My sister took me to see Depeche Mode at The Hollywood Bowl last night, it was the second of four sold out shows (Which is a big deal)… I’m not going to lie, I walked away a little disappointed. It wasn’t a bad concert, it was really great. The band didn’t suck, their performance was solid. The venue did not let me down, nothing cooler than a sold-out show at the historic Hollywood Bowl! I was disappointed because they didn’t play the songs I wanted them to play. They played a comprehensive set that spanned their career and the crowd loved it… But it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, I wanted to relive the time in my life when Depeche Mode had the most impact and this set didn’t represent that. Obviously, no band is gearing their set-list to the desires of a 46 year old guy from Burbank and I don’t fault them. It did make me think about the emotional influence of music through out my life… Long before Spotify and Pandora my life had a playlist, it was sometimes on the radio, or vinyl, or cassette and cd, but that playlist has been gaining spins for 40+ years.
My earliest memories of music are hearing songs on the radio in my parents car, songs like “Summer Breeze” from Seals & Croft and “Witchy Woman” from The Eagles.
But the first album I really dug on my own was The Game from Queen, I can remember listening to it on a little record player on the floor of my room, Anytime I hear a track from that album I am transported back to being 9 and and playing air guitar on a tennis racquet. The first record I recall buying with my own money was the self-titled Suicidal Tendencies album in 1983, I purchased it at a store in the Glendale Galleria, the same store I bought The Cure – Head On The Door cassette which was my soundtrack through junior high school. I had loved The Cure thanks to KROQ, but that cassette was the first album I would actually own from them and it didn’t leave my Walkman for years. This is where Depeche Mode becomes my theme, right around the release of Black Celebration, that album will forever be my favorite from the band, so many things change in High School and that album was there for me during all of them! The jump from High School to what is basically adulthood is exciting and traumatic, luckily I had Pretty Hate Machine from Nine Inch Nails ringing in my ears. That time in the early 90′s was ruled by Industrial Music for me, bands like Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, Ministry and Front Line Assembly, But NIN always be the highlight. By the end of the 90′s things had changed a bit, I was at KROQ with Carson Daly and Third Eye Blind was breaking wide with “Semi Charmed Life”… I instantly loved that song and the entire self-titled album (I was lucky enough to take the kids to see that full album performed at The Greek Theater this summer!) That cd lived in the cd player in my Jeep, anyone who rode with me knew they would hear it. I don’t have one album from my years at STAR 98.7… I have one song! Don’t get me wrong, we played so many songs while I was there, but one song instantly takes me back to my early days at the station – Eagle Eye Cherry – “Save Tonight,” I can’t hear that song without being transported back to that station. It’s weird, but I don’t really have an album for my married years, but I do for my divorce, it was Avalance from Matthew Good (Who I have always been a fan of) who also recorded Hospital Music while going through a divorce and drama. Which brings me to now, I tend to listen to the bands I work with now, Boy & Bear, Passenger, Run River North and my current heavy rotation, SYML. That was the abridged version of the sound track of my life (Here’s a Spotify Playlist to check some of the tracks out ), there are so many artists and albums that mean so much to me… And thank you to Depeche Mode for not playing my favorite songs so I could revisit all these other artists!