As a working musician, and someone who’s always had a song of some sort spinning around in my head, narrowing down the three most important songs in my life should be fairly easy. Lets see if it is….
I remember hearing the 1968 Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along The Watchtower” long before I heard Bob Dylan’s version. I wasn’t old enough to understand the calling back then, but it was there in Jimi’s guitar. A 12-year old kid, confused about so many things that were calling. Not knowing what to expect when we heard our father coming in from work, there was so much confusion, Jimi sang about it in that song, “There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.” I’m not sure there is any relief, not much in this life anyway, which is as it should be.
Love, yes, that all-encompassing emotion that hit me at an age when I probably needed it the most. Brought to me in part by the Moody Blues and “Nights In White Satin.” This one was out around the same time as “All Along The Watchtower,” 1967. Is that a significant year in my life or what? It appears to be. I fell so hard when I fell in love that nothing else mattered, I think it’s partly responsible for deafening the call of the guitar. It wasn’t until recently that it finally quieted enough to let me hear it again.
And then we jump ahead 6 years, 1973, and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon.” A 17-year old kid, married, in the Navy, on a submarine even! Pink Floyd’s quintessential album somehow guided me through 4 patrols under the Mediterranean Sea. “Speak To Me / Breathe” became my theme song during long days while the Blue Crew was in for R&R. The heady scent of dope hangs in the air of my best friend’s trailer, I can still see his hand paintings on the interior walls, he was a good artist. I wonder what he’s up to these days. He’d often ask to use my car and I’d take his motorcycle, a red Yamaha, 650 CC. I didn’t have a license to drive a motorcyle, but it didn’t matter, nothing much did back then.
“All Along The Watchtower,” “Nights In White Satin,” and “Speak To Me / Breathe” became the three most important songs in my life approximately 1 hour ago.
This post was brought to you and me in part with inspiration from the folks at The Daily Post.