Saturday, May 14, 2016

Well, this is embarrassing...

Every few months, I see a new bunch of my friends responding to that meme that asks you to list ten albums that changed your life. Often, they say that it's tough to narrow it down to ten.

I love music.

When I try to think of albums that changed my life, that just seems silly.

I can list my favorite albums for you. In fact, I've done that before. They include War (U2), Stealing Fire (Bruce Cockburn),  Armed Forces (Elvis Costello) and Rumours (Fleetwood Mac). I've been listening to all of them for decades. Sometimes they brighten my day or strike just the right note. Sometimes they bring back a memory that makes me smile out of nowhere, or create the soundtrack of a new moment.

Not one of them, so far as I can imagine, has had the slightest impact on the course of my life.

Recently, after the latest round, I asked my daughter (who would have trouble restricting herself to ten) whether I had an album that had changed my life.

She immediately said no. And then she smiled. It was a big smile, a happy smile, and yet somehow an evil smile.

And then she said, "Yes. There's one."

I said, "No."

But, I will admit that my eyes widened, and I may have put my hand over my mouth. Because, there was one album that literally changed the course of my life, and it

This isn't one of those guilty pleasure things. I actually don't like this album. 

If you've ever met me, you know that I am not the least bit self-conscious about being a hardcore Rick Springfield fan. I love his writing. I love him as a human. I even like a lot of his music.

Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet is his worst album. That's subjective, of course, but also kind of not. It's the lightest weight, the least personal and the most overproduced.

But, it was the first Rick Springfield album I owned. I did like it when I was 15...enough to buy the next album, and the next. Enough to find myself, at 7, sitting under a white on white poster associated with a much better album, typing on a blue portable Smith-Corona and thinking about one day writing a book about Rick Springfield.

Probably, if you're reading this blog, you know the rest of the story. No question that was a life-changer. But, I still really, really wish I had a different answer.