There are monumental events that happen in life when you always remember where you were and what you were doing when it happened, like when JFK was shot or when the twin towers fell. Depending on our interests, there are things that happen that are important to us but maybe not so much so to the majority of the world, like the day you graduate from High School or the day you get married. Music has always been an important part of my life so there are a few events in musical history that have been important to me and a few others I know.
That being said- there are certain songs have stuck in my mind through the years and I remember where I was and what I was doing the first time I ever heard them.
- Like the first time I ever heard “More Than Words” by Extreme, it came on the video monitors when I was standing in line to get on the Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags Over Texas.
- The first time I ever heard “Love Shack” by the B52s I was enjoying a fajita plate at the Hard Rock Cafe in New Orleans.
- The first time I heard “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas it interrupted a heated discussion I was having with my wife about which movies we were going to rent for the weekend at the Hastings Music Store in Brownwood.
- The first time I heard Peter Tosh’s version of “Johnny B Goode” I was sipping a Red Stripe on a beach in Montego Bay listening to Reggae on my Walkman.
- The first time I heard Candy Dulfer’s “Lily Was Here” I was enjoying good times with friends in the bar at the Brownwood Country Club.
- And going waaaaay back- the first time I ever heard Dee Clark’s “Raindrops” I was still in Junior High and working setting pins (yes by hand) at the old Maple Lanes Bowling Alley in downtown Brownwood, Tx.
There are also tragedies in the music industry that will forever stick in my memory. Those like the day Elvis died. I was working at Banner Printing when Sam Coursey came overn to my press and told me he had just heard it on the news. Sam and I were both lamenting about missing the one golden opportunity we had in our lives to see him perform live in Abilene just a few weeks before. Well actually Elvis did perform at the old Memorial Hall in Brownwood but Sam and I were too young at the time to even realize who Elvis was or how important he would become.
Yesterday being the 26th anniversary of the death of Stevie Ray Vaughn reminded me of where I was when I first heard of the loss. I was working at Wes-Tex printing in Brownwood and I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know Robert Lee Balderrama during the brief time he worked there. He went to lunch one day and came back to tell me heard on the noon news that Stevie Ray was killed in a helicopter crash. Robert Lee had been the lead guitarist for Question Mark and the Mysterians when they had their big hit “96 Tears”. I remember his gold record hung for a while in his cousin Arturo’s music store in Brownwood and I always enjoyed what he had to say about guitarists and music in general. Robert Lee didn’t stay in Brownwood long when he wisely decided to return to Michigan and pursue his musical career in smooth jazz. Thought you might enjoy his latest video so you can check it out below.