I was listening to our local rad public radio station (called The Current….you can stream that shit from anywhere and it really is the best mix of great stuff). The whole day is live albums for a show called “Teenage Kicks.” The premise of the show is killer live versions of music that transcends the original or makes a land mark in an artist’s legacy. Prime example being Johnny Cash’s Folsom performance. Listening today was the sledgehammer named nostalgia, and now I must write.
Who here remembers the show The Wonder Years? Fred Savage as a young fry Kevin Arnold, coming of age with his neighborhood love Winnie with the big eyes and long straight hair. The opening song was always “With a Little Help From My Friends.”
On the radio, Joe Cocker’s live album version of that song yanked my heart out and made me feel like a forty-something pre-teen trying to find my way in the world. Shouldn’t I have myself figured out by now?
No. No judgement on the journey. We forbid it. Judgement is the enemy of growth. I find myself at a crossroads, narrating here, and throwing my heart open – hoping I get by with a little help from my friends.
The other thing that struck me today is how much I miss live music in these new days around COVID and isolation. Imagine if you will, our cities with our street lamps, that there could speakers tied into the power of our joint communities. Music live and amplified to our sidewalks and our cul–de-sac neighborhoods. I realize that we don’t all subscribe to the same music curation, and I know it would never work, but I miss standing with others while music thumps my body. This moment’s nostalgia is heavily tinged with a world I miss.
But like any story of coming of age, the past is the past. We learn and we move on. We use our history to inform our future.
My future is going to be so very well informed with experiences diverse, beyond the neighborhood love and the preconceptions of the so called “values” taught to me by my society. My circle of friends is more diverse than ever. They will most assuredly help me get by…and maybe even help me get high…