An Old Man’s iPod

Well, I’m not really an old man. Baby Boomers will never admit to being “old.” I’m seasoned and mature. Not too terribly weathered. Lots of good years left. So no, not old. But then again, there ain’t no hip hop on my iPod (but hey, at least I have an iPod and ditched my 8-track and Walkman already!)

Music is a part of me. I listen. I play (several instruments). I compose. And today I was listening to my favorite playlist while working out at the gym. Working out is this thing I do to try to put the brakes on the aging process. You see, after all those years of giving my body everything it wanted–relaxation, Coke, guacamole pepper jack cheeseburgers and ketchup-laden fries–it has turned on me! It’s a full rebellion, and now my body is blaming me for the weight gain, sluggishness, achy joints and asthma. Imagine!

But yeah, music. It’s so much easier to tromp on that treadmill when good songs are blasting in my ears.

Then I figured that if you are going to lurk around here in my blog sometimes, maybe I’ll help you get to know me a little more. So what’s playing on that not-so-young, not-so-skinny guy’s iPod?

The go-to playlist is called “Hot Guitar,” and it’s jam-packed with my favorites. Mostly instrumental, and the few with vocals feature extended guitar improvisation.

The set starts with Carlos Santana’s Europa. I’ve always loved that song, but even more since 2005 when it was my oldest daughter’s wedding march!

Next up is a long jam: the Allman Brothers’ live version of In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed. Perhaps my favorite song of all time. I used to fall asleep to that song in 1969. Not because it was boring, but because it was on late-night FM radio. I would always play it whether I was awake… or not. It soothed my soul. Still does.

Samba Pa Ti comes next. First the original–Santana’s sexy-smooth growling guitar (the guy was like 22 when he recorded that!) followed by Masayoshi Takanaka’s brightly upbeat cover.

A few songs later, Eric Clapton shows why people wrote “Clapton is God” on subway walls. While I do not agree with that statement as theology, the guy could really play the guitar (again, another one in his early 20s in those days). I speed up the treadmill, close my eyes, and drift to other worlds, listening to the live Sitting On Top Of The World, followed by the more familiar classic, Crossroads.

Zappa’s Son Of Mr. Green Genes and The Gumbo Variations follow soon after. Nobody ever accuses Frank of unimaginative song titles. People remember Zappa for his freaky lyrics. But his music was sheer genius.

Then I never get enough of Duane Allman’s riffs on Stormy Monday. This is blues the way it was meant to be.

I won’t bore you with the whole list (write for details, if you simply must learn more!) Anyway, you get the idea. But whether you think my music is dated and I’m some kind of relic or not, the point is this:


The stuff I loved in 1969, before I could drive, before I started shaving… well, I still love it. It takes me back. Each bend of the string, each wailing note plays with my emotions just as it did all those years ago. I look back now and realize it’s no wonder our generation grew up and got into jazz.  Our musical path was already set by the Doors’ extended instrumental masterpieces, the Allman Brothers, Santana, Zappa… shoot, even the Zombies’ Time Of The Season soars skyward with a long jazz solo on the keyboard. Much of what is called “Classic Rock” was really jazz in disguise.

Music takes you back. There are some songs I avoid, since they depress me or make me feel the unwanted tug of lifestyle choices I gratefully abandoned nearly 40 years ago. They want to take me back to places I never want to see again. But most of the playlist of my youth recreates all the positive feelings and joy I felt the first time I heard it.

A culture, an era, a whole world. It’s all reflected in the music.

Which brings me to a question: what music defines you? What moods and feelings and ideas are created when you listen to your favorites? Do you like where it takes you?

And if you’re still young, what will you be listening to 40 years from now and what memories and feelings will it evoke?

The comment box operators are standing by to take your call.

Don’t be shy…


(I was humbled and honored that An Old Man’s iPod was Freshly Pressed in March 2011. It continues to be my most popular post. But the discussion doesn’t have to stop. Please comment and tell me how you found it. What are your thoughts on music?  You might also enjoy my post Smiles On A Jeepney, where I share about the shame I felt for judging a child based on physical appearance.)

About Bill Davis

Writer, speaker and translation and language learning consultant. I write technical articles, poetry and humor, and I am working on my first novel which is set on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
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283 Responses to An Old Man’s iPod

  1. Mumford and Sons, Van Morrison Hymns to the Silence, French children’s songs, Camelot, Jackson Brown, Beatles White album, Patty Griffin, soundtrack from the movie The Gospel, Hawaiian slack key guitar, Baroque guitar, Boz Scaggs. How’s that for eclectic?

  2. Bill Davis says:

    Mmm hmm. Very much so.

    But hey, aren’t you the one with her iPod set on “shuffle”?!

    My iTunes is all over the map (almost as much as your list here), and even my lil’ iPod nano has a wide range of artists, genres and decades represented. The workout set is just one playlist (and one of my favorites).

    (Oh, and bonus points for knowing how to spell “Boz Scaggs”)

  3. Lakia Gordon says:

    Santana is amazing! His music is timeless 🙂 I just had to put that out there because I am definitely a fan! Music really does stick with you…

  4. I’m only 18, yet my father raised me on The Beatles from a very young age. Beatles for Sale, Help!, and A Hard Day’s Night defined my childhood at a time when Britney Spears and ‘Nsync were taking everyone by storm. I will look back on every single one of their albums with fondness in 40 years.

    • Bill Davis says:

      That’s cool that your dad enlarged your musical horizons, Michael. So many in your generation don’t realize the huge impact the Beatles had. Not only did they have good music (amazing songwriting and voices, new harmonies, etc.), but they initiated so many things that are still present in the pop music culture without any remaining trace of Beatle-ness. For example, those two movies you mentioned were ground-breaking. In a way, like full-length music videos long before MTV came on the scene.

  5. johnhauge says:

    a zappa fan. you must be alright. “king kong suite” is my favorite mother’s tune among many.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, John! I started loving Zappa in 10th grade, listening to the Hot Rats album during graphic arts class. So many only know of his lyrics, but he was an amazing guitarist and producer. Rock, blues, jazz and innovative, hard-to-classify music. Very prolific. Have you heard any of his son Dweezil’s covers of his dad’s music (Zappa Plays Zappa)?

      Thanks for subscribing!

      • johnhauge says:

        you’re welcome. yes, i have. i saw frank and the mothers play live many times. outstanding. one day i’d love to see dweezil’s band as well. though the shows are already sold out by the time i even hear about them!

      • Bill Davis says:

        Yes… very popular. My niece in LA loves Dweezil (this is the younger sister of the one who was 9 when I recorded the Allman Brothers in Hawaii. This niece was a month old at the time!)

  6. Breakinen says:

    IPod is really classic~
    Really a kind of reform !

    • Bill Davis says:

      Yes, it has changed everything. I started with vinyl LPs and 45 rpm singles, then cassettes, 8-tracks, walkman, discman… and now iPod. What’s next, I wonder?

  7. i love santana. there is nothing wrong with that!!!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Nothing wrong, indeed! One of our favorite albums is a collation of all his instrumental ballads, The Ballade. Wonderful mix, showcasing his signature style.

  8. Robert Marie says:

    Wooooo, had me worried for a minute. Same songs I was brought up with. I’m 5o and still love the older stuff, but man the new alternative sound can really rock a house or the mill. Seether, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Ever Clear, and present favorite Shine Down, etc.

    I thought Elvis and the Beatles were it, then bands like the Stones, but when bands like Boston hit the seen I was certain that music hit the end of the road. Man was I wrong. If you haven’t heard some of the newer stuff I hope you check it out and comment. The lyrics make the new sound and they are awesome.

    Great Post!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, Robert.

      I hear some of the newer stuff, but not much. I live in a country that is stuck on disco, still! But my tastes are wide and eclectic. My wife is even edging me toward country (I blogged about that). My kids listen to new music, but also much of what I listed here and other 60s and 70s classics. Guess I raised ’em well (actually, I can take no credit… just sit back and smile.)

      I may check out some of those. Thanks for the tips.

  9. I have learned to avoid melancholy music during a melancholy moment. It only adds fuel to the fire 🙂

    Nice post!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thank you!

      You are right. Music has a powerful emotional pull, up or down. You have to learn what to avoid–and when–and what to turn to for the lift you need.

  10. Almost embarrassed to admit it, but my favorite treadmill song is “How far we’ve come” by Matchbox 20. Perfect rhythm for my crazy feet. Fast enough, yet not too fast so I take a total swan dive while all surrounding treadmillers stop to help me up…

    It truly is amazing how powerful music can be in terms of evoking emotion. Every time I hear the song “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles, that old flame is stoked for my high school crush, who asked a senior instead of me, a lowly junior, to the senior prom. Twenty years later…

    Great post! 🙂

    • Bill Davis says:

      Don’t be embarrassed, Mikalee… play what you like! You’re right. Some music takes me back to junior high, often to the week, the events, the people, the emotions of the day I bought the album or first heard the song. It’s amazing how it remains linked in our heads.

      The Bangles! Now I’M gonna be embarrassed, because I’ll admit they’re pretty catchy. Hearing “Eternal Flame” takes me back to Christmas shopping the year that song came out, holding my daughter’s hand as we walked through crowded malls. Just heard it the other day and felt the time warp.

  11. David Roseberry says:

    As a young dude I only discovered the Allman Brothers about 3 years ago, but I haven’t stopped listening since! 🙂
    Sometimes I envy the baby boomer generation and the music legacy they can claim.
    What can my generation claim? hip-hop and….?

    • Bill Davis says:

      I know I’m biased, but I have to agree. I just don’t see the same depth of musicality in hip-hop and much of what drives the industry now.

      Ah, the Allman brothers. They were so good. Unique. Dicky Betts would have been a bigger star if he hadn’t played second fiddle (well, guitar) to Duane Allman. Duane’s discography and all the people he played behind in his short career is impressive. I only recently realized that HE is the one playing the amazing guitar work on Boz Skagg’s “Somebody Loan Me A Dime”!

      I visited my brother where he was stationed in Hawaii in 1972 after graduating. I recorded that live Allman Brothers’ album on REEL TO REEL in the base media lab! I was 16. My niece was about 9 and thought her long-haired rock-n-roll uncle was cool (and hey, the music bugged her dad, so it had to be good, right?) That started her off with good music and, eventually, learning the guitar!

  12. sider13 says:

    I love this post and congrats on being ‘Freshly Pressed’ !!
    It’s awesome to hear people at whatever your age is (it’s only a number to me) still listening to music! and you’re right, it takes you back, it sticks with you! I practically LIVE with head phones in my ears. Wear them in school, in public, to bed even…just not at the table or in the shower. Too much info?
    But I like a wide variety…I like to think of myself as a ‘varied’ type of person. To list all of my favorite artists and post a comment that big would crash the site, I fear. So here are the categories:
    ‘oldies’ (beatles), 80’s rock (the Cure, Depeche Mode), alternative (Bullet for My Valentine, Marilyn Manson) foreign (Equilibrium, Odland), indie (Vampire Weekend, Matt & Kim, Mumford & Sons, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), random (Danny Elfman, Plushgun) and on darker days, I will listen to anything with cellos, violins, and basses. W-i-d-e variety.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thank you. I was blown away to find all these comments and realize that it was from being Freshly Pressed.

      A wide range… me too. I started with classical music and still enjoy it. I played classical piano from age 6 on, guitar from age 10…

      We have music “on or in our eyes” pretty much all day, too.

      I’ve thought, also, about what the “earphone” generation is doing in terms of sociology, where you go from home to bus to college and back in your own bubble. I’m guilty of it, too. The lines of public, private, inner and outer life have all been moved…

  13. Joe says:

    Well, first off, great guitar pic. I have that Roland in my music room.

    Secondly, great post. I agree with you on the points regarding music, I feel much the same way. I am not a Boomer however, more in the GenX category.

    I will be reading more in the future. Kepp playing and listening.


    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, Joe. Glad you liked the pic. While I was the one who PICked it out, I will give my wife credit for telling me I should have a pic in the first place!

      It looks a little bit like my Ibanez.

      Thanks for reading… look forward to hearing from you again.

  14. Joe DeGiorgio says:

    Great playlist. I like a heavy dose of ’70s rock as well, when working out it is awesome inspiration. I’m big on Springsteen, he is a very underrated guitarist.

    Excellent, thanks for posting!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Music is great for working out… you can match the rhythm and it helps you ignore the pain (which I feel at this age when trying to push the old body).

      Glad you liked it. Springsteen came on the scene a little after my “era” but I’ll agree he has some great music and anthems for the generation.

  15. Yuri Alhanati says:

    Hey, i love In the Memory of Elizabeth Reed too! Thanks to your post, I’m listening to it right now. Funny you like that song so much among Santana songs. It really looks like a Santana song, it has this dark aura around it!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Great song, Yuri. Did you know the version on the album is actually spliced together from different nights’ performances? Dicky’s solo better on Tuesday, Duane’s better on Wednesday, something like that. But I just drift away listening to that. Love it!

      It does has some Santana-ness to it, partly due to the Gibson guitars and “fat” tone produced.

  16. Grumpa Joe says:

    My I-pod has every song I ever owned on it. There are a variety of playlists from Christmas to Hot Guitar. What I listen to is a function of the season. In the Fall I switch to classical symphonies, in the Spring it is more upbeat like the sound track from Music Man.
    Among the many maladies brought on by the aging process is the loss of hearing. That is a sense we take for granted as we do the many other body systems that we never notice until they fail to function properly. I miss listening to all the music. Now, I hear only some of the music, as many frequencies no longer register through the ear.
    Thanks for a wonderfully creative and entertaining piece.

    • Bill Davis says:

      So glad you enjoyed the piece, thanks!

      Again… ah, yes. Aching knees, your back complains, your hearing fades. At least earphones help with that, a bit (and earphones in the 70s are probably partly to blame for my bad hearing an tinitis now!)

      And I thought aging happened when you were “old.” I’m only 55. I say this middle age is a cruel joke. (My gracious dermatologist said to me, “Middle Aged? Oh no, not MIDDLE. You won’t live to 110!” Thanks, doc. Thanks a bunch!

  17. Brave Man! Years have left us tons of the best music … What more can we ask for?
    Best wishes!

  18. The post-modern interpretation of the exact genre of music you have described above: Mogwai, MONO, Slow Six, 65daysofstatic, The Seven Mile Journey, Hammock, Explosions In The Sky, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, If These Trees Could Talk, This Will Destroy You, etcetera! Post-rock does for me what those timeless classics of Santana, Clapton, etcetera do for you. Music is an incredibly important central aspect of my existence. I am always glad to share that passion with another.

    • Bill Davis says:

      I’ll have to check some of those out, Thomas. Thanks.

      I would say music is central to me. It’s not just part of who I am, but pretty close to WHO I am… music and words.

      I studied music in college (after years of private lessons on piano and trumpet and playing guitar on my own). So few notes, really, and yet, infinite possibilities. Boggles the mind.

      Which of those you listed are mostly instrumental (especially guitar)? Maybe I’ll start with those…

  19. ellipsis007 says:

    Bill, I’ve studying English for a two years, sorry about my mistakes. I’ve many musics that stay in my memory, When I listen them, I can back in the past and meet my friends, fell the smell of something that fixed in my memory. I think that friends and music walking togheter in our lives. Living without it is like walking in the empty world. Be happy!!
    Yvone Todeschini – Brasil

    • Bill Davis says:

      Just two years studying English? Well, as a life-long language learning coach, let me say you’re doing great!

      And very insightful comments on music, Yvone. It really does connect with old memories—smells, tastes, people, good times, bad times.

      We visited Brazil, once, in 2005. Loved it. The food was amazing, rice and beans and churrascarias! Mmmm. And as far as music, Jobim has had a huge impact on music around the whole world. We listen to him often.

      Thanks again. Great comments.

  20. O. Leonard says:

    Joining you as an “old” man, I totally agree with your assessment about our generation’s evolution to jazz. Music that I totally thought I hated back in my youth sounds so fantastic to me now. But the best part about music and loving the same music you loved back then, is that music is a “time machine” and it can flash you back so quickly to, as you point out, things you’ve forgotten and some things you wish you could forget. Great post.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Well, us (not so) old men gotta stick together! Thanks, so much.

      You’re right about the time warp… back and forth. It makes for a fun ride. I never realized how much jazz was in my 60s music until I was getting into Chuck Mangione and other jazz in the later 70s and beyond. Then I would think, “Hey! That sounds like the Doors… the Zombies… the Allman Brothers!”

      Thanks for subscribing.

  21. B.C. Young says:

    I feel the same way as you, but the music I relate to is from the 90’s and early 2000’s. I like some of today’s music but that’s few and far between.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Yes, I think a lot of it has to do with the music that is playing when we come of age. That tends to stick with us for the long haul, even if we acquire new tastes, also.

  22. Paul Helm says:

    How fun – nice post! My first career was in music education as a band and orchestra director so I too can pick up a few instruments and make music. My tastes are wide and varied, and I have everything from AC/DC (one of my wife’s favorites) to ZZ Top with a very eclectic range in between including Santana like you – one of my favorites. Gipsy Kings, Kaiser Chiefs, The Beatles and Steely Dan with a little Big Fish thrown in and you can see I have everything necessary to work out, build something and drive with the top down!

    From one Boomer fighting it with all I have to another, keep up the good fight – and rock it well along the way!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, fellow-Boomer Paul!

      Your range of tastes sounds a lot like mine. The playlist I talked about is only the tip of the iceberg for me. More power to you doing music education! That’s so necessary but I don’t know if I’d be patient enough with the younger grades (I used to jog past a junior high and hear the band and think of our poor teacher when I was learning trumpet in 7th grade… yikes!) And then in college I had a music theory teacher who would invite us over to listen to records and discuss them. He also had a huge impact on me.

      Keep on rockin’, yourself!

  23. Hi Bill,
    Im 20-odd and still using my first sony walkman how hips that?
    i like zappa and stormy mondays a great song (but im more familiar with Alexis Korner doing it).

    I first listened to the velvet underground a good 10 years ago, and some of those tunes are still as fresh & brilliant as they ever were; Sunday Morning & Venus in Furs…
    & the blues will always be there
    & Donovans ferris wheel is definately going to stick with me, idealistic country living & teenage discovery…

    Seeing as how you asked about workout playlist; its all about energy so; the Ramones or black metal, atm that means hellsaw or mayhem. I wonder what u’ll make of that?

    I think that since the advent of recording, the age of music is less relevant, though it can remind of or symbolise a time, it can still reach people that were never there (look at the UK blues revival), Baroque music can be just as compelling now, and the same goes for traditional folk…
    I think the idea of modern or ‘relevant’ music is the industry driving sales linked with whole radio chart spectacle…
    Theres just what you like now.. good music does stay with you, and as I get older its interesting to note what I go off and what sticks.


    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, George…

      You must do a high-powered workout, that’s what I “make of that”!

      The Velvet Underground! Now, there ya go. And their live cuts were amazing. Modal scales in Lou Reed’s solos. I love them, also.

      Donovan? The first concert I ever went to on my own, ha ha. And Allman Brothers’ “Mountain Jam” is actually a long improvisation on his “First There Is A Mountain, Then There Is No Mountain, Then There Is.” Heavy, man. So 60s!

      You’re right… not ALL music sticks, but what does remain is really a part of you. Indelible.

  24. theveryhungrybookworm says:

    Well considering I’ve always liked the “oldies” more than current music, I would have to say I will still be listening to these when I am older.
    -Billy Joel
    -Bob Dylan
    -The Beatles
    -Harry Chapin

    This music makes me happy and sad and think about life. Sometimes I want to sing to it and other times I just want to sit and listen.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Good list, Lauren. I love all those… funny to hear them called “oldies,” but I’ll admit, 40 years is a long passage of time!

      It kinda freaks me out to think, “Okay, it’s been 41 years since I first heard Led Zeppelin in 1970. Now, 41 years before that was…. 1929!” They were singing, “Yes, We Have No Bananas” back then!

      Keep listening to what make you think…

  25. sloopie72 says:

    I’m old enough to have Simon & Garfunkel (and Peter, Paul & Mary) on vinyl. And old enough to have had a father who still – still! – makes me feel guilty for downloading cuts I already have just because iTunes is easier (drepression-era, see?). My favorite Christmas album is Joan Baez. But I have iTunes playlists, more modern stuff, by mood – energy (What Makes the Monkey Dance, which a friend sent me, and vaguely embarrasses me, but it gets me dancing), wallow (When She Loved Me) for pity parties, and Sociopolitical (lots of Phil Ochs, a little Loudon Wainwright) for when I need to courage to DO something. And classical choral (I’ve sung all my life in choruses and choirs) that just blows me awaw with the miracle of what sound can do. Many of the stories I’ve written have songs behind them, playing in my head – except these are usually the stories that aren’t very good, I wonder what that’s about.

    • Bill Davis says:

      From songs to stories… that’s great. And embedding music in stories can really impact the reader, too. Just keep trying, if you think the stories need something more…

      Phil Ochs?!! OMG yes… I loved his protest music AND his beautiful ballads. I used to have vinyl of his “Pleasure of the Harbor” and also “I Ain’t A-Marching Anymore.” Did you like his musical version of the poem “The Highwayman”? So sad how Phil died.

      And Christmas? Don’t get me started… we have everything from Al Hirt, Chicago, The Ventures to Celine Dion.

  26. Hiya Bill. Excuse me while I whip this thing out!

    First of all I carry at least 2 audio books in my Sansa. I am old enought to retire, but still work vegetation management and highway signs and markings for local gov so I drive a lot. The books sure help the day go by faster. On my WP there are a few of my fav’s listed. Ok, toggling to music now . . . I am all over the place but not so much the 50’s & 60’s. Travel Mix: Uncle Kracker “Smile” – Kenny Chesney “Summertime” – Alan Jackson “Neon Rainbow” – Bonnie Raitt “Papa Come Quick” – Boston “Rock & Roll Band” – Loverboy “Everybody’s Workin’ for the Weekend” – Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” – Collective Soul “Skin” “Turn” “Perfenct Day” -Coldplay “Yellow” – Foo Fighters “Learn To Fly” “Headwires” – Green Day “Basket Case” NOTE: Also my wife’s incoming call ringtone.

    Add lots of Celtic like Old Blind Dogs, some Slack Key Hawaiian like radio Hula by Ledward Kaapana (go to YouTube right NOW and play this one – Led is THE master), Zydeco like Jo-El Sonnier to bring back memories of pre Katrina French Quarter and best week we ever spent on the road. Well, more than you wanted for sure, but I enjoyed your post and your place here at WP! Bee well!!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, Nail!

      You’re all over the map, too. That’s great. I would agree with lots of those (and maybe I’ll check out some of the others).

      My wife made a Powerpoint sideshow of pictures of our first grandchild, and she used Uncle Kracker’s “Smile” (You Make Me Smile) for the soundtrack!

      Bent Nail… makes me think of the guys they call “Rusty Nails” at Habitat for Humanity where my daughter works. Retired contractors who volunteer permanently. Still have a lot to give.

  27. Calla says:

    AWWW, an awesome collection! i never understood jazz, but i have been trying for the last 5 years to acquire the ear for it, problem is, i agree with you a little too fast, what we are attuned to in our formative years often becomes the bench mark of our developing preferences…Very nice piece! i love music too, am romantic but also think i have an old {no pun} soul. I listen to:
    the Carpenters – ‘close to you’ is my favorite
    Frank Sinatra – EVERYTHING! but am in love with ‘something stupid’
    Dolly Parton – me and little Andy always makes me feel so humbled
    Paul Simons – Diamonds in the souls of her shoes
    Among new singles, i like…i did confess to romanticisms, although i wish they put in more different words sometimes.
    Janet Jackson’s – Nothing
    Shayne Ward’s – no you hung up

    • Bill Davis says:

      Glad you liked the list. Jazz…. that’s a very broad term. There may be jazz you would easily like, and jazz that is too hard to wrap your mind around… at first, at least. Listen to what you like, but branch out a little and push your borders… that’s fun, too!

  28. James R. Clawson says:

    Thanks for sharing your thought about music. I find that music is a great element in our lives that can move us and inspires us to be greater individuals in this world of strife that we live in each day. There is nothing like listening to a song that may bring us to tears or lift us to do greater heights!

    • Bill Davis says:

      You’re welcome, James. Glad you liked it.

      We all need inspiration and encouragement in this world, as you said, and something to urge us on to making a difference!

  29. Jen says:

    Oh geez, it’s more like what *don’t* I have on my iPod? Everything from Mozart to Harry Connick Jr. to bad 80’s music, to opera and classical, Boston Pops, country music, the Black Eyed Peas. You name it, I probably have it on my iPod, or in my head anyway:) My husband always says I am a human jukebox because I have a song for every occasion. Still, I don’t feel old until I hear a song from my youth (the 80’s) on the local oldies station. Then it hits me that I’m almost 40.

    You might enjoy the books This Is Your Brain on Music and The World In Six Songs, both by Daniel J. Levitin. Insightful looks at how the brain processes music and why humanity created music in the first place.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hi Jen,

      I agree… I have a lot more music on the iPod (and even more on iTunes) than I mentioned here. Maybe another blog…?

      I have read “This is Your Brain on Music.” It’s great! Thanks for the tip on his other book. Sounds like something I would like to get.

      If you’re interested in that kind of brain/connection literature, a writer/scientist I follow on Twitter, Livia Blackburne (@lkblackburne), has an ebook out (article, actually) called “From Words To Brain” about how the brain processes what we read. Fascinating. It made me think of Levitin’s book, and also of my experience in coaching language learners. It’s on Amazon.

  30. esarsea says:

    Get out of my head! Your post could have been one of my own. It’s nice to see that someone else, “Gets it.” Back in the day, most of my friends did understand the unbridled joy I gained from moving the stereo speakers outside on a warm Sunday afternoon; In Memory of Elizabeth Reed transporting me to another place and time as I relaxed in a lawn chair.

    I too have had a long-standing love affair with music, and play and compose myself. I have found very few people who can be as emotionally impacted by music as me. For example (albeit during a rather emotional time in my life) the mournful sax in the latter parts of Springsteen’s Jungleland has literally brought me to tears.

    As another example, I was so captivated by the early music of Joe Bonamassa (who is the same age as my oldest son) that after seeing him perform in 2001 or 2002 I was compelled to establish his original “Street Team” and fan website in an effort to help promote his career. I spearheaded that effort for several years, generating monthly newsletter, etc before turning it over to some fresh horses.

    A few songs come to mind as recommendations for your iPod. I will probably get caught by your spam filter for including links in this comment, but you’ll find it eventually.

    Check out Andy Timmons “Cry For You” (appears on his “Ear X-tacy” CD)

    And Andy Timmons “Electric Gypsy” (from the same album)

    Both of those songs speak to me on a level that’s difficult to explain.

    One more and then I’l quit cluttering up your blog. In memory of Gary Moore, who left us far too soon recently, here’s “Still Got The Blues For You.”

    Enjoy, and thanks for your post!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hey, thanks for subscribing and for the video links. I’ll check those out after I finish these replies!

      I think (almost) everyone is impacted by music, but I agree that there are some of us who are affected more strongly. Sounds like you are one of those… just like me.

      Sorry for getting into your head. I’ll respectfully climb back out, now =)

    • mikelikesart says:

      Andy Timmons…
      I’ve been learning Electric Gypsy in my guitar lessons… I wasn’t sure of it at first – but it is a great piece of music. I’m probably going to have to look at Cry For You now…maybe just stick it on repeat… Gone is another one, similar
      Still Got The Blues is on my list of songs, too…
      Thanks for the links!
      Mike =]

  31. close2bliss says:

    Bill, I suspect we would enjoy listening to music together. I was actually born in 1967 but some of best friends are Eric, Gregg, Duane, Elton, Mick, John, Paul, Carlos…you get the idea! I probably have a greater love of lyrics than the instrumental stuff; but I, having lived in Macon, GA for 10 years have actually danced at the grave of “Elizabeth Reed”. I also have seen “The Brothers” (unfortunately I was never blessed to see Duane) about 10 times and they never failed to amaze me! Hope you will check out my new blog…close2bliss and leave me some feedback! I’ll be back!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hi Lori,

      I like lyrics, too, but sometimes I just want instrumental. For working, I definitely find I cannot concentrate as well with lyrics going on. But then if I let my mind go off imagining playing the solo, even the instrumental songs can interrupt me from writing or translating, or whatever.

      Yes, Duane died way too young. I would love to have seen Sky Dog play.

      Georgia… nice place. My roots go back there. My daddy used to hunt march rabbits in the Okefenokee Swamp! Pogo was his favorite cartoon!

      Thanks for subscribing. I’ll check your blog out, later…

  32. Jess Witkins says:

    I like your mix. I may need to borrow some tunes for my sandisk. I imagine my future mix tape to sound something like Robert Johnson, Kraig Kenning, Those Darlins, Tori Amos, Serena Ryder, the Beatles, reggae inspired by spaghetti westerns, Tilly and the Wall, Adele, Portishead, and Nina Simone. I’d be set with that.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hi Jess…

      Your list sounds nice, too.

      You really have me intrigued… reggae inspired by spaghetti westerns? Awesome! Once, at age 15, there was a triple feature of Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns playing at the old Roxy theater and my friends and I went on Friday night, Saturday matinee, Saturday night and Sunday. Obsessed. Good think movies were cheap back then!

  33. wovenstrands says:

    This is so nice. Thanks for sharing.
    I don’t know what songs I’d be listening to 40 years from now. Songs are over played these days and they are not as well thought out that when their fifteen minutes of fame is done they sound so dumb and you start thinking what was I listening to.

    • Bill Davis says:

      You’re welcome…

      You’ll be listening to what still moves you. The shallow, dumb and overdone songs will not be remembered.

      Well, after saying that, I have to admit that people STILL jump up and do the YMCA dance even if we hated the song and still do!

  34. mikelikesart says:

    Crossroads! =]
    I borrowed an album stacked with blues songs – Crossroads is one of my favourites. I’m almost addicted to the album – some of my favourite songs on my iPod, inlcuding Gary Moore’s Still Got The Blues, Gold by John Stewart, and Cocaine by J.J. Cale. Greeny by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers is good fun, too. Fade To Black takes the top spot, I think.
    Big into post-rock (or drifty music – as my brother calls it) at the moment.
    Swelling, cinematic guitars, strings, pianos and synths. Sigur Rós, Our Ceasing Voice, Message To Bears and Ólafur Arnalds to name a few…. Some really, really nice guitar work, too.
    I’ve also just discovered “Dubstep” (very heavy techno/dance music). Some of that would be excellent to hop on the treadmill to. On a slight tangent Deadmau5’s “Strobe” is an amazing piece of music – regardless of taste – I think.

    I also play guitar – although I’m not as experienced, and I’m teaching myself to play piano. I love composing, and all of the above ends up in my compositions somehow. I have no clue as to what I’ll be listening to when I’m 40 years older. I’m not even 20, yet!
    P.S. Hip-hop isn’t all bad! Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 album is another one of my favourites from my iPod, and is worth a listen if you can ignore some of the language.
    A very moving couple of songs by Lupe Fiasco can be found here and here (no nasties, either).
    Fantastic post, thanks!
    Mike =]

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, Mike! Appreciate the good feedback.

      You list some great music I also know and some I need to check out. John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers was one of those seedbed bands that launched so many. (Miles Davis was another).

      • I think the John Mayall “Beano” album featuring Clapton is actually what sparked the “Clapton is God” graffiti in London. So many people have tried to recreate that exact sound to no avail.

        To be 21 and considered a god… I think he handled it well.

  35. I’m a nearly 50 y.o. with everything from Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Yo-Yo Ma, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Soul II Soul, Akron, Eminem, Nelly, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Deva Premal, Annie Lennox, Charice, Bruno Mars, Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera. Daughtry, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Loggins, Elton John, Rob Thomas, Bill Withers, Joe, R. Kelly, Aerosmith, The Cars, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Journey, Led Zeppelin, to The Rolling Stones. I like it all… and like to play piano and violin. Yeah for music! Thanks for your post!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Sounds about like my range of taste. So much good music out there (and so much that isn’t! ha ha)

      We love Annie Lennox, too…. and most of those you list. Chaka Khan is amazing, but one of her songs is in the set I mentioned that I cannot listen to because of where it takes me back to. Not Chaka’s fault, though!

      Thanks for commenting… glad you enjoyed it!

  36. As another boomer, there’s much (mostly guitar-based) music I’ve loved for decades that still sticks: Beatles, Kinks, The Who, Led Zep, Queen, Heart, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Joe Pass, Larry Coryell, Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Joni Mitchell, Alex DeGrassi, Peter Lang, Keith Jarrett, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Anita O’Day, Taj Mahal, Sonny Terry, John Lee Hooker, BB King
    But I also love Classical: Bach, Beethoven, Charles Ives, Vaughn-Williams, Tschiakovsky, DeBussy, Ravel, Satie, Luciano Berio, Harry Partch, Steve Reich
    and early choral music: Tallis, Byrd, Praetorius, Palestrina, de Victoria, Lassus
    and movie music: Bernard Herrman, Jerry Goldsmith, Korngold, Steiner, Waxman
    My problem is that now that I have Sirius and iTunes radio and other digital sources, I keep running into new stuff I like. The soundtrack keeps expanding!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hey Mikey,

      OH yes…. great list. Taj Mahal (we old guys remember him BEFORE he was on Prairie Home Companion!), John Lee Hooker… it goes on and on. I started with classical, played it and listened to it and still enjoy it.

      Alex DeGrassi… he is our our home iPod in the mix called “morning coffee.” We have a rotation for each day. You need something mellow to listen to while the caffeine has time to work its magic!

  37. I graduated high school in 1960 so I am substantially older than you but I connected more with the music of the late 60’s early 70’s more than the music of my generation with the exception of good Doo Wop. As a result of the Doo Wop thing and a vocal music background, I really dig groups that harmonize well, CSN, Eagles, Doobies, Chicago, Beatles, etc. CSN’s “Southern Cross,” and Beatle’s “Here Comes the Sun,” can, depending on how dragged-out I am, bring me to tears.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hi, Dwight. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      I also love the harmonies and the ones you mention. Queen was another rock back that did vocal arranging that was out of the norm, almost operatic.

      I have to ask… are you related to a James Whitsett who was a trombone player and music theory teacher in San Diego? He was a teacher/mentor of mine in the early 70s. I mentioned him in another reply because he would have students come over to listen to records and discuss the music.

  38. Fab mix on your ipod! You obviously have a great taste in music…;o) Have you checked out the new Greg Allman blues album? Some solid stuff there…

  39. Patti Kuche says:

    Remember the absolute thrill of finally having enough money to buy a RECORD, taking it home, putting it on the turn-table and sitting back with the album cover to devour every lyric, production detail etc etc? My ipod takes me straight back to so many memories – I so wanted to run away and join the Allman Brothers family and share their DREAMS. Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, so many, many more, joy, heartbreak and absolute pleasure in every track.
    Keep having fun with the workouts and thank you for taking me back!

    • Bill Davis says:

      I absolutely remember that. Spending my allowance or lawn-mowing money on an LP or two. Check out Quirky Culture on WordPress. Suzy has a great blog that also got Freshly Pressed about the experience of vinyl and the iPod playlist, etc.

      Running away with the band? Yikes (in hindsight)! I had a chance to join a band as second keyboardist that was going to travel to open for a new (at that time) group called Aerosmith. I was only 16 or 17 then, and so could not join, as it was a union tour. I was really bummed, but looking back, I’m glad. Traveling with those guys at 16 would have been a disaster for me! I was doing a good enough job of self destruction in those days.

      Had another workout this morning… same playlist. I felt I owed it to the artists I wrote about.

  40. My favorites change over time because I listen to whatever works with my current state of mind.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Enjoy the variety! Does that have anything to do with your profile name… clean surface, clean desk, fresh playlist?

      Keep on enjoying the music, that’s the main thing!

  41. markp427 says:

    You have pretty good tastes for an “old” guy! For me, classic 70s Springsteen will never go out of style. I’ll still be listening to “Darkness On The Edge of Town” when I’m pushing 80!

  42. maryct70 says:

    Great post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
    Each of us has our own personal soundtrack for life. Music can be do powerful that a single note or chord can bring us back to childhood in an instant. A shameless member of the Big ’80’s generation, the intro to any J Geils Band, the Cars or early U2 will transport me back to high school and early MTV. On the other hand, classical artists like Holst and Shostakovich will get my feet tapping too, think about the old days of marching band!
    Don’t worry though,I have my share of Clapton and Santana on my iPod too!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thank you, Mary. I was blown away to be selected.

      A “personal soundtrack.” I like that.

      And the J. Geils Band?! Oh yes. Loved them. Lots of talent and showmanship. Their harmonica player was nothing short of jaw-dropping.

      Glad you “deign” to have a bit of Eric and Carlos, too! Whew!

  43. Sheila says:

    A huge part of me is music.. and I really enjoyed reading your article. I listen to music from different genres – classical to rock. Working out, when I’m stressed, happy, killing time, driving, etc. I’m an old soul too, I listen to songs of Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, Santana, Hall and Oates, Abba and lots more! I just turned 26 but I find old songs better… more heartfelt and less of those background radio/studio sound effects.

    I got playlist for driving, shopping, yoga and running haha… 🙂

    • Sheila says:

      Followed you on Twitter.. and you’re in the Philippines? I’m from Manila, Philippines!

      • Bill Davis says:

        Thanks for stopping by here and for following on Twitter, Sheila.

        Sounds like you enjoy some great music, also.

        Yes, we’re on Palawan. My wife and I first came to the Philippines in 1981 and have been working mostly on Palawan since 1982.

  44. Hey Bill, I like your choices. “Elizabeth Reed” is favourite too…was thinking of working out a solo version once. Maybe sometime. And you are right about rock being jazz in disguise sometimes. What defines me? My kids would say The Grateful Dead and maybe that’s true (jazz as rock, see). But my tastes are very broad and I’ve grown to love jazz (maybe because of the Dead) and now search out what we westerners call “World Music”. There are some gems hidden under that label. 🙂

    • Bill Davis says:

      I’d love to learn to play Elizabeth Reed, even just following Duane note for note. Might be a life’s work! It’s on my short list of songs I wish I had time to learn.

      World music has some wonderful offerings, too. I love flamenco and the nouveau flamenco of Jesse Cook and Strunz and Farrah… so much good music.

      Rock as Jazz. Indeed. And the Dead were great… and now Phish jams to carry on the tradition.

      Thanks for stopping by and complimenting my playlist!

  45. ooooh I have wrote Clapton is God in a parking wall.
    In fact, I’m young but I listen almost the same music as you do!
    I’m really keen on rock and blues and also love psychedelic music.
    If I could transport myself to another time it would surely be the 60’s…
    music makes me travel a lot in my head and inspire me at every moment to do new things. I like classic music too… espacially playing it in piano

    • Bill Davis says:

      Now that’s an interesting profile name. Feisty Italian stuffed pastry. Sounds great. Food’s another topic we could all discuss forever!

      I started musically by listening. My parents wanted me to be cultured and played classical and “their era” (Andrews Sisters, etc.) I started playing classical piano at 6, guitar and trumpet at 10. Got into Tijuana Brass and then rock and jazz.

  46. newsy1 says:

    I just love the nostalgia of music. There are some songs so vivid that I can even remember what I was wearing when I first heard it (that’s probably a girl thing).

    • Bill Davis says:

      For sure the nostalgia is a big part of it. That’s why “oldies” always sell!

      Hmmm… can’t say I can remember what I was wearing, no, but I remember and FEEL much of the first time I heard/bought/played a record!

  47. Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Domino, Billie Holliday, Louie Armstrong, Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Big Bad VooDoo Daddies, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen, Violent Femmes, Van Morisson, Mumford and Sons….

    I could go on. I have a very wide arrange of music tastes, it’s the life I breathe.

  48. Currie Rose says:

    Thank you so much for your post. 🙂

    You are right, working out is sooooo much more fun when music is blasting in ones ears. I like to listen to positive and inspiring tunes which help bolster my imagination and inspire me to remember who I am and what I will do with my life.
    I’m a huge fan of Michael Franti, Brett Dennen, The Ditty Bops, Mint Royale, and Mumford and Sons.

    I hope you have a lovely day,

  49. elenamusic says:

    I started listening to music in the 90s. Although, there’s a lot of music in the 80s that I’ll never get old of. Doesn’t really matter what decade it came from, but when you started to listen to it. Sometimes I go back to albums I’ve listened to 10 years ago and remember the feelings associated with the songs.

    It’s a great time travel device.

  50. Fox says:

    I’m still young, but I know what you’re talking about. Music does have this way of tripping our memories. As though our minds were instruments of songs.
    I was raised on country music, which was counter-cultural to where I live. My sister liked rock-rap music, and that would leak into my bedroom at night. My brother loved Missy Elliot and 50 Cent and Sean Paul, and would share that with me. My dad loves classic rock and taught me how to love it. For that reason Brown-Eyed Girl is still one of my favorites. Every so often I’m taken back by a song that has a very specific memory attached to it, but mostly whenever I revisit the 90s music that was played on every restaurant radio, I remember times with family. And that is becoming increasingly important to me.
    Nowadays, I’ve pretty much adopted my roommate’s iTunes, along with my own collection of Christian music. I have everything from Usher to Delirious?, Jars of Clay to Anathallo, and music that neither of us know where it came from.
    And Pandora has become a fond friend. ;D


    • Bill Davis says:

      County Music being Counter-Culture… I love it! That would be me. Suburban Southern California. Then, after 30 years, my wife gets into country! I had to deal with that… I kept her (of course!) and adjusted my tastes somewhat. The romantic ones that seem like they’re about me and her are what I like best.

      Sounds like you have a great iPod-full yourself.

  51. well, no offense, i’m a baby boomer too, but i am way more sophisticated about blues than Clapton……there are so many blues guys who could knock his socks off with one hand tied behind their backs…. Gary Moore (RIP) comes to mind, but if you are into blues – Clapton is only the “milk before meat”. lol zig

    • Bill Davis says:

      No offense taken!

      I don’t know that I’d say it’s a matter of sophistication or not, but there’s room for everyone. I never said Clapton was the best (if such a subjective rating can even be given!?) And his music after Cream bores me. But I love his Cream era recordings, especially the live ones. Partly, perhaps, he never really hits a wrong note. Also the raw power and melodic mastery from one so young at the time.

      But it’s also a matter of what music we encounter when we come of age. I was 11, raised on classical and sacred music. The first album I ever bought was Cream’s Goodbye. So it’s no wonder that “Sitting On Top Of The World moved me,” and remained a favorite for me.

      I’ve never been drawn to shredders who play with only one intensity. The moments of silence, of anticipation (e.g. Duane Allman’s Stormy Monday), those are what makes good blues. But the list of masters is too long for any single blog or iPod! Modal scales, mixing iconic licks with originality, knowing how to build that crescendo… it’s all a part.

      I enjoy a lot of other musicians not named in this blog. They are on other playlists.

      And of course, I will never to know it all. I’m still learning and encountering new music… thanks for your suggestions, too! I’ll have to check out Mr. Moore. I think someone else suggested him… even posted a video.

      • I am a total blues/jazz freak. I hang out at one of the best blues clubs west of the mississippi.. the Rhythm Room…. saw Savoy Brown there last week, and it was awesome…there was barely any breathing room. Baby Boomers, and Gen X and later all packed into the same room. totally awesome… Check out my baby…Dave Riley, and his partner in crime…Bob Corritorre… traditional Chicago style blues. peace out, zig

  52. jazzbard says:

    I love this post…thank you for writing it! That’s an excellent point about classic rock being jazz in disguise…may I quote you at some point?
    I suppose I count as “still young” (I was born in the wrong time!). My iPod’s got all the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong that I can lay my hands on, Sophie Tucker, Dinah Washington, BB King, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Tom Jones, Etta James, Buddy Guy, vast quantities of Bob Dylan and the Beatles (and many covers of their songs), The Band, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, the complete works of J.S. Bach, and three different recordings of Handel’s Messiah.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks so much!

      Quote me? Wow, I’d be honored. Of course you can!

      Dr John! I remember The Night Tripper. Joe Cocker, especially the Mad Dogs and Englishmen live album and movie. A great, fun romp. And Dylan. No one touches him on songwriting, and I’m also one who actually likes his voice!

      My wife and I also love Maria Muldaur’s cover of his songs on her album Heart of Mine. Tasty!

      • jazzbard says:

        Your post has inspired me to write another post on my blog on rock’s relationship to jazz. It gave me some new ways of looking at the subject. Thank you!

        I’m looking forward to getting Dr. John’s new album, Tribal. (I also need to find a copy of Gris-Gris.) Yes, I’m mad about Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Are you familiar with his covers of Beatles songs? (Dare I say that they’re better than the Fab Four’s?) I’m glad I’m not the only person in the world who likes Dylan’s voice…sometimes it seems that way!

        Oh, I’m overjoyed to come across another Maria Muldaur fan! I’ve listened to her since I was knee-high to a grasshopper! I’ll have to get that album, it sounds great. Have you heard her Peggy Lee album, Fever?

      • Bill Davis says:

        Howdy… go for it on the post and let me know when it’s up!

        MD&E is awesome and I love the covers of Beatles. Better? Dunno. Very good and different? Absolutely! Leon Russell put together such an amazing ensemble and arrangements. He doesn’t get enough credit. Should be in the Hall of Fame already (there’s another artist I love… wide range of style. His song Masquerade has been covered so many times!)

        Maria is great… yes, get that Heart of Mine. We have the “A Woman Alone With The Blues” which has “Fever” on it. That the one you mean?

  53. Pasi Hieta says:

    Greetings from Finland and thank you for an interesting story. I’ve noticed that my musical taste has changed quite a lot during 40+ years o f my life, fortunately. I simply don’t like much of the music I listened to when I was young, but I’m happy that I have found new, inspiring music along the way. I think musically one should look forward and try to be open to new influences, and at the same time enjoy the precious pieces of music that have left their mark in heart and soul. Important artist to me are for example Deep Purple, Little Feat, John Hiatt, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Cockburn and some fine Finnish musicians (check out Esa Kaartamo if you can), but recently I’ve been getting into more traditional blues (and had even opportunities to play some), world music (African music is an inexhaustible treasury) and there are some great “new” rock bands as well, Foo Fighters to mention just one. I think you grow and change as a person when you find new music that speaks to you and touches you, and growing and changing for better is something that we all should try to do.

    Hope my English makes sense, it’s not my first language. Thanks again, nice guitar in the picture 🙂

    • Bill Davis says:

      Wow… greetings back to Finland from the Californian living in the Philippines!

      Thanks for your comments, and your English is great.

      Deep Purple. I listened to them a lot “in the day.” Not so much now. It’s true, as you say, that not ALL of our music stays with us. And we keep adding new artists and genres that we like.

      I don’t have any Finnish artists. Sigur Rós, who is Icelandic, I think, is the closest I come to that part of the world. (I should check out Esa). Thanks for the tip!

      And yes, it’s all part of growing and changing and becoming who we are… life’s a journey.

  54. Ah yes . . . . nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, eh?

    I live in Italy where the young musicians I work with adore Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Santana, and somebody called Stevie Ray Vorgann .. that’s how they pronounce it.

    My favourite things from that era? seeing Rory Gallagher with Taste, Free with Kossoff – still one of my favourite guitar players; seeing Zappa at Wembley when he was launching Overnite Sensation, meeting and having a conversation with Captain Beefheart. ( Yup it’s true
    But on a different point: before moving to Italy, I sold all my vinyl: and realised that each album had an emotional link: who I was with when I bought it, who bought it for me. etc etc . . .MP3 files won’t have that link will they? . . . a bit sad I think , . yes I sold my copy of Overnite sensation.. but I remember who I was with at the gig . . and the time I collapsed asleep listening to it and nearly burned my flat down . . but that’s a different story. . . . . . . . .

    • Bill Davis says:

      Italy! How cool. I saw Zappa once, too. Amazing.

      I regret losing my vinyl (I had around 400 albums once). And yes, the digital loses some of the aesthetic appeal (check out QuirkyCulture on WordPress for a great blog about that).

      Ooooh… you don’t want to live out Smoke on the Water, man… glad you could add that word “nearly” in there concerning the fire.

  55. Laoshi Ma says:

    As a younger guy my 10K iTunes songs are pretty varied. Gubaidulina, Pendereski, Boris, Brötzmann, Kyuss, Ayler, and Squarepusher usually come up one after another.

    But I think the top five (this second) are:
    Medeski Martin and Wood – Notes from the Underground
    Coltrane – A Love Supreme
    Miles Davis – On the Corner
    Kyuss – Welcome to Sky Valley
    Boris – Feedbacker

  56. I am 14 and I love this stuff! It is AWESOME! I play blues on my electric. I love Stevie Ray Vaugn the most! He’s cool!

  57. Em says:

    I listen to everything, but I am not much on my generation of music. I am not a Ke$ha or Lady Gaga fanatic. I prefer The Eagles and the real Journey. I love Bob Seeger and I am going to see him concert in April. I like my generation of country music, but I like the alternative music that has come up on music radar screen. I have everything on my i-pod from Casting Crowns to AC/DC. I like a little bit of everything but classic rock is my favorite.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Nice range on your iPod. Can’t say I’m impressed with Lady Gag… er Gaga, either.

      Eagles… nice! Casting Crowns are good, too.

      And you gotta love classic rock, right?

      Checked “about me” on your blog… keep on growing and striving to make a difference! I’m one who has fallen big-time, and was encouraged also to remember who holds my hand.

  58. I teach spin classes and make my own mixes. Really, every class is all about the music. My only problem is that I have a pretty consistent group that ranges in age from 17 to 71 (really, that’s the range). Still, I have found that I cannot go wrong with ‘American Pie,’ ‘Boys of Summer,’ and anything Tom Petty. What I think will last until I am 71 (40 years exactly from now) are Michael Frianti, Jack Johnson, and MC Hammer. Though, I do always get cheers when I play ‘Sex Bomb’ by Mousse T.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Spin classes… interesting.

      Tom Petty… very underrated (and I usually hate it when someone calls an athlete or artist underrated, mind you.)

      Love Jack Johnson. When We Old Ones (my wife and I) first heard his song “Flake,” we said, “Ooh! Canned Heat influence!” (the high-pitched “Please, please please done pass me by” part.)

      Your blog looks interesting…

  59. missylikestoramble says:

    I recently made a driving playlist that consists of some of my favorite 80’s hair bands. Bon Jovi, Nelson, Poison, Aerosmith, and Twisted Sister. The music of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper take me back as well. Nice post. I recently saw a tattoo that said “When words fail, music speaks.” So very true, no matter what your age.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Yes… gotta have a driving playlist. We used to have this live Tim Weisberg (flute with backing rock band) cassette (yes, cassette, ha ha). Very nice pedal-to-metal music. Wonder what ever happened to him, though?

  60. charlywalker says:

    I consider myself still young….um..and 40 years from now I’ll be listening to Velvet Underground………….under ground…

    spread the humor:

  61. Kirk Meyer says:

    OK, I just re-joined the health club after a 15 year hiatus (yeah, a baby boomer too) and last week I lost my ipod – the 60 gig model w/ 13,000 tunes. And my native american name is He Who Never Loses Stuff. Fortunately, still on the computer.

    One fun thing I do is I send my kids, both of whom live in Brooklyn, a Song of the Week as a way to stay in touch. Last week was to celebrate Robert Johnson’s 100th birthday (talk about guitar players) so a RJ original and a Clapton full band version w/Dad playing blues harp along with the boys.

    I’ve got that extended E. Reed jam and it’s magnificent.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Awesome…. RJ’s the original Crossroads. Glad you can enjoy playing. I’m headed to CA where my one-year-old grandson plays piano and drums with hands, sticks (and feet!). Can’t wait.

      Yes, the E. Reed is hard to beat. It soars…

  62. When I want some really good tunes I set my ipod on my “5 stars” playlist, which includes (but is not limited to): Zeppelin, Beatles, Beck, U2, Lenny Kravitz, Raconteurs and White Stripes, Chili Peppers and John Frusciante, Sublime, Ray Lamontagne, Black Crowes, oh, and my own music.

  63. Daisy Hat says:

    I totally agree that the music you ‘first’ get into will always stay with you. The music I was obsessed with as a 15/16 year old and feeling really trapped etc will always be regularly played by me… even if my music taste has developed/matured somewhat… 😉

    • Bill Davis says:

      Something about when we hear and see when we come of age, I think. Even, as you say, though we grow and change, those primary experiences and music, etc., remain.

  64. Not sure what I’ll be listening to in 40 years but I’m pretty sure it won’t be Justin Bieber or Snoop Dog!

  65. badgerorbust says:

    I’m only 21 but hope that when I’m older although I’m sure my musical tastes will have progressed that I’ll still comeback to the bands I love today such as Streetlight Manifesto or Operation Ivy. Songs even now take me back to when I was 14/15, and thats an amazing feeling so I hope like you to never lose that attachment to the music I love now even though I often see my tastes adapting with time.

  66. Ascentive says:

    Even though I am a part of the ‘younger’ generation. I grew up listening to my parents classic rock, mostly Queen, Led Zeppelin, and ACDC. I still love all of that ‘classic’ music and I listen to it a lot. I also listen to a lot of jazz and folk music (mostly new artists like Mumford and Son’s or Jamie Cullum). I totally agree that some songs stick with you.

    • Bill Davis says:

      It’s interesting how your generation will listen to those bands, but my generation would never had listened to OUR parents’ 30- 40-year-old music. I think the pre- post-rock border was a watershed, like the continental divide.

  67. Sam says:

    I love this post because it says what I think every day. Thanks!
    As for me, my first great musical love was Coldplay. Whether I like them when I’m through growing, I don’t know, but they’ll probably stick with me for a long time since I am still young. My favorites have extended to way before my time – Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc – to the Strokes, Phoenix, Beck, U2, White Stripes, Julian Casablancas, Albert Hammond Jr, Bon Iver, and more. My library is still growing however, as I explore the blues, possibly classical compositions, and most recently jazz, because I made the high school jazz band. I know exactly what you are talking about when you say “Music sticks with you.” I absolutely love music and find joy in listening to meaningful songs and pursuing guitar. It’s an art form, which makes a bigger impact on someone than generic stuff (not art).

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, Sam. I promise I wasn’t reading your mind… we just think alike!

      That’s a great list you have there. I grew up with piano lessons (mostly classical) and learned to sight-read. It wasn’t until college I learned to play by chords and charts, etc.

      Thanks for stopping in.

  68. In 40 years, I see myself still listening to Linkin Park, the Beatles, some of my favorite Christian contemporary songs, Owl City, The Fray, OneRepublic, and possibly wondering what the appeal of rap music was beyond its good bass and beat.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Linkin Park and the Beatles…. great mix.

      Good list… my sentiments exactly on rap, except for me, even the beat drives me nuts (and I love music with a beat, just… not that). The anger doesn’t do it for me, either.

  69. BGTNJeff says:

    We also absorb music from those closest to us.
    I was born in 1969. Therefore, I have my dad’s Moody Blues, Frank Zappa, David Bowie and Paul McCartney and Wings on my iPod.
    I did most of my growing up in the Eighties, and I liked the music my friends liked. Enter Duran Duran, Berlin and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Also enter Husker Du, Echo and the Bunnymen and Joy Division. Mainstream friends didn’t listen to the same thing my punk/new wave friends did. Hooray for diversity.
    I got Todd Rundgren from my second wife. I got Fear Before the March of Flames from my son, whom I also got from my second wife.
    Tori Amos is on the iPod because of my sweet wife now, along with Melissa Etheridge, Everclear and Tegan & Sara.
    Your iPod is your soundtrack. It’s your running diary, your musical autobiography. And it’s sure more convenient than trying to jam a stack of 45’s in your pocket.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hooray for diversity, indeed!

      I never stuck 45s in my pocket, but I did have a battery-powered turntable I would take with me camping and such.

      Bowie… I was there, too. Still like the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album.

  70. judithornot says:

    Creedance Clearwater, Moody Blues, Queen, Sting, Elton John, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Kris Kristoferson, Dylan, Def Leopard, Police, Traveling Wilburys, soundtrack from “Flashdance,” George Winston, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Melissa Etheridge, Beau Soleil, The Roches.

    And if you weren’t driving in 1969, Bill, you are nowhere near being an “old man.” 🙂

    • Bill Davis says:

      I love CCR and my parents even liked them (they were Deep South transplanted to Southern California). That and Tijuana Brass were about the only music from my era that we shared.

      George Winston is on our “morning coffee” playlist… when mellowness is required.

      And Janis… she’s on my iPod, too. Amazing. Unique.

  71. I grew up in San Francisco and during high school spent many, many nights at Fillmore, the Avalon Ballroom and Winterland. I came up listening to AM top 4o until I stumbled on one of the only FM stations on the dial, KMPX. They were playing album sides of the Dead’s Anthem of the Sun, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Airplane with no commercials.

    The first concert I went to was at the Cow Palace about ’67… Credence Clearwater, Blue Cheer, Canned Heat and some Haight Street bands… the ticket was a buck and a half. I saw Cream, Hendrix, Butterfield, Traffic, Alvin Lee, Rod Stuart and Small Faces, Deep Purple, Spooky Tooth, Who, Birds, Sprit, Steppenwolf, Doors… plus all the local SF bands. I saw BB King, Albert King and Albert Collins for three bucks at Winterland… don’t get me started on the blues.

    Bill Graham was a genius and was responsible for turning on a generation, to all kinds of music. I saw Led Zeplin on their first American tour and the next day a garage band called the Santana Blues band for free on a foggy, drippy Sunday afternoon at Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park. Neither was very good.

    I could go on and on, Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Sly Stone, Sons of Champlin, Electric Flag… Once we I went to see the Dead at Fillmore West… they were so stoned that they couldn’t remember the words to their own songs. Second on the bill was Jr. Walker and the All Stars, straight off the Chitlin Circuit. They wore tuxes and played the same tune list for both sets. Third on the bill was Miles Davis band with a very young Dave Holland, Chick Corea, Airto, Jack DeJohnette and Steve Grossman on saxes. Grossman was maybe 19 years old and was spitting out Coltrane licks like a 50 caliber machine gun. I had never seen a Soprano sax before and it blew my mind.

    That show changed my life. A week later Bitches Brew record came out. I started to play sax and study music seriously. Even though is was still underage, I hung out at local jazz clubs and now looking back, I saw so much history.

    Cannonball Adderly, Weather Report with Jaco, Grover Washington and George Benson when they were real jazz cats. Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Stanley Turentine, Freddie Hubbard, Dexter Gordon with Woody Shaw, Larry Coryell 13th house, Return to Forever… I could go on and on…

    So I sometimes listen to jazz radio, but for the most part, I sold off couple thousand vinyl records and hundreds of CDs for pennies. I don’t have a ipod and probably never will. I don’t even have a stereo or a radio at my house. I do play the saxophone hours ever day. I have been buying tickets and standing in line for over 40 years. So many performances are indelibly imprinted on my mind. I miss Michael Brecker and Bob Berg…

    I just saw Joshua Redman, Regina Carter, Maceio Parker and Pancho Sanchez last weekend at PDXjazz festival.

    The soundtrack of my life would be pretty eclectic from the Tubes to John Lee Hooker to Yellowjackets and Charles Lloyd. The cats that inform my playing now are… in no order: Bird, Diz, Trane, Monk, Miles, Sonny Rollins, McCoy, Joe Henderson, Dexter, Rahsaan, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Chick, Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter… uh, you get the idea… unless you don’t.

    I would trade seeing all the rock, pop, punk, alternative, fusion and smooth jazz acts… to have seen John Coltrane at the Village Vanguard.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks for that… I’m jealous of many of the bands and artists you have seen live. I would also love to have seen Coltraine. I saw a number of the ones in your second paragraph, but not all.

      Yellowjackets… very nice. And yes, I get the idea!

      A fun evening for me was when we got to see Jake Shimabukuru live last year. My review even got published, which added to the fun (and paid for the tickets!) He’s amazing.

  72. dgbullogg says:


  73. Like your take on classic rock being jazz in disguise. I drifted into jazz through (who else?) Miles and then discovered the place that is at the origin of it all: Africa. So the long meander went from classical to rock to jazz to all the delights I can listen to where I live now, which is Dakar, Senegal. But they all leave their traces. At any given time the mood veers from Salif Keita (the golden voice from Mali) to Miles to Floyd and then suddenly one Gustav Mahler shows up. And it’s back to Youssou N’Dour (nicknamed “The Nightingale”, he’s from Dakar) and on the cycle goes. I’m not playing any instrument anymore but I will confess to eating, breathing and drinking music (I was going to say “simultaneously” but doctors advise against it…) Thanks for a thoughtful column, enjoyed that.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks… glad you enjoyed it and found it thought-provoking.

      Africa… Middle East… India.. lots of roots there. It’s fun to listen for the traces.

      Miles… truly wonderful.

      I’ve been to Dakar. What are you doing that? And please do follow that doctor’s advice!

  74. anonnickus says:

    I think thast as we age and our hearing matures we lose our ability to hear music the way it is poresented. We compensate by learning to listen with our memory instead. Invariably we remember best our prime and the music that brought it to us. I won’t condone it but I will understand it when good music is defined a classic rap. It was also once defined as big band swing.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hmmm… I did read that when we remember or imagine a song, the same synapses fire in our brain as if we were really hearing it!

      I can go with Big Bang Swing more than rap. Even it if pegs me as old or out of touch or sound like my dad talking about the Beatles in 1964, I’ll say that with rap, I just don’t get it.

  75. neocrunch says:

    Hey Bill, you need to check out some Widespread Panic. Given your musical tastes I think you’ll really dig ’em. Check out their live streams- as well as live shows from other artists- here:

  76. breezyautumn says:

    Ah, this post is inspiring! I love music and I love thinking about music from the past, present, and what is to come for the future. I’d say that for the last few years I have been interested in the many genres of electronica. I use the term electronica because it is broad enough to cover everything from Acid Jazz to Psychedelic to Techno, which all, in fact, define me. Mark Farina can send me grooving while Shpongle sends my mind tripping and diverting into space! I will always have an appreciation for electronic music.
    But there are definitely tracks that I do not wish to revisit either and I’m sure there will be more of these tracks when I am 50, for sakes of the feelings and emotions they bring. I am only 23 but high school memories, a.k.a. those days I chose to “experiment”, were either not always the greatest and bring disturbing memories or temptingly too much fun. But of course, there are also those that are quite the opposite. Thank you for your post!!

    • Bill Davis says:

      You’re welcome… and thank you, too.

      I understand about the link with memories! Wishing you lots more happy memories and music that goes with them in the next 27 years.

  77. I may be from a younger generation but let me tell you…to listen to the sound of Jimmy Hendrix or Carlos Santana, B.B. King and the like….feels like it frees me. My dad is a great guitarist and as I have taken after him…maybe not as great…listening to the sounds that he listens to on my ipod and mp3 player,I am just in that rhythm along with you. The sound of spanish guitars, jazz and the blues and even golden oldies…i may not have been there but it almost makes me feel as if I was there at one point or I wish that I was. It’s a different sound from what my generation grew up with. Sometimes I wonder where all the good music went and I’m only in my late 20’s.

    • Bill Davis says:

      That’s so cool you can share the love of music with your dad.

      I also love the flamenco and jazz/nouveau flamenco like Jesse Cook, Strunz and Farrah, etc.

      Yes, where did it all go? Where, indeed.

  78. johnnybeane says:

    I like to pack my ipods with as much different music as possible because you never know when you will need to reference a certain track or style.

  79. johnlmalone says:

    A beautiful blog, Bill; I too, of a similar age, I suspect, am assailed by similar ailments caused by similar youthful indulgences. I too love music though I know few of the tracks you mention. My two favourite non-classical instrumentals would be ‘Layla’ by Derek and the Dominoes [ Eric Clapton] and Floyd Cramer’s ‘Last Date’; do you know these two?

    I lioke what you write Bill and your casual, layback style. I’m subscribing to your blog. You might like to drop by and visit mine. Skip the poetry ones, if they don’t interest you, but others might appeal

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thank you, John, and thanks for subscribing.

      I surprised myself and my wife both when poetry started pouring out of me when I joined a writer’s group started by our friend, author Luis Alberto Urrea. I pulled the poems off my blog for the moment, so that doesn’t hinder them being accepted and published, etc. I had heard that private groups and readers were okay, but some might complain if a work were already “published” on a blog, etc.

      Yes, Layla… loved it. Duane Allman was in the mix there, too. I also loved the piano part at the end. I’ll have to hunt down the Cramer piece.

      Thank you for your kind words about style. I appreciate the affirmation, and always welcome any input. After years of professional writing (technical, curricula, etc., and a few bits of satire), I’m launching out with poetry and a novel. Here goes….

      I’ll check out your blog when I get done with these comments!

  80. Classic rock is my favorite… anything that makes me want to break out into a dance. I have way too many favorites to list, but I will definitely have to agree with you regarding Eric Clapton. Also, James Taylor has a way of soothing the soul; have seen him many time in concert… the man is fabulous!!

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed; very good article ~ well deserved!!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, so much! I was really stunned (and happy) to wake up to this. Glad you enjoyed it.

      • I just wanted to let you know that I would love to list you on my blogroll, once that I get it up and running. I’m slowly, but surely, editing my homepage and would love to have you be part of it. Many of my friends and family share your interests, and I’m certain they would love your writing.

  81. Really liked reading this. You are of course 100% correct when you say music sticks with you. I astounded my brother this week by sending him a CD version of an old LP he had in 1988: he couldn’t believe I remembered it.

    He was completely blown away when I proceeded to list the other LP’s he’d owned that had left an indelible mark on my soul. I was 10 at the time :).

    Thank you for a great read and, for the record – you have just reiterated the fact that when it comes to music, there is no school like the old school.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks. I answered someone else by saying that I bought my first album at age 11 and it was Cream’s “Goodbye.” Hence the magic (for me) of that live “Sitting on Top of the World”!

      Music from that age can really burrow in deep.

  82. iPod’s are great but vinyl is back! I recently (I guess it was over 3 years ago now) purchased an amazing vinyl console at a yard sale for $20. Best purchase of my life. Espcially now that bands like Pearl Jam, Radiohead and My Morning Jacket (current heavy-weights) are releasing their albums on vinyl. But as far as listening to music on-the-go, nothing beats the iPod.

    • Bill Davis says:

      You’re right! My son-in-law first got our daughter’s attention with his extensive vinyl collection as they all sat around digging the sounds (and the pops and hisses).

      But yes, digital for portability… can’t touch it.

  83. chunter says:

    My weakness is Progressive Rock in all its pretentious glory. It doesn’t always sit well in the electronic music circles I usually associate with now and most of the rock people I used to be around utterly hated it, but it’s something I always return to like a natural reflex.

    • Bill Davis says:

      It’s a weakness?? Aw, come on…

      I loved Yes, if you would call them Progressive Rock. Amazing musicians. That Fragile album is also a favorite of mine, especially “Heart of the Sunrise.”

  84. Redge says:

    Great post and love the guitar in the pic. I’m a musician too, (guitar, tenor sax, drums). I love the 80’s era though as these were the songs we attempted to cover in our band. The music was great the fond memories are even greater. Led Zeppelin, Super Tramp, Heart, Billy Joel, Genesis, Rush (they were our local Canadian band before they hit the world with a storm) AC/DC (Back in Black) and so many more.

    Artists – Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen, Hendrix, Steve Vai.

    Enjoyed the read, your blog, and congratulations on being freshly pressed.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks… yes, that guitar is beautiful.

      You name some great artists (and there are lots of “stealth Canadians” in the world, ha).

      Glad you enjoyed it…

  85. cooper says:

    the summer of 1969…the summer between seventh and eighth grade. I had three paper routes a day that summer and carried a radio shack cube radio tuned to WABC New York. So many classics that summer…In The Year 2525, Grazin’ in The Grass, In the Ghetto…this was my last summer of AM radio as eighth grade marshaled in my switch to FM and album rock. I bought my first two albums…Led Zeppelin II and Crosby, Stills and Nash; leaving the spectrum wide open to fill with just about everything from Allman to Zappa. Elizabeth Reed, Fillmore version, would become a favorite as well. I wore out my original LP with the pink Capricorn Records label. Great post and great tunes…from one “mature” guy to another.

    • Bill Davis says:

      “The Summer of 69” …sounds like a song title in itself! I remember that summer well. That was also when I started listening to the radio.

      And yes, it’s the Fillmore version of Elizabeth Reed I love so much.

      A “mature” guy’s thank you back atcha!

  86. How about Jethro Tull’s Aqualung or The Who’s Who’s Next? Yes’ Fragile? That’s what takes me back. Never fails. Nice post. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks… I was amazed and humbled to wake up to all this.

      Jethro Tull… mmm, yes. Nice guitar work, too. The Who? Loudest concert I ever heard. After each song, I could not even hear the crowd around me screaming, only ringing ears. And I just commented that “Fragile” is one of my favorite albums. I especially love “Heart of the Sunrise.” Amazing.

      Hey, I just noticed on your “about me” that you’re from our home town, San Diego. Wonderful city. We’re headed there this weekend for grandchild #2’s arrival!

      And congratulations to you, too, on riding this crazy FP wave twice!

  87. Jerry Dutz says:

    I find much of what I hear as new music today very boring. Long live people who wrote great songs, could sing on pitch with confidence, and were virtuosos on the instruments.

  88. kensbackhome says:

    Hey Bill,

    Enjoyed this post. I’m glad to hear that other 50-somethings are teaching this new technology some old tricks.

    Currently I’m enjoying Grand Funk Railroad on my iPod. Probably a little unsophisticated for a Zappa fan such as yourself, but their songs protesting the war and the government screwing us over are just as fresh today as when I was in high school…

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks and glad you liked it. We old guys gotta support one another… especially going up hills, probably.

      GFR… I never had their albums, but listened to them a lot. They’re a part of the soundtrack of those days. Not sophisticated, as you said, but hey, it rocked and there was the message. I used to get into arguments, though, with one guy over whether or not GFR or Yes were better musicians, ha.

      And Phil Ochs. Dylan. All of them… where’s the good protest music now?

    • GFR was my childhood!

  89. Wonderful post! I look forward to checking out some of the songs you mentioned that I’ve never heard for myself. As for my playlists, I’m maybe more of a guilty pleasure listener. I enjoy pop music as much as I enjoy classic rock, soft rock, and country music. What I look for in music, aside from a catchy beat or great lyrics, is that feeling you get when listening to a great song. Often times, maybe at the reprise of the chorus later in the song or maybe at the bridge, there’s a key change, or it’s louder and more passionate. When a song gives me chills like that, that’s what keeps me tuned in. There’s plenty of music that evokes feelings in me that I can’t even describe, but I guess great music can speak to you on every level!

  90. Angeline M says:

    I’m a “seasoned” (old) wordpress blogger who really enjoyed reading this. I have an old (huh, there’s that word again) I-Pod with Hawaiian and Mexican music….guess it’s time to load up some new tunes.

  91. truthspew says:

    You probably aren’t much older than I am. My iPod is stuffed with all sorts of music but trends on R&B/Jazz/Funk with a pretty wide streak of hip-hop in there. I like the early 80’s hip-hop by acts like Doug E Fresh, Dana Dane, Slick Rick, even early LL Cool J.

    Then there’s some newer hip-hop like Kanye West, Floetic, etc.

    The music also spans about six decades. Stuff I remember hearing as a kid that went back to the 1950’s, etc.

    • Bill Davis says:

      55… born in 55.

      I listen to music (excluding classical) from the 30’s to the present. But tend to feel the strongest bond with the songs from my early and mid teens.

  92. absolutely brilliant article. well done!!

    shameless plug for one of my old posts on a similiar ‘note’:

    • Bill Davis says:

      Shameless acceptance of your excessive praise! Well, actually… I’m not ashamed, but a bit humbled by it all. Glad you like it and I will now, in the spirit of WordPress goodwill, check out your shameless plug… thanks for that!

    • Bill Davis says:

      You’re welcome… so glad you enjoyed it. I found it fun to write, but seeing everyone’s responses and their own memories, likes, dislikes and playlists has been a real kick.

  93. r3dg3 says:

    I still listen to Time of the Season. I remember it being played to start the radio program in an FM station here in Manila, Philippines way back in the 90s where alternative music is played, music that the other stations never played. The opening bass lines of the Zombies song is infectious.

    I’m in my late 30s but I was introduced to cool music in the 80s by my mother’s officemate. I remember being in the 6th grade listening to my parents’ and aunt’s audio tape players, the likes of Tom Jones, The Platters, etc. Then my mother’s officemate introduced me to Eric Clapton, The Doors, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, etc.

    Up to now I listen to the old school.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Ah, the Zombies… back before the brain-eating type of zombie was cool. What’s your na-aaame? Who’s your daddy? Even the “who’s your daddy” line was from the 60s. So taga-Maynila ka? That’s great… we have a love-hate relationship with that city, probably like you do… we hate the traffic, but love the action, the music, food and people. We try to enjoy some great dates whenever we come up from Palawan. We’re checking out a new little chef-owned cafe in QC this Friday that some Twitter friends turned us on to.

      Tom Jones! Our first year in this country was in Lipa City, Batangas, where we studied Tagalog. Long, long ago. 1981. Yes. That long. I still remember Flores de Mayo where guys were singing Delilah from every subdivision’s stage. We could sit in our house and hear 3 or 4 of them at a time! It was totally de rigueur. Fun. Well, not if you wanted to sleep!

      Platters… awesome voices. Did you know they are still touring?! All the rest you mention… sarap din!

      • r3dg3 says:

        I’m at present residing in Quezon City. Pardon my ignorance, but have you been living in the Philippines for some time now? I don’t understand.

      • Bill Davis says:

        Yes, we’ve been living and working here since 1981!

      • r3dg3 says:

        I’ve been thinking, maybe Id’ write also about music and how I got into it. I’d love to share the soundtrack of my life. Life’s not always a bed of roses; when it wasn’t, music was there to see me through. I remember back then, when I was furious and/or happy, I’d play any Sex Pistols or Metallica song. When I was depressed or stressed out I’d play Enya’s.

        Good thing you’re doing us all a favor here by talking to us at great lengths.

        Keep writing, man!

      • Bill Davis says:

        Thanks…. if it’s in you, write it!

      • r3dg3 says:

        Uh ok. Thanks, man. Nice to know that. I look forward to seeing you write about that cafe in QC.

  94. D... says:

    My iTunes library is very eclectic, there are over 2,600 songs on there and growing. I listen to everything from Rap to Country, as long as it’s good. And oh yeah, the Allman Brothers are on there too, I love Mellisa. And I love Jazz, Sundays you can’t do better than a coffee and some So What.

    Thanks for a great read :). And the opportunity to think about what music will get me going in the future.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks… so glad you enjoyed it. It’s been fun seeing how this sparked everyone’s thinking. Music really pushes a button!

      So What? I know the Miles Davis song, but not the group. I better check that out.

      • D... says:

        I love music, I feel it speaks to us in a way normal speech cannot. I think that’s part of why it sparked so much conversation.

        For my money Kind of Blue is just a perfect album. I only wish I could have gotten it on vinyl. The little pops that vinyl plays just seems to add character. But that might sound looney. Miles Davis contributed to much to jazz, I’m just so glad we have all those recordings to document his development.

      • Bill Davis says:

        We love Kind of Blue… you’re right about the significance!

  95. thf2 says:

    GReat post! Loved it…made me think of what I used to love listening to in the day, that crossed over the years and is still being piped into my earphones…

    My personal tastes have not changed much. Hard rock…Rush…Zeppelin…Some amazing guitarists…Plant, Malmstein, Van Halen, Pannier, Rhoads, Lifeson, and of course The Edge. I grew up on Santana, and love to hear an old school song from his 20’s.

    If you’d like something guitar-based but driving and new-school, check out Akira Takasaki’s solo stuff. Far from a young guy, he was Loudness’ lead guitarist back in the 80’s to present, and he RIPS. Great stuff to work out to…

    Thanks again for a great post!


    • Bill Davis says:

      Glad it took you back… and thanks for the tip. Akira Takasaki? Hmmm. Interestingly, I learned of another Japanese guitarist named Masayoshi Takanaka in the 80s while cassette-shopping in Manila. He’s still going. He does amazing covers of Santana, George Benson, instrumental covers of Boz Skaggs’ “All Alone,” Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are,” etc. He’s (FINALLY!) on iTunes or other on-line purchase. I love his stuff. Check him out.

  96. richannkur says:

    A very nice article…

  97. Great blog Bill – my ipod playlist seem to be mostly Thin Lizzy and Big Country, twin guitars and songs about mountains and wild landscapes – could be a Scottish thing?!

  98. Ian Lunt says:

    What an emotive post! Have you had any sleep lately Bill? I marvel at you number of enthusiastic replies. For me, my iPod re-awakened me to so much great music that I had lost track of. All those old albums that, after a while I stopped listening to because of the terrible filler track half way through side one! Over time, I began to think of them as flawed and never listened to them again. Thanks to the iPod I remembered why I bought them in the first place. Playlists full of my favorite songs freed me from the dud tracks, and re-awakened me to think ‘wow, I did have good taste when I bought this, lots of these tracks are awesome!’ I appreciate the nostalgia for ‘old vinyl’ but mp3s have given me access to so so much awesome music. with great playlists I have every radio station And record collection that i could ever wish for, all on a tiny little box in my pocket. And i never have to listen to a dud again. Truly liberating! Thanks Again for a great blog.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Appreciate that, Ian. Thanks.

      Yes, skipping the duds is now possible.

      I haven’t missed any sleep yet, haha. I’m in the Philippines, so in this time zone I woke to find all this roaring along at 7 a.m. Now it’s 10:15 p.m. But it’s been a wild day, to say the least! 4,200 hits and a couple hundred comments!

  99. taste says:

    Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath I will never leave them. Of course Rory Gallagher.
    I’m under 30 and think the future will bring me Jazz. But I will always go back to 60s / 70s Rock, to Motörhead, the work of Grohl and Homme, etc. etc.

    But the future for me will me the history of Jazz, songwriters (from Pop to Folk), and of course music from the future.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Sounds like a great mix of old an new!

      • taste says:

        when i first the first time to Sabbath debut or saw the video from Rory at the Rockpalast i was blown away. And on the iPod it’s a mix of 70s heavy rock and hard rock from the 90s and now (Kyuss, Neil Young, The Cardigans, BRMC, etc.) .

        But eith web-radios and streaming it becomes easy to find some ‘new’ music for yourself.
        and I really love the sound tracks of good old movies.

        by the way, when i’m working out i don’t listen to music. want to find my rhythm, not the rhythm of changing music.

      • taste says:

        okay, my first words make no sense….

  100. Benny says:

    Yeah man! That sounds like a groovy iPod playlist you have going on there.
    I love me a bit of FZ, ‘Shut Up n Play yer Guitar’ is one of my favourite albums and I’m a huge fan of Clappo’s Cream days. That TONE!

    Neil Young’s ‘Dangerbird’ is today’s favourite on my iPod – I love that ramblin, shamblin’ solo style that Shakey has.

    Do you ever listen to Eric Johnson, I bet you do – here’s a link to a wicked EJ live take of ‘Rock Me Baby’ – – talk about a flying lead tone!

    • Bill Davis says:


      My brother-in-law couldn’t get into Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar and gave it to me. All 3 delicious CDs. It’s pretty out there and not melodic enough for most listeners, but I love it. And even though I love Santana, I have to chuckle at “Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression”! Ha… I IV, I IV (or C F, C F, etc.) Too funny.

      I love good ol’ Neil Young all the way back to the amazing Buffalo Springfield.

      And yes, Clapton got some amazing tone from a single-coil Strat.

      Don’t own any Eric Johnson, but I’ve seen him on Youtube, etc. He’s pretty amazing. Thanks for the link.

  101. talking about iPod, I cannot imagine my life without one. What a fvcking awesome gadget man.

  102. Jeff Story says:

    I’m there with you on the treadmill thing. Too many years of raising kids and eating cheap food so they could afford college. My wife bought me a 120G iPod for my 50th and I don’t think I’ll live long enough to fill it up. There are LOTS of 70’s tunes on it because I remember being happy back then and it seems to give me that little shot of “happy hormone” when I walk. Lots of Zep, Jeff Beck, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, and then on to later decades.

    I also have some Dream Theater, Planet X, and newer progressives, as well as Mozart, Liszt, Beethoven and so on. My sons make up the Mute Architechts (look them up on You-Tube sometime) so I listen to them as well. I enjoy Eric Whitacre, Randall Thompson, and Poulenc (I’m a choral director)–they make perfect cool-down music.

    The only thing I don’t have on my iPod is ME. I haven’t decided if it’s because I don’t want to be so obviously self-serving, or if I’m just not good enough to listen to!

    • Bill Davis says:

      I know, man… all these years of giving my body everything it wanted…. every single guacamole pepper jack cheeseburger, every French fry, every Coke… and it turns on me NOW?! It just ain’t fair. My friend calls it the Dreadmill or the Treadkill.

      Thank for the tips… I’ll check out Mute Architects and all…

  103. bandsmoke says:

    From rock to pop, classical to country – my tastes are dreadfully eclectic 😉 You will find anything from Deep Purple to Bon Jovi, Andrea Boccelli to Faith Hill – music keeps me sane and I’m getting my new ipod this weekend – Hooray 🙂

  104. Renegade Spark says:

    You know what there’s nothing worse than a music snob. You know someone who only likes one kind of music and refuses to listen to anything else. I was that music snob once, between June and July 1996 when I only listened to dance music – well I was living in Ibiza! You know what they say, variety is the spice of life and all that so it’s great to see that so many people have an open mind and will give anything a try. I’ve just had my iPod on shuffle and had The Carpenters follow Nine Inch Nails then Billy Joel followed by Aphex Twin. Gotta love variety bro! Nice blog by the way.

  105. Granted I am young, but my father raised me on Grand Funk, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, blues and much more. I currently am a huge metal head and love fast paced angry punk and Marilyn Manson, however I still get a craving for the fat sounds of Mel Schacer’s bass and the crazy drumming of John Bonham. Lately I have actually been wanting to listen to the older stuff more and have been on a HUGE Grand Funk kick this past week. Music for me is a way of life and therapy, it gets me through my day.

    • Correction, Mel “Schacher”.

      • Stu says:

        Mel was THE reason I picked up the bass back in the 70’s. Loved his early tone…he took a Fender Jazz Bass and installed a humbucker pickup out of a Gibson EB Bass in the neck position. Played through a wall of 15″ speakers powered by West Labs Fillmore amps. Story has it that during early live performances there would be one person who stood behind Mel’s stacks wearing protective gloves, and his sole responsibility was to swap put the red-hot tubes as they failed! (insert Tim Allen’s “Argh-argh-argh”).

      • Bill Davis says:

        Wow…. that’s a lot of power. I bet your friends loved that more than your neighbors.

        Didn’t know Bimford made amps, ha ha.

    • Bill Davis says:

      You got into some great music early, thanks to your dad. Yes, Bonham could really rock it. He gave Zeppelin a lot of their power.

      Music as therapy. Yessss…..

  106. nogr8trlove says:

    Hey Bill,
    I enjoyed reading your post:) My husband was born in 1969 and is soooooooooo a lover of music, I recognized some of the bands he listens to on your blog! He has always nurtured our childern in music from exposing them to an array of classic rock songs so my children the oldest being 14 also like “his” music and gravitate toward listening to and playing classic rock songs. My 11 year old just did a talent show at his school and with a couple of friends they played Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive, it brings my husband such joy to see them enjoy “his” music LOL! Thanks for the post

  107. Jessica says:

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed. I enjoyed reading this. You’ve earned a subscriber!

    “A culture, an era, a whole world. It’s all reflected in the music.” – Music is a powerful thing. I wish more people my age would appreciate it more.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thank you, Jessica and welcome aboard. Music is indeed powerful. Hope you enjoy the blog in the days ahead… any topics you want to hear about, let me know!

  108. Editor says:

    This morning I listened to The Charlatans eponymous album which I bought on the fisrt day of college back in 1995… with every swiel of the Hammond organ I remembered people and places I haven’t thought about for years

  109. r3dg3 says:

    I remember knowing about The Charlatans from my cousin. And I loved their songs although I never got hold of their albums. It was hard in the Philippines when The Charlatans first came out. We had no easy access to their albums and those of their contemporaries. I remember how ecstatic I was when I got Ned’s Atomic Dustbin’s God Fodder, and those other albums of Teenage Fanclub, The Stone Roses, EMF, Jesus Jones, anmong a few others. I was listening to them, alongside those of Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and some glam rock and grunge acts back in the 90s.

    I don’t listen much to new music, though.

    • Bill Davis says:

      That’s quite a mix!

      • r3dg3 says:

        It’s really quite a mix.

        I could explain. lol

        I grew up listening to Tom Jones, The Platters, Timi Yuro, The Beatles, and all the great 60s acts. Then I was introduced in the 6th grade to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Rainbow, Foreigner. In high school, I made an attempt to discover other genres in music. I never paid attention to what my peers were listening to. I did not try to be “in”. Old and new alike, I devoured all types of music. I listened to what I liked. I ignored album reviews and personal take on music by other people. On my own, I discovered The Clash, The Sex Pistols, CCR, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, The Stone Roses, Megadeth, Slayer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Youth, The Rolling Stones, Rage Against The Machine, Styx, Beastie Boys, Queensryche, Eraserheads, among many others.

        You can just tell how eclectic my music collection is. I don’t have an iPod. My sister has one, though. I listen to my music through a laptop connected to my Philips CD player, an old one, actually. It doesn’t play MP3s. My sister gave it to me a few years back.

  110. “Much of what is called “Classic Rock” was really jazz in disguise”

    Amen to that.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Stealth jazz! Many of the best rock musicians had classical training and then included jazz elements in their rock to give it depth. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  111. Felix O'Shea says:

    I’m only 21, but very old for my age! And my music reminds me that that’s okay. All the people I know go out and get drunk in clubs belting out new nonsense written by guys in suits to be dictated by Rihanna or Lady Gaga or whatever, and any time I start to hate myself for not knowing why I don’t let myself be part of that, I just make a cup of tea, sit down, chill out and grab my record collection and stick on some Led Zeppelin, Bowie, Tom Petty or a bit of the Stones if I’m in the mood. And I know that what music means to me is more important than anything else I may think I want.

    • Bill Davis says:

      Maybe not so much “old” for your age, as wiser… Don’t hate yourself but continue to chose the saner, reflective lifestyle with music which has more substance!

  112. SWK says:

    For myself as a classical musician, it’s classical music. Definitely has that sense of nostalgia as well as expression of a variety of emotion. It depends on the type of classical, though. Some of the new stuff is pretty exciting though difficult to listen to.

    Though I have a special fondness for Toxic by Britney Spears…

    • Bill Davis says:

      Hmmm… classical and B’s Toxic. I grew up on classical (listening and playing). Still enjoy some of it. Our wedding march was even the 2nd movement of Sonata Pathetique (and I played it, since we didn’t know anyone else who could!)

  113. I think you can see that music lovers abound. For me, music brings me back to specific places and specific times in my life. Play Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen,” and there I am… 16 years-old, at summer camp with my fraying gypsy skirt and my long, crazy hair. I am definitely a late 60’s-70s girl: Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stllls, Nash & Young; Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Dan Fogelberg, Joan Armatrading. I could go on.

    I try to bring as much of those oldies into my classroom because those lyrics are pure poetry, and these days my students seem to think that throwing the f-bomb into every other sentence makes you deep. That said, there are some great new folks, too. I am just too lazy to name them right now. Right now, I’m feeling 16 again.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Bill Davis says:

      For sure… the memory links are there and it creates a fun time warp. Sometimes “I’m sixteen” again, too. Then my aging body reminds me, nope. Not! And thanks…. I was pretty surprised and pleased by getting FPd.

  114. Anna says:

    Hi there, spotted your blog actually I got by the title, I find it cute and when I started reading I was like laughing hard lol~ sorry but I guess everyone could sense that you are very defensive bout the “old” huh.. hehe anyways, I am 21 from Philippines, I don’t have a father while growing up but I have two older brothers and they influenced me with songs from bon jovi and yeah eric clapton and so many old school legends and I so love it whenever I heard of their songs today I was like “oh that was when I was riding in the taxi going to somewhere I don’t remember with older brother blah blah blah..” things like that and I just like it, unfortunately my older brother died last 2008 but as you said with songs of this time it makes me go back and reminisce.

  115. thetownbug says:

    They don’t make artists like they used to, that’s for sure. LEGENDS were made years ago, now the music industry is overproducing the standard “artist,” if it is even possible to refer to them as such. Check out thetownbug’s ENTERTAINMENT page to find some music that might surprise you on what new talent is capable of, but is often times ignored. What could it hurt? >> Entertainment

    The Purple Melons will reminds you of a scenario where The Beatles, The Doors, Abba, Queen, and ACDC, meet, produce a love child, and cannot quite figure out who the love child belongs to.

    Mutlu will help you reminisce of the days when soul was where it was at; back then, Bill Withers meant something to everyone.

    Hockey brings back collaborations such as the Travelling Wilburys tearing up the musical front, allowing Dylan and Petty to really affect listeners.

    Aren Blake and Dr. Dog, other great artists on thetownbug.

    It’s true that there aren’t going to be many, if any, current artists where their echoes last for years, at least, not like the voices of generations such as those you mentioned. The record companies, for some reason unbeknown to anyone, do not want to showcase the new artists that continue to contribute to the legacy that legends before them left. For now, check out thetownbug, because we DO showcase these new artists. Check us out… we dare ya!

  116. D.A. says:

    What a cool post.. sorry I’m coming late to the game! Thanks for introducing me to a few new tunes…

  117. element119 says:

    I am fond of instrumental music, so I think I will check out what you mentioned in the first part of your post here. 🙂

    What defines me is I guess underground Hiphop music, I listen to that stuff a lot of the time. I am only 19 now so I don’t have as many memories as you do, but some tracks to take me back a couple of years, remind me of the emotions I had and the environments I was in. Some with the warmth of summer and spring, the others with the cold and ice of winter. Some of Oxford, others of London.
    Congratulations on being published here by the way! Hope to hear more from you.

  118. Good taste for an old man.

  119. martharodi says:

    Well I like your article…and the music you like too!!:)

  120. Thank you for your blog, this is very useful to me. Because I was new in the world of bloggers so please guidance yes.

  121. Pingback: 500 Words On The Power Of Music « Not Your Average Joe

  122. I was never really payed too much attention to instrumentals, but after I looked up some of the songs and artists you’ve mentioned, I’m delighted. I’m very random when it comes to music. I like anything that has a general melody. I’m 21, and I live about 45 minutes away from Philadelphia, most of the music around is hip-hop, But my taste seems to vary, lately, I’ve been leaning towards Christian hip-hop more. Less violent. Contemporary, and indie. Some 80s and I have this weird fascination with Clapton and a little of Jimmy Page…. Some Pop. Childhood 90’s boy-bands. And Jazz.
    Anyways, this post has given me a taste for more than just a pretty lyric, but a full appreciation to what makes a song full.
    (By The Way: Santana’s Europa is great!)

  123. Hannah says:

    I have recently started a blog and its nothing very impressive yet, but it is a class assignment and I am writing about music from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. I stumbled upon this and was completely caught up! My dad is a baby boomer and I was raised on music like this and even more if thats possible haha. I plan to be posting alot soon and I would love if you would had my to your blogroll and I will do that same for you! that would be great.
    ps. you have awesome music! 🙂

  124. Great blog! I appreciate you perspective. I’m a “younger” (28 yo) musician and still find myself listening the music of my “youth” and have memories attached to much of it, whatever emotions they may still bring. Thats a beautful guitar also! Who made it because it looks like a custom build?

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks for the comment and kind words. 28… like my youngest daughter (who also has awesome taste in music, ha. She listens to a lot of “my” music and I’ve taken some of hers, too). The guitar is indeed beautiful, but I just got it from an image search, so I don’t know who built it.

  125. This is so nice. Thanks for sharing.
    I don’t know what songs I’d be listening to 40 years from now. Songs are over played these days and they are not as well thought out that when their fifteen minutes of fame is done they sound so dumb and you start thinking what was I listening to.

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  128. fiveintow says:

    In which I discover I am in good company…congrats on being Freshly Pressed yourself!

    • Bill Davis says:

      Thanks, Kristen. It kind of blew my mind went I got up and had all those comments. I figured it was spam, then was… whoa! It really helped to jump start the blog a bit.

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