The other day I thumbed through my iPod music playlist and stopped at the playlist “UAHS Rock.” (UAHS stands for Upper Arlington High School, from which I graduated in June, 1975.) It’s a list of about 200 songs I remember listening to during my three years attending high school as a Golden Bear. (In those days, classes were so huge that the freshman year was spent in junior high. I think my graduating class had about 890 people in it.)
I wrote about the playlist some years ago, but it had been years since I’d listened to it. My musical tastes have broadened quite a bit since my high school days, and lately I’ve been enjoying classical music from the baroque era. But I got the sad news that one of my high school classmates had passed on, and it made me think about those days and the music I associate with it. Once I started playing the music on the playlist, I felt the stirrings of my 17-year-old self, sitting in my room at our split-level family home in “new Arlington” and listening to records on a cheap Panasonic turntable or on WCOL-FM, the “album rock” station in town. Boy, there was some great music being recorded during those days!
All of the songs on the playlist now form a core part of the playlist on any modern “classic rock” station, and they all came out during the days when I was a kid trying to find my locker and then make it to my next class in the sprawling corridors of UAHS. The songs are terrific, and because they came out at that weird, awkward, scary, fun time, they pluck some of those special musical heartstrings we all have. I’m guessing that pretty much everyone has a special corner of their psyche reserved for that high school time in their life and especially the music that is so incredibly closely associated with it — whether you graduated from high school in the ’60s, ’80s, post-2000, or are in high school right now. You listen, and you feel yourself beginning to do the same lame dance moves you first tried as a fumbling teenager.
I’m not arguing that the rock music of the early ’70s is the best rock music ever — who would argue with that irrefutable proposition? — but only observing that if it’s been a while since you’ve listened to your high school music, you’d be doing yourself a favor by doing so. You’ll feel younger!