I headbang alone, and let’s be honest, most people should follow suit. Proper headbanging makes people look like they are being electrocuted. It’s a private thing, at least in my world. Most people who meet me would think I’m into Bach, opera, or acoustic ballads of all kinds because I’m a middle-aged prep. In reality, I’m a hard rock kind of girl, but you won’t catch me at a rock concert unless my son is performing. That would involve a crowd, nasty bathrooms, medication, and a possible panic attack. No, I will stick to enjoying my music at home, on the elliptical.
I don’t just listen to rock music on the hamster wheel. I attempt to perform it. My son even taped (old lady word for recorded) me “singing” Man in the Box by Alice in Chains. It’s out there somewhere in the YouTube universe. My apologies go out to the members of Alice in Chains, both living and dead. I’m sure even the deceased members heard me “perform” their song. While I’m at it, I need to apologize to Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Everclear, Ozzy, and many more.
I’ve been in love with Rock since I was 12. That was when we finally got MTV. It felt like I was the last human on the planet to have cable TV, in 1983. First World problems. One of the first videos I saw was Quiet Riot’s Cum on Feel the Noize. I stood in front of the TV in my oversized OP shirt and pink-threaded Sergio Valente jeans, and forgot all about David Bowie and Stevie Wonder. THIS was music. I was thrilled.
Soon after that, I discovered Def Leppard and entered into a long-term relationship with Joe Elliot, in my imagination. Photograph was my jam, if jam can be used to describe a hard rock song. I loved that song so much that I walked all the way to Eckerd Drugs to purchase Song Hits magazine because it included the lyrics to the most popular songs. This was before we could just Google everything. It was probably the most exercise my Jordache jean-wearing behind got at that age. It was either walk to the store or attempt to transcribe it, and we all know how well that works.
The next year, in eighth grade, I had to change schools due to a boundary change. This was a blessing as it led me to a much better group of friends. With new friends came better taste in clothes (Hello, Guess and Bongo!) and new music – British pop music. I fell in love with George Michael. Sadly, as we all know now, this love was not returned. I also deeply admired all of the fellows in Duran Duran (as I still do), Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, and many more. I listened to nothing but British pop for two years.
Then, tenth grade came along, and Rock came back. I started dating a “bad” boy, or at least that is what my friends and parents thought. Really, he was just a teen boy with a lot of bad things happening in his life. Anyway, he introduced me to classic rock. I already liked Aerosmith, thanks to the cool version of Walk This Way they did with Run DMC, but I was introduced to the Eagles, Ozzy, Metallica, and many more during the course of this teen relationship.
Some time around 1991, I stopped caring about new music. My tastes sort of froze there. I don’t watch the Grammy’s, or any music awards shows, because I usually do not know most of the people or their music. If I happen to hear a song on the radio, and like it, I will ask my son what it is and download it, but I don’t seek out new music. Recently, due to some sort of glitch in modern technology, my son’s entire iTunes library suddenly appeared in my “cloud.” So, I accidentally listened to Five Finger Death Punch. (Old people, this is a group, not a song or a boxing match.) I actually liked it. I may have to listen to them again some time, on purpose.
Like a lot of people, good music to me is the music from my teen years. That is what happens with a lot of people. My step-dad listened to Frank Sinatra because that was popular when he was young. My mom is a big Elvis fan for the same reason. So that means that my fellow Gen-Xers and I will be blaring Def Leppard and Duran Duran in the nursing homes. Now, that will rock.