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.

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.

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.

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.

Sunshine to Sundown

Day 6 Nostalgic Music Month

Just a kid from Maine by Jon Hilton

When I really look at myself, the truth is that I am just a kid from Maine, who was raised in a wild and free manner.  My formative years were spent in two rural settings, Greenville and Jefferson Maine. It would hard to be more country than that. Music was always a part of my life and I have my parents to thank for that. There were many car trips between Greenville and Jefferson which is about a two-hour trip.  On those trips, the only form of entertainment was the radio and singing along to the latest hits. No music today reminds me of growing up in the woods of Maine more than John Denver.  These songs are a connection to that kid from Maine that I am and was.

Sweet Child of Emotion

Day 5 of Nostalgic Music Month

Guns N’ Roses  by Jon Hilton

Today I am traveling back to the late 80’s and one of the bands that provided the soundtrack for that period was definitely Guns N’ Roses.  They helped define the relationships and activities that I was experiencing at that time. There were people that I spent time with then who had a permanent influence on my life, even though I am sure that they don’t know it.  Choosing just five songs is a difficult task but I did the best I could to. Each Axl Rose lyric and Slash guitar solo takes me home.

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

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.