Make your own kind of music
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
So I'm sitting in my dragon's lair, working on an amp with headphones on, listening to some great 70s tunes. And on comes "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Cass Elliot and it just hits exactly how I'm feeling. Heck yes, I'm going to do what I want to do even if nobody else sings along. Making tube amps isn't exactly a common thing to do, and I'm trying to let myself get even more creative and make stuff no one has ever seen before and maybe doesn't even like. That's cool.
I thought I'd put together a playlist of songs that have resonated, inspired or helped me in the past few years. I've shared before that I'm just like anybody, living a life filled with strikes and gutters, having a hard time with some stuff and using amplifiers as sort of channel for my emotions into something creative and awesome.
So here's my playlist and what these songs have meant for me. Hope you like it. What's your playlist? How are you making your own kind of music in your life?
Man in Me, Bob Dylan Now Bob Dylan is pretty much the perfect inspiration for my stick-it-to-the-man side. And some of this goes all the way back to watching The Big Lebowski, where Jeff Bridges as The Dude captured so perfectly the ideas of "that's just, like, your opinion, man" and "I can't be worrying about that s***, life goes on, man" and even more importantly, as Walter reminds us when things get really messed up, "F*** it, Dude. Let's go bowling." Dylan's song takes us into this movie, which was what I needed a few years back when my job was really putting me in a bad place.
Little Girl Blue, Janis Joplin I took a long road trip to Chicago and I think I listened to Janis the entire way. And she said to me, baby I know how you feel. I know you feel that you're through. My unhappy, my unlucky, my little girl blue. Yup. People know, they know you're unhappy. Know how you feel. It makes us feel better to know that someone gets it. The blues really are what we need sometimes. Because I was feeling pretty unhappy. But. Just sit there. What else have you got to do.
I Can't Make it Anymore, Richie Havens
This is a great album. Richie Havens just seems like a cool guy. We all probably feel sometimes like we're not sure we can make it anymore. Fortunately, we usually do make it.
Classic album. JJ Cale has a great sound that makes me feel good when I listen to it, and this song in particular is just the right one. Play it on vinyl if you can, and just for a minute, forget you even have a cell phone and an e-mail address and a pile of work to do.
Burning the Heather, Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are one of my fixtures. I spent some time last year walking a 5k every day (yes, every day, rain or shine!) and I often would play these guys over and over. This song hit home with a feeling of not being in a particular place very long, seasons changing and time moving along. Give me a drink, and I'll be gone.
Maggie's Farm, Bob Dylan I'm getting close, but not quite ready to say that I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more. You know what I mean? I'm saving the pennies. Counting the days. Lots of us are slaves to a job we don't like. Mine is actually pretty good on balance, and I'm very grateful for it, but it's taking a lot out of me and I'm not sure how long I can last, or want to. Seriously, I got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane, and it's a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor.
Alone, The Pretenders Now Chrissy Hind really gets it. I like being alone! Get into the dragon's lair where I can work on some amps, turn on The Pretenders, and this is a perfect song for feeling good. I'm just starting to figure out a bit more of myself. I'm introverted, though it's not like I want to be isolated. I need people around me, and interactions. But still, I'm at my best, I'm where I belong--Alone!
Can't go wrong with The Grateful Dead. Ripple is just a perfect song to put on and have fun doing something I like to do. Usually that means making stuff!
Make Your Own Kind of Music, Cass Elliot
This is the one that prompted making a playlist. I just want to make my own kind of music and not worry what anybody else thinks. Why is this so hard to do sometimes? It shouldn't be hard to be ourselves. The last thing I want to do is retire and grow old and look back and feel like I had to be what people around me wanted or expected. I am just me and that's pretty awesome.
I Shall Be Released, Jerry Garcia Band
The song of a prisoner waiting to be released. I'm way too privileged to really relate to this, but we all feel down sometimes. Maybe depressed. Maybe even getting some help with that, right? Yeah. No matter why it is, where we are, whether right or not, it still eases the pain a bit to just think... Any day now. Any day now. I shall be released.
Here's a link to this as a Spotify Playlist