Okay. That’s a little harsh. But it is also a lot true.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as several times I’ve had conversations with people about their attitudes towards music as it relates to how they grew up and it often seems to come down to this: I did not grow up with music in my house. I mean, we sometimes had the radio on. SOMETIMES. And my Dad did own TWO cassettes that I remember: George Michael and Whitney Houston. But for the most part? Music did not become a part of my childhood until I made it a part and I didn’t make it a part of my life until I fell in love with a boy who cared about music in 10th grade. And then suddenly I was the girl who had written ALL of the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven on a pair of jeans.
Truthfully, most of my musical exploration came because of boys or girls I had crushes on. And listen…I STILL LOVE A LOT OF THAT MUSIC. Pearl Jam? Junior year boyfriend. Violent Femmes? Girl in my art class my senior year. Grateful Dead? E’s Dad. Widespread Panic? College Boyfriend. Nine Inch Nails? Different college boyfriend. Indigo Girls? Girl in the biology program with me in college. Against Me!? Donnie.
And I love ALL of that music today and have Spotify lists full of it that gets tons of listening time.
But I could live without it.
That’s the difference I find between music people and non-music people. If music disappeared, I’d be fine. I mean, the WORLD would not be fine and so I would be upset, but if something happened in just MY world and I could never listen to music again? No big deal. I love it – WHEN I AM IN THE MOOD FOR IT – but that’s not something that happens enough that it would hurt me to live without. Sometimes it keeps me awake on a car ride because I can sing along. Sometimes it helps me through a tough run because it pumps me up when I’m dragging. But probably 75% of my “listening” is done to podcasts and NPR. I prefer talking to music. I couldn’t live without my podcasts, I could live without Spotify.
The funny thing is, Donnie is a music person. He grew up with it, his Dad was/is in a band, he was in a band, he would have music playing ALL OF THE TIME. But a lot of the times it drives me crazy. The only music I like is music that I know already and I very rarely like to just listen to someone else’s music if there’s not a chance I’m going to know any of it. We’ve settled on a 90s station on Spotify that has a lot of music he likes, and often plays stuff that I know so it works out okay. But truthfully? I can only handle it for a little while. I could listen to podcasts all day, but music? Only in limited dosages.
What about you? Are you a music person? Did you grow up with music in your home?