Life In Retirement/My Favorite Influential Songs

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Let’s start with the fact that since I am now retired, I was VERY happy and relieved to get my SSA check yesterday, just the regular, barely enough amount, enough to pay rent and most all of my bills, I love the electronic transfer so that the money is direct deposited, no more scouting for the mailman’s appearance like in the old days, and OMG if they ever lost the check, you would be screwed, and have to scramble to get the money and make excuses and pay penalties etc….
I have been on disability for a year before, so I remember the feeling, it was in 1999 and I loved it, I thought I was going to retire on SSI because I hurt my back badly enough to get a years worth of state disability, that never happened because the Feds denied my claim…. But actually, I can say it worked out better because I am getting more money now than I would have then, it’s funny how things work out….
Somehow, it seemed like I had more fun that year than I am having these years in retirement, maybe because I blew my truck driving job of 20 years extra retirement money on sex, drugs and rock and roll, all sorts of  on creature comforts that year…. Like tons of cable movies, attending baseball games, eating well and even writing a book, never published but still ready to be published with a little polishing, it was about the Summer of Love in San Francisco and the Haight Ashbury experience that I experienced first hand….I still plan on dusting it off and submitting it for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017…. I don’t know why, but that one year off in 1999 really opened my eyes to the reality of space and time and our perceptions of it….
It was right after that idyllic one year interlude that I re-invented myself, I  took some basic computer skills classes for free at the Episcopalian church annex on  Howard street in San Francisco, I did that every day…Then because it was in the middle of the dot.com boom, I hired myself out as an office temp, which I wasn’t very proficient at, but that was how I scored the corporate real estate desk job I worked the last 12 years before I retired…. Again, it’s funny how things work out…..

I transformed myself from a truck driver with a bad back to an office worker, traded in my blue collar for a white collar job, had to wear a suit and tie (ugh!) the last 12 years…I am so VERY glad that particular penance has been paid, I will never go back to work again, but I DO need to develop some alternate non traditional revenue streams to keep my financial ship afloat, well “que sera, sera,” (whatever will be, will be,) right now I just got my SSA check so I will have this month covered, that is as far ahead as I have to deal with right now….

Again, for the record, I just want to transcribe and record ALL my songs, as a project, as a legacy for my daughter, and hopefully I can sell at least one song, be a one hit wonder! Yes, I would love to sell just ONE song to some established group and live off the royalties, I DO have a lot of songs and there ARE a lot of one hit wonders out there, THAT would definitely enhance my revenue stream! And, BTW, personally vindicate my artistic side!.…Or maybe just post one of them and hope it goes viral on You Tube!…That seems to be the wave of the future anyway….
I also spend a lot of time cruising the net now that I am retired, so I am stuck in my old pattern of staying up usually until 2 am and eating right before I go to bed….The good thing is that it doesn’t really matter anymore, and I am truly glad to be free of the tyranny of the alarm clock, I don’t even plug it in except on Saturday nights so I can get up at 8 am Sunday mornings to do my laundry and be ready for the 10 am kickoffs for NFL Football….And truthfully, thanks to the magic of my DVR, I am slowly weaning myself off the alarm clock completely and permanently…
I have said it before and I will say it again, money is funny! When you have it, it means nothing! When you don’t have it, it means everything! All I can really count on is hopefully waking up each day, and then dealing with the problems of that one particular day, and I have to do that each and every day, because we are all only granted 1 day at a time anyway…I am happy when I wake up each day, at least that means I didn’t die in my sleep, although I hope to go by that route when the time comes, but it is like I have no time to even worry about that right now, not that it matters…….
What I want to do is to live to be a healthy 100 years old and I don’t see why I can’t , at least I DO have the good genes, my mom is 88 and going strong, and all of my potential medical symptoms, e.g., slightly borderline cholesterol and slightly elevated blood sugar have been diagnosed and I am being treated for them….Also I have gotten a yearly checkup every year for the last 5-10 years too so nothing much has changed, except I seem to have shrunk down to an average of 183#’s, well that is fully dressed, I’m around 6′ tall, but I don’t seem to gain or lose weight no matter what I eat….I haven’t drunk alcohol for 20 years and have quit smoking too, going on 8 months now…
I am still SO happy that I have finally escaped work world, and maybe this whole financial miscalculation I am still beating myself up about mentally can provide a mental spur to my original plan, which was to somehow come up with an alternate flow of revenue to sustain me…This is not the best time to be in the stock market, but I don’t have much to lose anyway and I want to at least see if I can garner any money that way, it’s worth a shot…..I am a small time nickels and dimes investor, playing it safe as possible…
I have been busy downloading tons of songs on my cell phone, I just go to You Tube and there they are, the hard thing is picking which VERSION of the song to play, You Tube has like 50 different versions of every song anyway, and the sound quality is sketchy, some good, some bad, but all free, I guess that by posting their songs on You Tube, the artists are giving an implicit ok to copy them unlike the whole stupid Napster fiasco of a few years ago, when certain artists mistakenly shot down Napster, which DECREASED their songs circulation and availability…
As a matter of fact, I think that is how most bands get “discovered” these days, if they post on You Tube, and if they get a lot of “hits” the record company THEN comes sniffing around the artist’s door with a contract….This is the exact opposite of how it used to be, but I think it is all for the better, and the technology is out there, you can’t stop it, it is going to be used if it is available...This is what I was talking about a little earlier, submitting my own song to You Tube and hoping it goes viral….
 
This is my current playlist available on my You Tube at any time, these are all songs that have moved me, influenced me, inspired me, consoled me, made me cry, made me happy over the years…Now I  have a long list of songs on my play list,  I will list my favorites, in no particular order of relevancy:
Natalie Merchant is effervescent in 10,000 maniacs, “Talking About the Weather,” George Thorogood,  “I Drink Alone,” a great LIVE version in some Mississippi bar of “Bad to the Bone,” and “1 Bourbon, 1 Scotch & 1 Beer,”….The  Romantics, “What I Like About You,” Bob Seeger, “Fire Down Below,” REM, “Man on the Moon,” Tom Petty, “Last Dance with Mary Jane,” also “A Face in the Crowd,” Berlin, “The Metro, great tune, I can’t get a good version of their smash single “Sex” though, it is all distorted live sessions….
Still with me? Lets go way back, I have a GREAT collection of the Everly brothers, “Wake up Little Susie,” “Dream,” “Cathy’s Clown,” they have a lot of good songs,  I think they were more or less overlooked when the transition to the English music invasion began in earnest….Moving up to the 1980’s and the MTV popular heavy rotation songs, “The Motels, “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer,” Linda Ronstadt,  classic songs like  “Think I’m Going to Love You for a Long, Long Time & “Your No Good,” Greg Kihn, “The Breakup Song,” Warren Zevon, “Werewolves of London,” Bonnie Tyler, “It’s a Heartache.”
Speaking of MTV, a good answer to a trivia question, What was the first video MTV ever played? The answer is The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star,”…Then there is always Neil Young, so many, many great songs, he is a personal favorite of mine, but how about the  great jams on “Hello Mr. Soul and “Hey Hey, My My….I also have the Smithereens, “A Girl Like You” & “Blood and Roses,” the more recent crossover band Perry with their Grammy winner song “If I Die Young,” Kim Carnes, classic one hit wonder,” Betty Davis Eyes,” Golden Earring, “Twilight Zone” and “Radar Love”…..
Or  how about the Johnny Cash version of  “Hurt,” the old Trent Reznor from 9 inch nails song, Billy Joel, “Piano Man,” the always romantic Rod Stewart, with  “Maggie May” and “If I Listened Long Enough to You,”  the Grateful Dead’s only top 10 song, “Touch of Gray,” Credence Clearwater Revival’s version of  “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” with the long extended guitar solo version…..Or Wall of Voodoo with “Mexican Radio,” Wheezer, “Beverly Hills” and “Sweater.”
I have weird songs like Johnny Cash doing “Ghost Riders in the Sky, Bonnie Raiit, playing slide guitar, she is the best, even some Jack White garage band songs for simple rock energy…I play these songs mostly when I do my exercises, it gives me extra energy, sort of like a low tech, no cost gym.
I miss listening to  my car radio music every day twice a day and on lunch breaks…. When I used to be a member of work world, I used to be able to catch up on the new songs that way, but now I only basically drive on Mondays and Fridays, so that cuts that opportunity way down….It seems like I have all the time in the world, now that I am retired, but the days speed by as quickly as ever, I don’t know how I EVER had time to work!
I am sure a lot of my music will be familiar to my generation, the baby boomers, the greatest force of adults to ever move through the society and the political landscape en masse in a contiguous bloc…Of course we all have our individual differences but taken together we are still a force to be reckoned with, we always were and we always will be…..I just felt compelled to write down these songs today for some reason….
So these are some of the many, many songs that have shaped, molded and influenced my life, I hope many of them are your favorites too, and I am sure I have left tons off this list, this is just what I currently listen to on my You Tube playlist….I am sure you all have your own set of favorites too, because I write my own songs and play music my list is rather eclectic, but all these songs I have listed here as some of my favorites evoke tremendous emotional responses, energy boosts and waves of nostalgia in me….
To me, music is what makes the world go round, it always has and it always will, peace out…..

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