The following is a brief excerpt from the book entitled That’s It.!? We are the hero of our own story, what’s the soundtrack of your story?!
– Life is like a movie…and man you gotta have a great soundtrack!!
Hearing the music we gather strength. Love kindles with melody. Music feeds a lover’s composure, and provides form for the imagination. Music breathes on personal fire and makes it keener.
Without music life would be a mistake.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
All day and night, music,
a quiet, bright
Reed song. If it
Fades, we fade.
Mike recalls…In the midst of another ordinary work week, I thought I would try an experiment. One of the cool aspects of my job in the “non-hazardous solid waste and recycling (garbage) industry is the diversity of the people I get to deal with. On a daily basis I deal with the roughest trash truck driver you can imagine, and also mayors of towns, city council members, lawyers, etc…. I had an excellent cross section of people to test this music theory. I have many people in my office every day. I also have one of those little Bose ipod music players in my office. For a few weeks, whenever someone would come in to my office I would as them what their favorite music was. The results were interesting and compelling! This was during budget time, so I would have department managers in my office for more than just a few minutes as we worked with their individual budgets. One day our 50 something year old maintenance manager, who had no shortage of troubles in his personal and professional life, replied to the question, “Well, everything really. When I was younger I was into classic rock.” So I selected my classic rock playlist and let it go. As we poured through the many spreadsheets and evaluated the budgetary needs for each one of our 60+ trucks, the tune “American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad came on. Before the song came on, we were doing a nice job working through the trucks, then it came on. He stopped what he was doing, looked up and at the stereo and said, “Wow, this was my favorite song when I was young.” “Oh yeah?” I replied like some lab scientist observing a lab rat as I turned it up. He went on to describe, with a gleam in his eye, memories from his youth. From that point on he was much more upbeat and positive through the rest of the meeting!
Our customer service manager came in next. She said she was into “80’s alternative”. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that, so I asked her to clarify. “You know, the Cure and Squeeze and stuff.” I put on my 80’s playlist as we continued to talk about the budget and other business. Sure enough, some tune came on and she lit up, “Wow – I haven’t heard that one in a really long time.” She too was compelled to tell me about one of her high school memories and then, with high energy, how her husband was really into classic rock and home-brewing beer. Yeah we were still getting our work done, but it was now with added positive energy. Now…that’s it!!!
On the road for forty days
A-booze n ladies keep me right,
As long as we can make it to the show tonight
We’re an American band
We’re coming to your town, we’ll help you party it down!
– Grand Funk Railroad “We’re an American Band” (We’re an American Band 1973)
Simply put, people need to listen to more music. Turn, crank or click it up! Go back and dust off some of those tunes from ten or twenty years ago. Fire them up and see how they feel. Many of those bands you liked back in the day are still putting out credible music. Go find it! Like we said earlier, what doesn’t work is some lame ass excuse like “But I just don’t have the time.” You have the time. With today’s technology connecting with new music or some classic blast from your past is easy. You can go on emusic, itunes, spotify, or amazon.com, type in name and you’ll see a group’s entire discography. In many cases you can even hear a sound byte of the song in question. A number of these sites will also give you recommendations based on your interest in a particular band or genre. Check’ em out. We guarantee that you’ll get fired up and will feel something!
We’ve spent many a weekend gathered around computers and ipods with our buddies picking out songs. These “jam sessions” always seem to take on a life of their own. One song leads to the next, followed by a story or two which then leads to the next song. There’s usually a beer or three consumed in the process and a lot of times we’ll burn discs of our compilations. Once back in the working man’s work week, we’ve found these discs and playlists to be worth their weight in gold and listen to them every chance we get. It’s like having a stash of rocket fuel and you gotta work it into the mix every chance you get. Whether you’re commuting the kids, in the office, at the gym, or the kitchen counter…let the music play!