Music Wordcloud

As we have been flipping through our CDs and selecting CDs for our five disc player, I have been reflecting on the music that influenced me the most throughout my life. I thought I would share with you a similar series as I did on books that influenced me over the years. This week, we discuss what music was filling my ears in the mid to late 80s. What songs kept the attention of this active teenager as he went through some challenging life experiences?

Much of my music during Junior High and High School was unintentional. It was whatever was playing at sporting events, school dances, the roller rink, or on the radio in the car. Add to that I was a band geek so I spent a lot of time playing and listening to concert band, marching band, and pep band music.

Child of the 80s

First and foremost, I was in my formative years in the 80s so I have a passion for 80s bands to this day. Whether the radio was playing 80s pop, rock, or heavy metal, I was into it. My friends and I had our boom boxes with cases of cassettes ready to play on a moment’s notice. Still shocking to find all my music playing on “classic” radio stations now. My favorites to this day are the Rush, Bangles, Eurythmics, Kansas, Styx, Queen, Toto, Metallica, Whitesnake, ELO, Cyndi Lauper, and many other single songs from various bands.

Broadway Musicals

It was during high school that I was introduced to Broadway Musicals and saw my first live show, Cats. To this day, I love listening to Broadway Musical Soundtracks and seeing them live when I can. I have even been blessed to see a few shows on Broadway in NYC. Like many others, I loved the classics of Cats, and Phantom of the Opera at the time. Others I didn’t learn about until later in life. More to come!

Hard Rock and Metal

During the mid to late 80s I delved more and more into harder rock and metal after my parents’ divorce. The harsher sounds, more furious beats, and the emotional lyrics spoke to me in that darker time in my life. I was angry and wanted my music as angry as me. As I healed, I found the music still spoke to me and the lyrics were deeper than I realized. There are still many hard rock and metal bands I listen to today. College expanded that interest, as you will read.

CCM – Contemporary Christian Music

My future step-dad found a language we could speak to build a relationship, and that language was music. He knew I liked hard rock and metal, so he wanted to introduce me to bands he enjoyed. He gifted me the vinyl album Barnabas “Approaching Light Speed” so we could listen to it on his stereo system. And slowly shared with me other CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) bands he loved like Resurrection Band, Petra, Degarmo & Key, and Whiteheart. My first ever casette as that medium came was Randy Stonehill “Love Beyond Reason” that I won from a radio show that my step-dad DJed. My first live concert was with my step-dad when we saw Steve Taylor and Some Band at Taylor University. While the lyrics didn’t speak to me at first, the different musical styles and sounds I hadn’t heard on the radio yet inrigued me and I fell in love with CCM and Christian Rock. Still listen to it today.

That gives you a few ear worms from the #TeenageKnight’s listening habits that continue to influence me today. What music influenced you as a teenager?

Check back next week as we delve into the increasingly personal lyrics and sounds of a #CollegeKnight.

What music influenced a #TeenageKnight?

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