OPINION

From the Editor's Desk - the soundtrack of my youth

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic

Last week we lost my favorite rock icon. I told family members and work colleagues that I was holding a vigil in my home office, complete with Meat Loaf power hours, sack cloth, ashes, and optional ruffled tuxedo shirts.  The "interns," my two dogs, did not quite understand it, why mom was dancing in the middle of the workday.  (Actually might have more resembled 30 minutes to closing on Karaoke Night, when the drinks have flowed liberally.)

Anything off the Bat of Hell album was the best soundtrack for the Saturday morning household purification ritual.  Suddenly the vacuum cleaner was a prop for the title song, a mop with the dust rag tied to it, was a microphone with the essential scarf, and stage theatrics made house cleaning fun for the three little girls who had zero interest in it without a musical script. Somewhere along the line, some of them learned an appreciation for 70's and 80's Rock and Roll. 

Meat Loaf was not the only artist blaring from the 83 Camaro as it dropped kids off at the baby sitter.  So many of the "Classics" were the soundtrack of my teens and 20's.  Now I have to actively seek them out on the oldies stations, on the drives from home to Geneseo.  

Some years ago, I realized I knew all the words to the songs they play in the grocery store.  When did grocers decide that Creedence Clearwater made sense to smell lemons to?  Or that Foreigner made selecting cereal less tedious?   My oldest called me one Sunday morning to tell me she was standing in the checkout lane at her Giant Eagle in Cleveland, and Head East's "Save My Life, I'm Going Down for the Last Time" belted across the speakers, but in her head the only voice she hears is mine.  Head East equated with Charmin?  Oh, the travesty!

So, the next time you find yourself in the store, with the soundtrack to your younger self is playing in the produce department, let your hair down.  Let your inner rock star have its'  fifteen minutes of fame.  Belt out that chorus like Janis Joplin, after all, the potatoes have eyes, the corn has ears. Sometimes that's all the audience you need. 

As for me, Marvin Aday taught me that music is theatre, and all the world's a stage.  Even if it is my home office, or the grocery store. Rest well, Meat Loaf.  

Beth Welbers editor Henry County Republic