Last night I watched Rush, one of the longest touring bands, play their final major show. My emotions ran high as they went back in time and played songs from their 41-year history.
My earliest memory of music was sitting in the front seat of my dad’s ’94 Ford Mustang. Pink Floyd blasted through the speakers as he drummed his thumbs on the steering wheel and sang enthusiastically. I liked how powerful the music sounded. My dad was cool when he sang the songs. He looked like a rock star through my kid eyes. My mom worked a lot so I was often around my dad during my childhood. He would play music through the house on the stereo really loud even when I was a little kid. I remember it like it was yesterday. I would often steal his tapes and CD’s when I finally got a boombox of my own. I remember this one time I took his Argent tape and listened to “Hold Your Head Up” on repeat. That song really spoke to a six-year-old Shannon. Before I could ride a bike, I knew Pink Floyd sang about animals and Rush’s Tom Sawyer was still the coolest song ever and not some historical figure. I looked up to my dad for a lot of reasons but one of them was his taste in music. He introduced me to The Beatles and Hey Jude which is still one of my favorite songs. When I was in high school, one of my friends dated a guy in this band that played classic rock songs at local bars. I would go meet my friends and bring my parents because I knew they would enjoy watching 17-year old boys kill The Who’s Pinball Wizard. I would borrow my dad’s CD’s and import them onto my iPod so I could listen to them in my first car. The lyrics, the music and overall feel of these bands really inspired my taste in music long into my college years.
When I turned 18, I made a pact with my dad. I made him promise that we would go and see one of the many bands he had inspired me to listen to even if it was a long time before we got around to it. My chance came in the spring of 2008. I was a freshman in college sitting in my College Algebra class when my dad called me. My dad never calls unless it’s an emergency so I was worried at first. I ran out of class and answered in a hurry. He said that he had just bought tickets to see Rush, the Canadian Power Trio, in Orlando that April and we were going. I was ecstatic! We were going with two of his best friends from high school so I knew it was going to be a great time! When the concert came, I was really sick. I had lost my voice but I didn’t care. I skipped school so I could drive out to Orlando with my dad and his two friends to see one of the longest touring rock bands in history! The concert was amazing and my dad was like a kid again. He sang all the songs and rocked out with his buddies. We challenged ourselves to pick what the first song they would play and I was the only one who guessed it correct-Limelight.
My 2nd generation music tastes came in hand when I met my husband. The night we met we bonded over many things and music was one of them. It was that evening that we both found out that we had attended the same Rush 2008 concert before we had even met each other. It was the first time we had both seen them live.
Music today just doesn’t live up to the classic rock from the ’60s and ’70s. The industry was still very new and uncharted which meant artists could really experiment with their sound. In college if I ever had a rough day I would drive home from class listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon album. I got lost in the music. One day I hope to pass on this 2nd generation music to my own kids and continue on the long running tradition of classic and progressive rock.
As Rush played my favorite song last night, I couldn’t help but feel thankful to my father for passing their music on to me.