Soundtrack to Life – Making Your Own Decisions

Okay, so last week’s column wasn’t exactly a good example of what I have in mind for this column. I’ll warn you now that this one isn’t either, and perhaps not the one after that even. I’m trying to start at the very roots of my facination with music and work my way into the interesting stuff. Just bear with me people. And even if you don’t, I’m still gonna write.

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Making Your Own Decisions

“Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

As I said in the last article, there’s a time in our lives in which we respect our elders, perhaps a little too much. As such, my musical tastes came from my brother and his friends. I was a metal head, but didn’t nearly look the part. Only listened to metal, and only the songs that they thought were cool. “This Love”, “Walk”, and “Fucking Hostile” by Pantera. “Wish” and “Head Like a Hole” by nine inch nails. “Symphony of Destruction” and “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeth. “Rooster” by Alice in Chains. You get the picture. They had deemed it worthy of listen with that one simple word: “Cool”.

We’d be watching MTV or Headbanger’s Ball and as the videos came on, they got judged. As always, I went with the final decision.

Primus. Cool.

Ugly Kid Joe. Cool

Suicidal Tendencies. Cool

Winger. Sucks

Pat and Sam were like a real life Beavis and Butthead, though not as dumb. Time changes things though. Yeah, granted, that was off topic, but I couldn’t resist getting a shot at my brother in there. I watched the videos they watched, listened to what they listened to, aspiring one day that I would be as cool as them. *snort* Okay, two shots. Sue me.

One night, the two of them were watching over myself and Tim yet again. As usual, Headbanger’s Ball is on. Rock on. They’re going through the countdown, playing all the favorites. Our MTV God, Ricky Rachtman, was the host of the show as I’m sure some of you remember. As one of the videos ends, I forget which, he makes a startling announcement. Not only do we have a new number 1 video this week, but this video is a world premiere. It has never been aired before, and yet it’s number 1.

Whoooooahhhh…..

This must be the end all be all metal video, nay, music video since metal videos are the best anyways. This video is gonna revolutionalize the music industry and it’s gonna be the coolest thing we’ve ever seen. We sat on edge waiting for this video masterpiece. And when it was time, our MTV God told us what it was.

“This week’s number 1 video is a brand new one from Aerosmith. Here is ‘Livin’ on the Edge’.”

We stared in amazement at this work of music video mastery. So many odd images, it was almost dumbfounding. I didn’t need them to tell me, this was cool. It held the number 1 position for a few weeks, and we had taped at least one of these weeks. One day, feeling bored, I decided I was gonna learn this song. Not recorded off the radio, all we had was the video recorded off of MTV. So, I popped the tape in, rewound to about the spot that it was on and hit play. Well, I was a little off, as it was actually time for the number 2 video.

“I guess I can sit through it” I reasoned. At the time, the unplugged style of music was a hit on MTV. What I see is a studio audience applauding two men. One with spiked reddish brown hair and a goatee, the other with a mop of brown hair strumming a guitar. I’d heard this song before. It was “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots. One of the songs and bands Pat had deemed uncool. I remember thinking it was an alright tune though, so I sat through it. The soulful crooning of Scott Weiland and the melodic strumming of Dean DeLeo made the song sound even better. I let it play through and then listened to “Livin’ on the Edge” afterward. I paused the tape as need be to learn the words, but wound up having to rewind it several times, each time making sure to catch Plush as well.

Next week the song came on and I began singing along.

“Dude, don’t tell me you like this song!” Pat sneered.

“Actually, I do.” I stated matter-of-factly.

Wow, I was so damn rebellious. He didn’t like ’em, so what. I’d finally understood that my opinion in music mattered, not just those of my peers. He tried though, I’ll give him that. He tried his damndest to make me dislike this band. Coming up with the clever acronym “Sexually Transmitted Parasites” for one, I guess he was smarter then. That’s three. He also had to point out that Scott Weiland smoked. Mind you, back then I knew nothing of the outside world. “He couldn’t smoke. He’s a singer! That’s not right!”. I even went so far as to write the band, and part of the letter mentioned that Weiland shouldn’t smoke. Thank God I never sent that out. See, right here, King Dork. I can’t believe I was ever so naive. In any case, he couldn’t sway my opinion.

Not too long thereafter, we’d signed up through a record company. One of those deals where on your first order you get like 7 CDs for the price of one and I got to select one of the CDs. My pick was Stone Temple Pilots “Core”, the very CD with Plush on it. It was my first CD ever. From here on out, I liked music because I liked it, not because somebody told me to. Had I still followed my brother, I wouldn’t have enjoyed such bands as the Gin Blossoms, Blind Melon, Soul Asylum, Duran Duran and Counting Crows. This was the start of a musical revolution for me.

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Got a story you’d like to tell about a song that’s in the Soundtrack of your life? Don’t post it on the board. Email it to me and I’ll put it in my column. Stories will be posted in the order that their received. I don’t play favorites. All I ask is that you make sure the spelling and grammar are in fine order.
Email your stories to: loki@baloolapalooza.com