Friday, November 14, 2014

On The Edge Of Seventeen

I've always been an eclectic music fan.  My very favorite band when I was a toddler was Herman's Hermits; my mother's aunts(who were nuns, fer cryin' out loud!) loved to tell the story of my mad dance skills when that particular record was played.   Then I got into the old time-y country music of Hank Williams, George Jones, and Conway Twitty, because that is what my parents liked.

And then my brother and I got our own transitor radios.  And one of those kid-sized portable record players that were around in the seventies.  The only radio station available was the military station, and they played Top 40.  My brother and I loved to hear Casey Kasem count down to the top song in the country every week.  When we could talk my parents into it, we would buy records of the artists we loved.  Elton John and Donny Osmond ended up next to The Rolling Stones and The Who, who made room for AC/DC and Queen when the time came.

I turned 16 in 1981.  Reagan was president, the world was "this" close to nuclear annihilation, and we were all ready to forget about all of it.  The music was mostly annoying to me at that time, what with Elvira by the Oak Ridge Boys playing on the radio every 30 seconds, interspersed with Kenny Rogers, Dottie West and John Schneider of Bo Duke fame.  But Devo showed up to Whip It while The Police were all Don't Stand So Close To Me. We all could sense the change in the air, especially when Diana Ross sang I'm Coming Out.

So it's not surprising that one of my favorite songs at sixteen was While You See A Chance, by Steve Winwood, from the Arc of a Diver album.   I'd heard Steve Winwood before, when he sang for Blind Faith, and here he was, reinventing himself as a solo artist.  The lyrics to the song resonated with me:

"while you see a chance, take it, to find romance"

That song told me that I didn't need to wait for "The ONE" to show up at my door, like a good little girl in a trashy romance novel.  I could explore the world,  ride all the rides and see what I could see. If an opportunity presented itself, I would take it, I decided.  And that's exactly what I did, all through college. I danced and sang and wore bright colors and tight pants and had a blast.

Within reason, of course.   

Go check out Mamakat and her amazing Writer's Workshop! The prompt I chose was
6. What was your favorite song when you were 16 years old…is it still a favorite?


  1. I like the title. It has a great resonance.

  2. Wise words from Mr. Winwood. I did the same thing you did (mostly within reason, but not always). I did it for another ten years after college, too, then settled down at 32.

  3. Always have loved music, always will. Funny what we remember about it and how each song touches it.

  4. Now there's a trip down memory lane ... and thank you very much - I'll have a few of those songs on a playlist in my head for the rest of the day :)

  5. Most of the songs in this post made me smile and then want to dance with you.
    Within reason ...of course.

    Loved this story and insight into the teenage and college (Girl..we would have been fast friends :) )


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!