October 5, 2020

if John is country, I don't wanna be rock and roll: my music dysfunction

Welcome to my weekend:  really nothing to share but a few little oddball occurrences that I think are worth a chuckle.  

The other day Coach picked up Curly from dancing (yes, that is all we do . . . drive to and from dancing, in case you are new here).  He texted me a short audio recording of what was playing on the radio as they drove home.  It was John Denver singing 'Rocky Mountain High.'  Coach joined in towards the end of the recording to ruin enhance the moment. Let's see how tech savvy I am to see if I can upload it here.

I had to text it to Reg and then take a video of him playing it . . . if you wait till the end you will hear Tank walk in the study and ask what we're doing. If you're quick, then you will notice that on Reg's phone he has my contact info as 'Mad Momma' - who me?  That might be explained in upcoming posts, if it isn't already clear.  

Anyway, have I mentioned how uninformed I am when it comes to music?  I blame the 1976 red Chevy Impala station wagon that my folks drove.  

You, in unison:  Huh?

Dad was cheap and only equipped our cars with an am radio.  Not getting the connection?  My childhood, at least the time spent in the car, was minus music.

When we were at home though, Mom played records of Elvis Presley, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers (very limited, thinking this may have been Dad's taste) and of course John Denver.  My sisters had a Grease record and Sean Cassidy, but Mom's records dominated the player.  

Oh my gosh, and Dad usually blared traditional Irish music records once I got to about the age of six.  Daytime hours were still Mom's choice.  Dad's obsession with all things Irish dominated our lives when he was home.  Is my life beginning to make sense to any of you?  If so, please explain.

Part of my music disorder includes, but is not limited to:  

    not knowing who sings what, 

    if a band is a one hit wonder or not, 

    names of groups, 

    lyrics to songs, 

    when a song came out (with the exception of my high school years),

    or what music I even prefer.  

Weird, I know.  Hey, I have a lot of other good qualities, like I am always ready and willing to fight neighbors (there is an update here that I NEED to write) and I bake great cookies.  

Seriously, I wonder if there is a name for my clueless-music issue?

Because of the aforementioned dysfunction, I sometimes forget that I enjoy John Denver.  It is true Denver does not pop up in mainstream music stations, so I guess he's easy to forget (I type this while bowing my head in shame).  Coach gave me a CD box set of Neil Diamond years ago for Christmas, so that music enjoyment is at the forefront of my memory.  

I do know this - for the most part I dislike country music.  If John Denver is considered country, then he is the exception to my I HATE COUNTRY RULE.  

Anyway, as I was typing on the computer that night (happy to NOT have dancing driving duty) I found John Denver on YouTube and let it play while I typed.  It brought tears to my eyes.  

**We do have a lot of incredibly stressful stuff in the works over here in I-would-suck-at-name-that-tune land, unsure if I will describe our stress, but just know that we are seriously struggling with a situation that has left us sleepless at times, scared, and uncertain of how to proceed.  Leaning into our faith heavily.  Fortunately, Coach and I have drawn closer to one another as we try to keep the boat afloat.** . . . public service announcement over . . . 

I guess hearing John sing took me back to simpler days.  

I had an epiphany . . . "Oh yeah, I dig John Denver."  

I remember when he died.  Tragic.  Oh, and using the word 'dig' reminds me that Mom had a t-shirt with John Denver's face on it.  Ah, the 70s.

After my workout on Sunday, I was in the kitchen making my chopped salad.  The hours I spend chopping my salad, sigh.  Why not be entertained as I carefully work so as not to injure another digit?  I decided to ask the little device that sits on our counter (that belongs to Tank) to play John Denver radio.  

Because of my aforementioned lack of reliance on music, I rarely think to ask it to play music.  See above.

Me:  Alexis play John Denver radio.  

Coach:  (from the dining room where he was wandering around dusting for cobwebs and ceiling fans because I added this chore to the list of jobs on the kitchen counter.  It was THAT simple, who knew? Honestly I credit his willingness to help to our current state of walking around like emotional zombies, best to stay on each other's good side):  

I told Alexis to never play John Denver.  

He must've been channeling his inner comedian because as he walked around the house with the long dust mop extension thing (combined with his 6'4" height - he has some serious reach) he was listening to comedian Jim Gaffigan on his wireless earbuds.  Anyone who has not listened to him, do yourself a favor.  He is hilarious and not raunchy, if that's your thing then skip him.  For my Canadian friends, Nicole and Ali (and anyone else, not intending to exclude anyone here) we watched a stand up routine he did while in Canada about Canadians and it was brilliant.  I digress.

Alexis would not play for me.  Damn it.  I hollered my Denver-request at her again.  Nothing.

Mini or Curly a few rooms away, heard my struggle and called to me:  

Her name is AlexA - NOT AlexIS.  

(They did not say DUH, but they totally could have).

Me:  AlexA play John Denver radio.  

She played 'Take Me Home Country Road'.  Loved it.  Then there was a string of other songs like 'Let It Be' which I heard played at a young man's funeral a few years ago and let's just say my tear ducts have been getting a workout and this was no exception.  Thanks, Alexa who I might call Alexis just to piss her off. 

Of course there was a string of other songs that were also great, but don't expect me to remember them.  I was honestly trying to remember them for this post.  Gone.  What is wrong with me? 

This is what I have begun to do . . . take videos and photos when a song I like comes on the radio - Just Breathe, Pearl Jam (this is satellite radio in the loaner car that we have had for 6 weeks, will miss it when it's gone). I am apparently  missing a music chip that most people seem to be equipped with.

What area of pop culture do you suck at?  Never watched a sitcom?  Can't name all 6 Brady kids? You would fail at a game of 'know your cars'?  You never read those vampire books (me neither)?  You care little about celebrities and cannot name one or a single dumb thing one of them has done (this is where Coach's photograph should be posted.  He actually gets irritated that I watch the Academy Awards - "It's all fake and dumb.")  Do tell.


Kari said...

I am laughing out loud at you saying ALEXIS....OMG so funny.
Ella used to say, ALEXA FART! ALEXA, WHAT IS 4 X 4? We had to get rid of her.

I do love John Denver too because he reminds me of my childhood too. My mom played his albums all of the time. Same with Barry Manilow as well.

You had good taste back then! So I don't know where your love of music went awry over the years, the beginnings were good! :)

My dad is a HUGE music buff and even wanted to be a DJ, so that is where I get my love of music. My mom also loves music too, so I listened to it all throughout my childhood and beyond. I was really lucky to have that. I passed it onto my girls and now they are the same way.

I am also the same with pop culture.

I am not that way with sports though. I know nothing about any of the Chicago teams. I mean, I know the teams and the more famous athletes but other than that, nothing.

Now when I hear John Denver, I will think of you. :)

Amy said...

My Mom loved John Denver's music, and we use to sing along to her CDs in the car. I cry every time his music comes on the radio because it reminds me of her. My hubby cries when his music comes on because his boss's John Denver CD got stuck in the work truck's radio for MONTHS and that's all they could listen to. lol!

I am terrible at pop culture - we never had cable growing up, and the kids in my dorm at college freshman year actually thought I was Amish, with my lack of pop culture references.

Kara said...

Music and musicians I can do. You'd want me on your team for music trivia, especially if it was 1980's and 1990's pop music (why yes, I can identify Paula Abdul from just a few bars). But actors and movies? Nope. I say things that "that movie with the guy with the eyebrows, with the car?" (in case you're wondering, I'm asking about 2011's Drive and looking for the name Ryan Gosling) and my husband just rolls his eyes at me.

Beth Cotell said...

I used to have a Shaun Cassidy album. It came with a poster that I taped over my bed. Ahhhhhh....simpler times.....

I am not horrible with group names or song names but I'm also not great either. I have the SoundHound app on my phone to help with that as well as all the lyrics that I thought I knew but didn't really know correctly.

And every time we are driving to and frm Massachusetts we crank out Take Me Home when we are crossing into West Virginia!

Ernie said...

Kari - It was SO funny when I called her by the wrong name and was promptly corrected by a teenager in another room who spoke in a bored tone - I could HEAR the eye roll in her voice.

I do still enjoy music - like I play the radio when I drive places, but don't ask me who sings what. I think I am just not THAT tuned in. My sister, Ann, is SO obsessed with Ed Sheeran (see, I just had to ask Curly 'who is aunt Ann obsessed with' - I could NOT think of his name) that I can identify his music . . . and I then change the station. Hello, over-played.

I guess we can pretend that my brain is just full of other super smart stuff. That's my story, weak and as unbelievable as that may be.

Ernie said...

Amy - Hilarious - tears for totally different reasons. That is how my kids are with Ed Sheeran after being trapped in a car with my sister driving to Milwaukee while she put the CD on reply over and over again.

We never had cable growing up either. I had to absorb what I could while I was at other people's houses babysitting. My poor kids didn't have cable until about 5 years ago - they claimed to be so deprived, but I think they are all caught up now.

Tank used to tell everyone that we were Amish because he didn't get a phone until high school.

Ernie said...

Kara - you are in good company - I can guess music from my high school years, some of the time. Actors and what movies they were in - not so much. The difference is Coach would not roll his eyes at me because he is equally or maybe even more so at who actors are.

I tried to hum something the other day for Curly, WHILE THE RADIO WAS ON MIND YOU, and it came out all dead-cow sounding and Curly was like "what was that?" - I blamed the fact that I CANNOT hum a song while another song has just played. It confuses me.

Ernie said...

Beth - I cannot recall anything that Shaun Cassidy sang, but I do remember the album, and I think that poster and for sure Marie had a lunch box with his face on it.

Sweet John Denver. Curly was like: well, he only has one good song though.

I have now made it my mission to educate her on Grandma's feather bed, Sunshine on the water, and all the rest. Seriously his music takes me back to laying on the living room floor in front of the huge stereo thing- it was a piece of furniture. Can't remember what it was called, but I hated it when it was my turn to dust it.

Charlie said...

4,000 miles away I was also bought up in the 70s listening to John Denver! My Dad had his (cassette) album in the car and it makes me so nostalgic too. But I also hate country music! David Soul was also another favourite and hearing Silver Lady makes me tear up! I’m sorry you’re going through some tough stuff, sending loads of good wishes and positive vibes your way x

Ernie said...

Charlie -I had no idea Master John had that kind of reach - not surprised though. I was just going to tell my friend Alexa to play some Denver while I was making my lunch, but Curly is e-learning in there.

Hilarious that you too hate country music. Something about john Denver - he doesn't seem country-like. I'm not even sure if that is what he is considered but he sure as hell sings about country stuff.

Thanks for the good wishes. Taking things a day at a time here and hoping for some resolution soon.

Gigi said...

So sorry to hear that things are stressful right now. Sending prayers for you all.

Ernie said...

Gigi- thank you so much. The situation is very trying. We are relying heavily on our faith to see us through.

Cheryl said...

Coach's singing? Is that what that was? It sounded like he took a big hit of Pepsi, and let out one long and low burp. lol.

John Denver. A few years back, I took a sign language class and the song we "signed" was Sunshine On My Shoulders". The song was even more beautiful "sung" that way.

Never read the vampire books or Harry Potter for that matter. Just couldn't get into it. And, I love to read.

Not a fan of country music either. All of my nieces love it so much they actually hang out at a country bar where they line dance. Pass.

I pretty much like most music but I can't get into heavy metal or hard rock and rap, nope, I don't like rap.

Some of the oldies take me back in time and make me cry.

So, I understand your tears. You being a mom to lots of kids, the constant worrying, the different personalities and lets just toss covid into the mix to make life even more crazy.

Heck, if it was me? I would have a box of tissues tied to my butt...although it might make sitting down a bit uncomfortable.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I love all music genres and can pretty much sing along to anything. However, I rarely watch movies or tv anymore so I don't know who all the new young stars are these days.

Ernie said...

Cheryl - I love that you compared Coach's singing to a belch. Dead on.

I took sign language in college and we ALSO signed 'Sunshine on the Water' - it does sign very beautifully.

I steer clear of sci-fi in my reading and usually in my watching preferences.

I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my dislike of country music - line dancing, ugh doesn't appeal to me either.

The stress is related to our oldest. Things have escalated with him over the last month. It is very unsettling and hard not to blame myself as his mother for failing him somewhere along the way. We just really want him to get help and he doesn't recognize what's happening. It's exhausting.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I can tell my reading your blog that you are into all kinds of music and that you know your stuff. I don't think you are missing much in the Hollywood scene.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm rolling at Coach singing John Denver, but then again, I'm no Whitney (Houston?!) I do enjoy the 70's music. And the 80's. Oh, I like it all, country too. I grew up listening to the radio and my Mom always loved singing while driving. Also, she loved dancing in the my horror!
Yeah, your parents didn't do you any music favors.
We are really big into music with all the concerts, live events, songwriters, etc....You should totally call me if you're in a trivia situation. So, you probably read some of my posts and say, what? I throw song lyrics in all the time. (today is no exception) Music is a big part of my life and it's the first thing I put on in the morning after brushing my teeth. We have a sonos system with speakers in every room, garage, and pool area. I do not have Alexa at home (though she resides at our condo and I love her) You should totally put her to use. Try 70's music. Or classic rock.
What can't I remember? Math. I suck at math, and really, do I need that everyday? Well, yes and no because of smart phones.

So very sorry the stress has not let up. Sending up prayers for your family. XO

Ernie said...

Suz - You lost me at sonos system, huh? I thought we were being all high tech when we did the kitchen addition. We had these tiny little shelves and outlets put in the corner of the family room and the kitchen way up high so that we could stick wireless speakers up there and keep them plugged in so they would always be charged. Epic fail. We could never figure out how to get the speakers to sync to one another (and we live with teenagers), so one room could have music playing but the other not so much. Then after like 6 months of barely being used one speaker stopped working. Totally frustrating, and thus we remain lost in terms of music - well, me not 'us' - Coach knows every lyric and artist since forever. Odd because sometimes he doesn't know the names of family members who live under our roof.

Your prayers are appreciated. Nothing new to report.

Busy Bee Suz said...

No music or lyrical remembrance talent, you're still awesome in my book and I'm sure many others too. XO

Ernie said...

Suz - I've been baking all afternoon, listening to AlexA . . . and I keep hearing ads for some music trivia contest thing, guess who is NOT even the slightest bit tempted? Ha.

Happy to be awesome for other things like re-telling of tampon stories. ;)