to like and merengue hip hop, all mean something to some one.

Music can help you get up in the morning. It can serenade you with an instant shot of feelings, emotions, energy and memories. Some may by sad, but most should be good. Music can help you remember loved ones. I remember that afternoon drive to the city when the sun was shining, we rolled down the windows and cranked up the volume of "Walking on Sunshine". I remember singing "NY State of Mind" and "Empire State of Mind" in the plane on my way to NYC. Smile!

Music can help you heal. Every time I hear Bruce Springsteen sing "Born in the USA" I remember how much my mother loved the Boss. Tear. Smile. She used to play "Memory" from CATS. If I could "stage" her funeral again, I would play that song. Smile.

Music will also trigger signals and inside "jokes" that only a certain few understand and get. My roommates, myself and a couple other friends had a code for when parties in our house would start to get a bit out of hand and we wanted them to end. We would yell "Pavarotti?". Yes, please! We'd play certain kinds of songs, those only we knew the words to, and the crowd slowly thinned out. Ha! It may sound a bit mean, but these are the great memories of college for some of us. Sitting on the floor, 4-6 of our closest and dearest friends, singing OUR songs! At that moment, on those few nights together, singing, being together, we made memories to last a lifetime. Magic.

Music represents a year in your life. Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes are simply words. As words are gibberish, mean nothing. Add a tune and a melody and it symbolizes the year after I graduated college and traveled the world with 163 of my closest friends by bus! "Seasons of Love" is a song that celebrates a year in the life of friends... AMEN!

I may not watch MTV now a days. Quite frankly, MTV doesn't play much music anymore, in my opinion. That's OK. Years ago it taught me who great artists were. It taught me history, artistry and appreciation of popular music and more important, international, popular music. It was new; different from what I knew up until that moment. Even if it's through the ipod, YouTube, Pandora, CDs, or Siruis, music is the gift that keeps on giving. Therapy can't get better than that.

Music is now the vehicle for "relief" and with songs of faith, love, a little fun and hope, it is bringing communities together, locally and globally. Smile. I loved my MTV. I still want my MTV! :)