You ever feel like a segment of your life passed before your eyes and you didn’t even get a chance to blink? For me that swath of time lasted almost 2 decades. Holy Rip Van Winkle. Oh I was there for those 20 years and busier than a one-armed-paper-hanger. From approximately 1980-2000 it’s safe to say, I missed a lot of stuff. Too busy with motherhood mostly. Our completed family numbered 5, resulting with two harried parents who were now in the minority. Yikes! For this unorganized gal, my job was time consuming. Hauling kids around, doctors, sports, and never ending meal planning, cooking for appetites which were never sated.
During my 20 year time-out from what was going on in the rest of the world, all subjects-politics, wars, price of gas, celebrity marriages, fashion, took second fiddle because I was consumed with performing a decent rendition of raising 3 kids. But 20 plus years after the last kid headed for college, one of the things I missed the most during those busy years-was music.
I grew up on music. No kid in their formative teens (during the 1960’s) can say music wasn’t a huge part of their lives. Best music era ever. The Beatles, Beach Boys, The Doors, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, CCR, Simon & Garfunkel, Mamas & the Papas, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Aretha, Sonny & Cher. The list was endless. Yet ‘new’ music and groups were the first thing eliminated when I was pushed for time.
What was the catalyst that ‘woke’ me from my music malaise? There were 2. First I started walking in early 1998 to help with my diet and general health. Walking became a healthy habit-ok-obsession. At the time I was loathe to admit it, but all of my favorite songs from the 60’s-70’s had me bleary eyed and bored to tears. Simply heard them way too many times. I needed a kickstart. And there he was, my middle kid, Joshua swooping in for the rescue. Pretty sure I was still using a cassette player but would soon move to the next level of fine-tune listening-the iPod. Josh made tapes of singers and groups I’d never heard of. He knew the most important feature was a great beat to keep my feet (and butt) moving. Then he set me up to discover hip-hop and buy my own walking music.
Maybe I didn’t prioritize the time for new groups and songs because I became totally enamored with the Chicago Cubs in the early 80’s. We were living in Davenport (160 miles from Chicago) and one of my friends in town had grown up with the lovable losers from Chicago’s Northside. I’d like to believe when I became a diehard fan their luck changed for the better. Sandberg, Sutcliffe, Smith, Davis, Denier, Sanderson, Eckersley, Grace, Trout, Matthews, Moorland would win the National league’s Central division a couple times during the 80’s and should have played in the ’84 World Series against the Tigers. Guess I wasn’t the muse I thought huh?
Mary Ellen’s daughter lived in Chicago so we attended several games every summer because we stayed at Laurie’s place. (We always did projects for her, painting or refinishing antiques for her apartment). Good times. Those fabulous day games at Wrigley Field came flooding back to me this week as a side note to my niece Kelli’s husband’s post about the death of Eddie Van Halen. (Jason was an ardent fan). Van Halen was huge when music was not in my life. How could have I missed pertinent tidbits about Eddie through the years? He’s Dutch. I’m Dutch. Goodness, he was born in Amsterdam when I was 5 years old. I should have been a big fan, but was too busy with homework, meals, laundry and baths. I knew he was married to Valerie Bertinelli and they had a kid named Wolfgang. I remember reading when Eddie was diagnosed with throat cancer quite a few years ago.
But the real trigger for Van Halen with me was our Cubs connection. You could count on the beautiful ivy in Wrigley’s outfield, Wayne Mesmer singing the National Anthem, Milo Hamilton, Harry Caray, Steve Stone, Lou Boudreau, Dwayne Staats and Vince Lloyd up in the TV/radio booths. Just before the starting lineup was announced, Van Halen’s “Jump” could be heard throughout the city of Chicago. When I commented on Jason’s, Van Halen post I said it was the Cub’s theme song during the mid 80’s for years to come. But after I wrote that I thought, no I think it was WGN’s theme song when they broadcasted the Cubs games.
I didn’t know squat about Van Halen. Missed the revolving door of lead singers Hager and Roth and whoever else might have been in the group during their peak years. I have had “Jump” in my musical library since I started buying songs and always have it on one of my playlists. Whenever that catchy synthesizer beat begins, I smile and belt it out with Van Halen!
I get up, and nothin gets me down, you got it tough, I’ve seen the toughest around.
And I know baby just how you feel, you’ve got to roll with the punches and get to what’s real.
Ah, can’t you see me standing here, I got my back against the record machine
I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen, can’t you see what I mean?
Might as well jump, (jump), might as well jump. Go ahead and jump, (jump) go ahead and jump.
Eddie Van Halen, you still rock…