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!

Born to Be Ironic

Nostalgic Music Month Day 10

Bruce Springsteen by Jon Hilton

It would be hard to think of nostalgia and music for me without including Bruce Springsteen. For many of the formative years of my life, the music of the E Street Band punctuated the activities and defined many of the moments.  Even though I have never raced cars in the streets, or even been to Atlantic City, there is a message in the music that a kid from Maine could definitely relate to and find comfort in. Growing up, I listened to Bruce as I fell asleep many nights, to the dismay of my brother who I shared a room with. The people I shared these times with are very special to me and always will be.

Tangled Up in Teen Spirit

Nostalgic Music Month Day 9

Bob Dylan- by Jon Hilton

It is hard to find an artist with a broader reach of influence than Robert Allen Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan. He has been singing and performing since well before I was born and influencing people much older and much younger than myself. His music has been relevant in the turbulent 1960’s all the way to today.  His music has been part of the soundtrack of many movies and has punctuated memories in the lives of millions of people.

Sweet Baby Desperado

Day 8 Nostalgic Music Month

James Taylor by Jon Hilton

Music punctuates moments in your life with meaning and allows you to resurrect those time when you hear a song after a week or after 30 years. Like a time warp, you are transported to that place, feeling those emotions. The music of James Taylor does this for me for sure. It takes me to a time when I was youthful, hopeful and hadn’t made a lot of mistakes in life. A time when possibilities were seemingly endless.

Kiss It on Over

Day 7 Nostalgic Music Month

Kiss- by Jon Hilton

When I think back on growing up in the 70’s and the music that I liked as a very young person, Kiss would be at the top of the list. Their music is and was like sugar to the brain. It hits a spot in your brain and makes you want to sing along. Even now, many years later I remember all the lyrics to songs.  The funny thing is that I had no idea what these songs were about.

So choosing the top 5 Kiss songs was difficult. I am ignoring their later

The Kinks in the Congos

Day 4 Nostalgic Music Month

The Kinks by Jon Hilton

Never be afraid to dance

It was June 9, 1983, when two young men set out for a day of youthful antics with the ultimate goal of attending The Kinks in concert in Portland, Maine.  We had just completed our sophomore year in high school and it seemed like life was before us.  We started early and got back late and in between, we undertook a quest, on which we found out about the people that we wanted to become.  The Kinks always remind me of that day and the people I went to that concert with and the adventures of the day. The stepping stones that Ray Davies and the Kinks provided great memories and nostalgic music month

Tom Petty’s Last Dance

Day 3- Nostalgic Music Month

Tom Petty  and the Heartbreakers By Jon Hilton

If you owned this album, you understand the loss.

The news of the passing of Tom Petty made today’s nostalgia easy to choose. I never met Tom Petty in life, but we knew each other very well when I was young. He guided me through the confusing moments of adolescence and let me know that it was alright to not fit in like everyone seemed to want.  Petty provided a voice that resonated with millions of people and always will. Growing up would have been much more difficult without him and his music and I am one of the heartbroken today.

Monday Won’t Get Fooled Again

Day Two Nostalgic Music Month- October 2, 2017

The Who by Jon Hilton

The Who were so cool!!!

In my life, there have been stages where I was all into one band or another. In 1983-84 I was all about The Who. I was listening to classic Who tracks and thinking that they had figured the whole confusing experience of life out.  The Who made you question the system and the things that people wanted you to accept without question. Follow the rules! Do what you are told!  These were exactly the things I was struggling with as a high school student in the 80’s.  Finding my own path began with The Who.

Sultans of Sentiment

Day 1 –  October 1, 2017  by Jon Hilton

dire straits
Nostalgic Music Month Day 1

It is the beginning of a month-long journey to delve into the music of our lives. In the fall of 1971, I attended kindergarten in Greenville, Maine. It was there that one of my intellectual equals was Mike Martin. From that day to this, music has provided the soundtrack of our lives. And I have been privy to all of his schemes.  We have not always been on the same path, but we both agree that music provides a connection to the past and the people who have shaped our lives.

It’s All About The Music

Music is a powerful force in life. It has the ability to take you outside of your current experience and transport you to another place, another time and help you to remember another you. Being fortunate enough to grow up when I did, there are literally hundreds of songs and artists that have touched my life.