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Entry date: 11-21-2022 - Getting Emotional with Rock and Roll - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Rhondi and I watched the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction over the weekend, and something struck me. Every time I watch these things, I get emotional. Watching Lionel Richie get inducted caused such a swell of feeling for me. I haven’t really thought of this for a long time, but I am a Lionel Richie fan.

How can you not be? Even if you don’t really dig his style, you have to hand it to the guy for the incredible songwriting that he has shown for five decades. As they went through the cavalcade of his hits, it helped me remember all the songs I had forgotten, and like it or not, how much they were a soundtrack of my early life.

I remember listening to Lionel Richie a lot as I would drive places with my mom. There was rotation of cassette tapes in her car in the early 80s and Lionel Richie was a big part of it. I doubt I will start listening to him on the regular again, but you can bet that I’ll pick up a few 7” records of his tunes to have in the DJ arsenal. You never know when you might need one.

The Eurythmics were inducted after Richie and it was another blast from a similar past. I got in late on the show and will have to go back and watch Duran Duran and Judas Priest, but it was cool to see Eurythmics play live after so many years. I never got to see them in concert but would have liked to do so. I really liked their music as a teenager.

They were one of the mainstream bands that still had a cool, non-traditional rock and roll sound. Once I got to the point where I wanted my music weirder and angrier and more angular, I could still pop in one of my Eurythmics cassettes every once in a while, and still enjoy it.

There was something about Annie Lennox, of course. She was this sort of talented ice queen who seemed like she would chew you up and spit you out. I never knew much about her or Dave Stewart as people and I think that is the way they wanted it. They made interesting videos and consistently put out solid music for a decade or more.

Having experienced the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in person this year, it made the experience of watching the induction even better. It truly is a special place for us music fans and I have to tip my hat to my wonderful Ohio cousins for making that happen. It’s something that Teresa, Liam, and I will not forget. Next time we will definitely play a song in the garage section. When we were there, we went through the exhibit that featured last year’s inductees and I even got a little emotional in there.

It goes without saying, but music is truly a huge part of my life. I am a huge fan of music in general and the people who make it. Even if it is something that I don’t particularly gravitate to on a regular basis, I still love it. Annie Lennox kind of summed it up in her speech when she talked about music being in our souls. I agree with her.

I have been very blessed to have a ton of lasting relationships thanks to music. Whether it is just being fans together or playing or working on some sort of project, I am very, very lucky. Music has brought me people that I would have never met without it.

I’ve written a lot about the different bands I’ve done and people I’ve played with here this year. I can’t say enough how much they have all enriched my life and/or taught me things. I hope I have been able to bring some joy into their lives, too. In the end, that’s what it must be about, I think. Joy is more precious than most other things in my book.

Listening to music has been a huge part of my life. As I transition into more of a fan than a maker, it feels like I am coming home in a way. I started off as a huge fan and I will go out as a huge fan. My little spot in the world of making music has been amazing, too, and I’m not done, but first and foremost, I am a fan.

The artists on the show talked a lot about how music can bring people together. We live in times where some people want so badly to divide and be divided. I sit here, as I write, hoping that people out there are paying attention to the message of togetherness these artists are trying to spread. It’s a happy, thankful thought for me, and hope is still free. Hope is what we have for the future. My kids and grandkids need to know that the world does not have to be evil.

Now they are on to Eminem. This is an interesting cat in my book. I love the 8 Mile movie. It’s one that I can stumble across on the TV and get hooked right away. He’s another one that I don’t listen to on purpose and probably won’t ever buy a record, but I respect what the man did. I had no idea he was the biggest selling rap artist of all-time. That’s pretty incredible and will be hard to beat with the way music is distributed these days.

I’m not the biggest fans of the all the imagery related to guns and destruction with him, but I get it. He’s not shy about his anger and disdain for the world around him. Some people, maybe like the ones I mentioned before and maybe not, just want to blow things up and start again. Or maybe not start again at all…

I should probably pay more attention to the show. I might learn something. Well, maybe not, but Dolly Parton is about to be inducted. She’s a goddamn legend.

See you tomorrow.

I have some great cousins. Lake Erie is pretty cool, too, but not as cool as them.

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