The Halloween Hook

Nostalgic Music Month Day 31

HALLOWEEN by Jon Hilton

There is something about the 31st of October that is embedded in my soul. It probably has to do with the nights spent in my youth participating in organized begging for candy and taking in pillowcases full of candy.  It is the whole fall season that brings on a feeling of melancholy and joy all at once. It is a time to remember the happy times of Halloweens past, the joy of youthful adventure and the thrill of being scared, if only just a little bit. So for today, I am going to focus on the joy of this day in music.

Jump on Thriller

Nostalgic Music Month Day 30

Micheal Jackson/The Jackson 5 by Jon Hilton

One of the lessons I have learned in life is that the people that you grew up with have some of the biggest impacts on your life experience. That can be said for the life and music of Micheal Jackson. We watched him grow up from his beginnings in the Jackson 5 to becoming an iconic megastar of the 1980’s.  His talent is undeniable and his songs have punctuated many lives. In fact, the release of the thriller video on December 2, 1983 was an event.  It happened and now generations are blessed with the Thriller Dance.  His music is full of memories and people from the past. Even if you didn’t really like his music you still know the songs. They are woven into the fabric of our society.

Wish You Were Here Can’t Be Wrong

Nostalgic Music Month Day 29

Pink Floyd by Jon Hilton

As I was developing as a human being, the music of Pink Floyd entered my life. I was first influenced by the album the Dark Side of the Moon and the music was thought-provoking and resonated with my experiences in life. There wasn’t a lot of media that addressed the feelings facing the teenage mind. This music provided an explanation for the way I felt back then. The Wall was an experience that provided a visceral punch in the senses. It was so far removed from anything I had ever seen, it provided a paradigm shift in my thinking.  I remember watching this movie in Brunswick, Maine and I remember the people I watched it with. D.H., E.C., and G.N.

Turn Me Loose on the Midnight Train to Anywhere

Nostalgic Music Month Day 28

Journey by Jon Hilton

In the early 80’s the music of Steve Perry and the group Journey was a part of the fabric of my life. When I remember the high school freshman version of myself. I am sitting in an English class at Lincoln Academy, listening to my teacher Mr. Murphy rattle on about sentence structure. Staring out the window at the rain-soaked soccer field, watching the seagulls fly around and eat worms. My only thought was, “I have four more years of this? I’ll never make it through the boredom.”  The Journey song, Don’t Stop Believing always takes me back to that version of myself and the lessons I learned then. I did make it and it wasn’t all that bad. Now those days are just a random memory or two.  Thank you, Journey, for all the help along the way.

Maiden Against The Wind

Nostalgic Music Month Day 27

Bob Segar by Jon Hilton

In my musical history, there are several chapters that have been punctuated by the music of Bob Segar. From the time I was a hormonal high school kid to becoming a “responsible” adult, there are messages in these songs which are relatable to my life situations.  From trying to lose those awkward teenage blues to realizing we need to have beliefs that stick with us like a rock. Life is a constant pattern of change and development. The music of Bob Segar has helped a generation or two become more aware of these patterns and to be the best they can be.

The Climb to Fame

Nostalgic Music Month Day 26

David Bowie by Jon Hilton

It would be hard to have a nostalgic music month and not include the decades of creative power the late great David Bowie has provided to the soundtrack of our lives. He had a shock value in the 70’s, which was really before my time, but in the 1980’s he was a part of the MTV video era that introduced me to his music and made me pay attention to his music in more depth. Like with all of these artists it is difficult to choose just a few songs, so I did the best that I could.

Running on American Pie

Nostalgic Music Month Day 25

Jackson Browne by Jon Hilton

Jackson Browne has been an icon for several generations of people. In my life, he has provided comfort in times when things didn’t go so well. But also his songs remind me of the way we live life in the United States. Much of what we have is unprecedented in the history of mankind. We are tremendously fortunate to live the way we do, but we seem unaware of our good luck.  People spend time separating themselves from others, rather than enjoying all we have together.  Jackson Browne reminds me of times in my life where I have had experiences with people who were caring, real and helped me out for no reason other than their own innate goodness.  All people are capable of great goodness and also great evil. We choose where we fall, and the music of Jackson Browne will make sure you fall on the side of goodness.

Gimme Shelter from Bruno Mars

Nostalgic Music Month Day 23

Rolling Stones by Jon Hilton

The Rolling Stones have been rocking for decades and the fact that they are older than my parents and still doing it is a credit to them, their music and the effect it has on millions of people. I am one of those millions of people because at certain times of my life the soundtrack was punctuated by the music of The Stones.  The catalog of music is so large that there is something for everyone. Choosing the specific songs was a difficult task but I managed to break the list out to correspond with my life. The Rolling Stones have done alright. I mean, they’re no Bruno Mars but they have done alright.

Fly Like an Eagle on Bloody Sunday

Nostalgic Music Month Day 22

Steve Miller Band by Jon Hilton

The Steve Miller Band has provided the soundtrack for the lives of anyone our age. They put out some of the most iconic songs of the 70’s but then never really recaptured that magic.  As they tried to switch from cool rock band to whatever they thought the 1980’s were looking for they lost their identity and their mojo.  But this is a focus on the mojo they had in their prime. The music transcends time and generations and will help you through life whether you are a picker, grinner, lover or a sinner. I have known many a Joker, smoker or midnight toker and none of them wanted to hurt no one.  Let’s forget the Abracadabra era and focus on the music that transcends time.

Tuesday Afternoon in the Danger Zone

Nostalgic Music Month Day 21

The Moody Blues by Jon Hilton

In the mid 80’s I really discovered the music of the Moody Blues. It was more thought-provoking and interesting. The songs are both musically beautiful and supply a great message about life if you take the time to listen. As I have grown over the years my philosophy of life has allowed me to find even more connections to the music and to the days of my youth.  Life is a gift and we are all trying to live it in the best way we can. Sometimes you are up and everything goes your way, and other times you are faced with challenges that serve to test us. Either we learn lessons and move forward a better equipt person. Or we might be destroyed by them. The music of the Moody Blues brings hope that the results of all your challenges will be to be successful in life.

Seasons In The Piano Man Sun

Nostalgic Music Month Day 20

Billy Joel by Jon Hilton

Almost all of the people who grew up during the 70’s and 80’s had their life touched by the music of Billy Joel. His music was popular for decades and the songs have become iconic to me. It was January 30, 1987. A friend of a friend was going to see Billy Joel in Portland, Maine. We were going to meet them after the concert, I had no intention of going. Arriving early, on a snowy, cold Maine night, we decided to duck into the Cumberland County Civic Center to get warm. We stepped through the door, there was nobody there. Only an opening into the concert and Billy Joel singing.  Sometimes opportunities are just handed to you and that day I got to see Billy Joel for free. It was a great day.

Small Town Johnson

Nostalgic Music Month Day 19

John Cougar Mellencamp by Jon Hilton

One of my constant companions, as I grew up and became an “adult” in the 1980’s, was John Cougar Mellencamp. His music was easy for a rural kid from Maine to relate to.  The themes of small towns and simple stories seemed to be something that was easily emulated. As I navigated my way through the turbulent waters of high school and then enjoyed the free years of college, this music was there. Along with the songs are a raft of people and experiences that have helped form my view of the world today.

1985 Moon Dance

Nostalgic Music Month Day 18

1985 By Jon Hilton

Our identity is defined by our experience and no other year in my life was more important to my development as a person than 1985. It was a year of change, learning, tragedy, triumph and ultimately the first real push into the person that I became. Looking back we tend to forget much of the mundane and negative and cherry pick the positive memories. For me there is no need to do this about 1985, it was all significant and memorable. Like all other things in my life, there was a soundtrack to that year that brings back the emotions of the era and always allows me to look back in reverence and love for that most formative year.

The Boys are back in Water

Nostalgic Music Month Day 17

Water by Jon Hilton

A view of our favorite swimming spot through the trees on Dyer’s Pond

In all of my formative years, I was fortunate to be blessed, living within view of a lake or a pond in all places I lived.  My earliest memories are of these places. They are Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine and Dyers Long Pond in Jefferson, Maine. Each comes back to me in memories and it is clearly a part of my soul is in each. This is the story of how these two lakes contributed to my life and formed much of what I understand about the world today.  It is a fortunate thing to be raised in the woods of Maine, even though I often thought otherwise. There are lessons you learn about life and respect for nature many people seem to lack today.

Living on a Prayer Monday

Nostalgic Music Month Day 16

Monday- by Jon Hilton

It is a Monday morning and I feel like most people do on this day. The angst of another week of responsibility and the end of any free time for five more days.  This is the day most people move from doing what you want to do into doing what you have to do.  All of my life, this day has a bittersweet feeling to it. I am grateful to have things to do, but I am a free bird that likes the ability to do whatever I want.  In honor of this strange day that makes people love coffee and long for a vacation, today I am choosing Monday Songs as my musical choice today. Remember that you always have a choice, regardless of your current circumstances, to make the day what you want.

Wildfire on the Bayou

Day 15 Nostalgic Music Month

Creedence Clearwater Revival by Jon Hilton

Nostalgia is looking back at your life with fondness. Pulling out the memories you have and remembering the people, events, and things that mattered on your journey. Creedence Clearwater Revival and their music take me on a long visit to my past. Like most bands of significance, it is difficult to pick just a few songs because so many had an impact. From my childhood to my current life as a “middle-aged” person.  I go on a trip in every song, to the backwoods of Maine. To the college campus of the University of Maine at Farmington. To the memories of a young man doing his best to learn about life. The conclusion is still the same now as it was then, I still have a lot to learn.

Mrs. Robinson’s Cats in the Cradle

Nostalgic Music Month Day 14

Simon and Garfunkel by Jon Hilton

The songs of Simon and Garfunkel are what nostalgic music month is all about. When I look back over the entirety of my life, these are songs that have been along for the ride from the time I was 7 until today at 51. As I have grown and matured, so have the significance attached to each song. In high school, these songs were there. In college, it was the same. Even as I navigated the ever-shifting waters of adulthood, the music of Simon and Garfunkel has been there.  The difficult part for me is choosing just 5 songs that most impacted me throughout life.

Operator, Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright

Day 13 – Nostalgic Music Month

Bob Marley- by Jon Hilton

One of my hidden talents in life is being one of the world’s preeminent dashboard musicians. That is, no matter where I travel, the time always goes faster, and is more memorable when you have good music to sing along with.  I have given performances lately on a nightly basis, and one of the artists that bring the most enjoyment is to sing along with the music of Bob Marley. The point of this project has been to celebrate the many ways that music has highlighted our lives. To rise above petty jealousy and foolishness and remember the happiness in life. The music of the late great Bob Marley always takes me to times and people who were golden in my memory.  Just thinking about writing this makes me smile and know that everything’s gonna be alright.

Round and Round In Your Eyes

Day 12 Nostalgic Music Month

Peter Gabriel by Jon Hilton

The college years in a person’s life are transitional as you move from the foolishness of youth into the “seriousness” of adulthood. You need to learn to balance the fun quotient of life with getting tasks completed.  The music of Peter Gabriel reminds me of my own struggles putting fun and work into proper perspective throughout my college years.

I was fortunate enough to attend two different institutions and earned a degree from both. However the lessons I learned in life there were far more valuable than any organized degree. Some of those lessons are here in the music of Peter Gabriel.

People are People In the Air Tonight

Day 11 Nostalgic Music Month

Phil Collins by Jon Hilton

1985 was an important year in my life, it was the year I graduated from high school and first left home to venture out into the world. The music of Phil Collins always takes me back to those times, when I was getting ready to leave high school and the first tentative, scary and exciting steps into life. Growth and change are a part of the living process and to move forward to find new things, old things have to be left in the past.  This music reminds me of some of the things I left behind but still carry pieces of around inside. Our lives are literally defined by the stories we tell, and these are the stories that Phil Collins brings back to me. Welcome to 1985!