A to Z April Challenge
For a very long time my favorite band was Creedence Clearwater Revival. My favorite song of theirs is Cotton Fields but there aren’t too many of their songs I don’t like; period.
They remind me of the better parts of my childhood. I think of family picnics at my step dad’s parents’. They used to have big get togethers with tons of food and games and music; at night while the parents finished getting wasted us kids would play as loudly as we wanted because everyone was too occupied with drink to care. They lived in a classic New England country house that resembled a hybrid of a ranch/barn. It was even red and the bottom portion was made from stacked stone. I can still remember the feel of running through their thick grass and up the warped wood of their stairs. Even though it was the nineties I always felt my childhood during these times were in a different generation. It was so American. Dogs in the yard, running with kids through sprinklers, smoke rising from a grill and the sounds of guitars and melodic voices plucking at your eardrums. It doesn’t feel like anything I’ve been fortunate enough to experience since.
When I hear Zeppelin, Skynyrd, the Stones, Seeger, Steve Miller Band, etc, I am shot back to a life that is no longer mine and I wonder if it ever truly was mine to begin with. Time expands and I often think I’m lost in the void.
I go through phases where I like certain types of music and nothing else. It varies so wildly that there is no way to predict what I’ll want to listen to on any given day. There is an emotional factor, a mood factor and a setting factor. I like to sing when I cook but not when I’m writing. I like to dance while I fold laundry but not while I’m painting.
Sometimes I like music that drives focus so I’ll choose something like Rammstein because I can’t sing German on any level and the motion it initiates aren’t the kind my body prefers so I’m actually pretty still except finger tapping or head bobbing a bit. Sometimes when painting I need added emotion so it could be anything from Alice in Chains to Zakk Wylde. When I feel like moving I put on club, R&B, rasta, rap, or hip hop. Nostalgia always brings me back to 90’s pop because no matter my preference pop was always there as it became the metaphorical bullet point on my life’s timeline. We all have our ‘NSyncs; I hated them yet I know every damn word of every song without having owned one album. I do not thumb down their songs when I put on Pandora’s 90’s pop station because it reminds me of riding the school bus, sitting in art class, or riding in mom’s car on our way to the grocery store.
No matter my feelings, location or purpose, CCR has always been consistent in their ability to stabilize my hand and mind. CCR is a band I can sing to flawlessly (obviously not in tune) while in a full blown zone, tunnel vision activated an all. There is no other band I can think of that has this power. I can paint, cook, write, fold laundry, cry, laugh, get drunk or get laid with CCR in the background and it will not disrupt or distract me from my goal. They aren’t my generation, I don’t even know their names or the names of most of their songs or albums but there is not a band that has left as a deep an imprint on my character, memory, spirit or tastes as the music of CCR has.