There’s this “game” I like to play with my wife while we’re in the car involving the radio. She hates it so much. Basically, I grew up listening to so much “Classic Rock” that I can pretty much instantly identify the artist and song title of 99.999% of songs played on radio stations with a classic rock format. My wife, a casual music lover, hates it when I switch on the radio and ask: “Do you know who this is?” Sometimes I give her little clues, sometimes I don’t. Occasionally she’ll offer a few guesses before giving up, but most of the time she complains and says things like “I don’t like this game” or “Turn the radio off.”
I can’t help it. My mind is a catalogue overflowing with classic rock song/artist data. It’s actually pretty embarrassing considering all the other things I have trouble remembering (like my wedding anniversary). The only time that this information is useful is when we play bar trivia. And as I get old, I don’t do that nearly enough to justify all this useless knowledge.
Now that I’ve relocated to Colorado, I’ve had to cancel my paid Spotify subscription and navigate my new city’s radio stations. After trying a few out, I landed on a pretty good classic rock station that does a good job of playing hits while also spinning deeper album cuts. And while I’m shocked to learn that Red Hot Chili Peppers are now considered classic rock…I’ve been happy overall with my new radio station (99.5FM The Mountain in case you were wondering). There’s a DJ that does a mid-day segment called the classic rock resurrection where a song not typically played in rotation is spotlighted. I’ve heard a few of these, and while I might not have always known the exact song title, I always knew the artist.
That is until last week. Last week I was totally 100% stumped by one of these resurrections—I couldn’t place the artist or the song title. It was vaguely familiar and from the production I could tell it was definitely recorded in the 1980’s. But I was shockingly stumped. Luckily for me, the Shazam app was able to quickly inform me that I was hearing “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil. Unlike my wife, I actually get really excited whenever I hear an old song I don’t recognize. And I get twice as excited when I end up liking a song I’ve never heard before. So this week I’ve been listening to Midnight Oil’s 1987 album DIESEL AND DUST, which I’ve discovered is really, really good.
Moral of the story: I don’t know as much as I think I do and there’s nothing wrong with not knowing what’s always on the radio.