One more for the Road (or Uncle Brian’s Mixed Tape) – (A When Rock and Roll Dreams come through anecdote)

So, when I was a teen of about thirteen, my Uncle Brian (My Mother’s Brother) took me and my sister to the movies to see, The Boy who could Fly. When we arrived at his place, I could smell the warm smell of colitas wafting in the air. So, we all went to the movie, but that’s not what this tale is about.

I was talking to my uncle about music and he hands me a tape (a cassette tape, look it up on Google, if you don’t know what I’m talking about) “Listen to this.” So, we went home and I went to bed. The next day I put the tape in and the musical journey began.

I, honestly don’t remember all of the songs on it, but these ones stuck with me.

I know it started with…

Chuck Mangione’s Feel So Good
I’m pretty sure it was the radio edit of this cut, but I’m going to share the long version, because I can. This was my first introduction to Jazz and I still love listening to it. The guitars and horn seem to touch something within me, the smooth jazz it soothes my soul.

Next came…

Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street
This introduced me to Saxophone in Pop and Rock and it spoke to me. That powerful sax melody makes the song more powerful and drives it on. It’s probably one of the most recognizable sax riffs ever. This song, interestingly enough also introduced me to the guitar solo, the solo near the end is powerful and leads back into the sax riff. As I said the song moves me and mixes sad and sweet all together to be a go to feeling down song.

And then…
Boz Scagg’s Lido Shuffle
I love the rising action of this song, the driving shuffle always rising and moving forward. It never fails to pump me up and reminds me that the future can hold wonder, if you just look for it and never give up.

So we come to a pair of songs…
Robert Palmer’s Sailing Shoes/Hey Julia
These two will be ever locked together in my mind because of this mix.
There just fun songs and Hey Julia seems to have informed some of my thoughts on love. “And I sure would like to handle what’s between your ears”, this line informs me that women minds are just as sexy as the rest of them.

Steeler’s Wheels Stuck in the Middle with You
Yes, I knew about this song way before Reservoir Dogs came out. It was my first introduction to countrified rock and steel guitar. It opened the door for Southern Rock and Folk Rock as well.

Carly Simon’s Nobody Does it Better
Again I heard this song before I saw the Bond movie, but in some ways this informed my love of those films. I still sing parts of this song when I’m in bed at night. I suppose as a Lullaby to myself.

Songs I don’t remember where on the tape it was…

Elton John’s Teacher I Need You and Burn down the Mission
Burn down the Mission is one of my favourite Elton John songs.
But both these songs introduced me to piano in rock music and to Elton John.

These are some of the songs that formed some of my musical taste during my teen years. I love them all and I owe my Uncle Brian for introducing them to me.


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