Of Earthquakes and Music

Julie wrote a post about music and intuition that caught my eye because well, music has always spoken to me and I am intrigued by the whole “universe speaks to me thing.”

It is an interesting place to be because I have spent most of my life saying that my horoscope is accurate when I like it and bogus when I don’t.

I don’t read it often but every now and then it is kind of fun to see what it says and to read the description about what a Taurus man is supposed to be like to see if it fits me, or at least how I view myself.

After I read Julie’s post I made a point to try to blank out my mind to see if any song popped into my head and I got four responses, or maybe these are just the first four I thought of.

It is up to you to decide whether I had a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man moment or if these were handed to me. If you are interested you can Google the lyrics and see what you find.

I intentionally included the links to the two last videos because they are a package.

  1. Stuck In the Middle With You- Stealer’s Wheel
  2. Take The Long Way Home- Supertramp
  3. Your Wildest Dreams-The Moody Blues
  4. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere-The Moody Blues

In the midst of writing The Wedding Song by Bob Dylan popped into my head so I figured I’d include it here.

Nineteen Years Ago The Earth Shook

Every January 17th I think about the Northridge Earthquake and most of the time I make a point to write something about it. It was the first earthquake that ever scared me and the first that made me acknowledge the raw power of Mother Nature.

I used to park my car in that structure. I knew it well.

By the time the quake hit I had graduated and wasn’t impacted by the damage to my university but I was impacted in many other ways.

I won’t ever forget walking into my grandparent’s apartment building in Sherman Oaks. I won’t forget how the building looked like someone had taken a hammer to it and how I told my grandmother to get out, even though she didn’t want to leave.

It was their home and I understood why they were reluctant to go but I was worried about the building and didn’t want to find out if it would remain standing on its own.It did but city engineers determined it was unsafe and it was later razed to the ground and rebuilt.

Sometimes I think about how my grandfather told me if he was still in his sixties it would have been an adventure but that in his eighties it wasn’t the sort he wanted.

The Roof Is On Fire

I always thought the song was stupid but I have this image of the dance floor at the fraternity house. It is packed full of people and the sweat is pouring off of all of us but no one cares.

We are caught up in the moment and shouting out the words as we sway and move. Songs shift and I am lost in the moment, entranced by the way a couple of the girls can move and then things shift again and we are listening to Fleetwood Mac sing  Gold Dust Woman.

I am dancing with a girl whose name I can’t remember.  For a moment there is this electrical charge running between us but neither one of us do anything to break that chain.

The song ends and she joins a bunch of other girls and walks out the door. I watch as she wanders off and go to get a beer and talk with the guys.

The Moments Matter 

I just flipped on iTunes and the first song that came on is Lean on Me by Bill Withers. It feels symbolic to me. It feels right.

Some years back I was on top of the world and then things happened and I found out again that sometimes life can humble you. Been wandering through my own desert but I think I am right on the verge of reaching that oasis.

Didn’t get there because I am stubborn, determined and unwilling to quit but because people gave me a hand. They didn’t give me a hand out but a hand up–there is a difference.

The song is a reminder to me to make sure I do the same. Doesn’t matter whether you believe in the universe sending messages, karma or anything else. The reason to help is because it is the right thing to do.

Full stop, end of story.

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  1. Jared Karol January 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks, Jack, for the stories. I remember the Northridge earthquake. . . it was MLK Day, early in the morning. . . I was in college at UCSB, and we had lacrosse practice at the ungoldy hour of 10am instead of the usual 3pm since there was no school. When the house started shaking, I half woke up from my drunken slumber, and assumed that my roommate above me in the loft bed was either jerking off violently or having a really nice time w/ his girlfriend. Neither of those were true, and while I watched the four by four posts of the loft shake and bend, I didn’t have enough sense to get out from under that bed. I waited for the shaking to stop, and I’m pretty sure I went back to sleep for a few more hours until practice started. . .

    • Jack January 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Hi Jared,

      You are lucky you were able to go back to sleep because where I was there wasn’t a choice in the matter. The sounds of glass shattering, alarms and people screaming made it impossible. 😉

  2. penneyfox January 18, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Some days it’s strange to think of how small this world of bloggers really is. Julie found my site a few weeks ago and I started following her too. I read that post about the music too.

    I want to throw my 2 cents in about this music stuff:
    1. The roof is on fire thing – reminded me of college too and this band we would hear at our parties. They called themselves “Liquid Pleasure’ and they would say, the more you drink, the better we sound. (Yes, yes they did)
    2. Two songs popped up for me – Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Today/Smashing Pumpkins and a really old Buffett song.

    Can we play these kinds of games some more in your blog? That was fun 🙂

    • Jack January 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Hi Penney,

      The blogosphere is the smallest and largest world I can think of, or at least that I can comprehend. It is interesting to me how you can go well outside of your normal reads and stumble onto the same people.

      Liquid Pleasure is the perfect name for a college band. Good choice in songs, I like those and yes we can most assuredly play more of these games.

  3. Julie Barrett January 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Interesting choice in Gold Dust Woman, as a memory. It could be about drugs or temptresses but when I hear it I think of how mystical it seems. Also interesting is that I haven’t heard it for decades until a couple of weeks ago. I am starting to think you might be my long lost brother as our music keeps overlapping.

    Monumental events occurring on the same day or darn near are a testament to the significance.

    Thank you for the shout out – my riches are going to pour in any day now 🙂 I don’t mind if they come because everyone around me is successful. In fact, I encourage it.

    • Jack January 18, 2013 at 12:13 am

      Hey Julie,

      Well I have ten thousand sisters so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a relationship there, what is one more. 😉

      Gold Dust Woman is a song that sends a ton of images through my head, I can see the mystical side of it for certain. Reminds me of being a kid on family vacations.

      Keep me posted about those riches, you deserve it.

  4. Adrienne January 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Hey Jack,

    I love Stuck In the Middle With You and now thanks to you I’ve got it playing in my head. If I were to have to name a few songs right now I’d have to say that one since it won’t go away now.

    Wow, I’ve never been in an earthquake before. I’m more of a hurricane girl myself living here in Texas close to the Gulf of Mexico. Yeah, I’ve never actually had anything happen to anyplace I’ve lived or any of my family but the devastation is horrible. I can’t imagine an entire building just falling over. I hope I never see that happen too.


    • Jack January 18, 2013 at 12:11 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      I have been through a bunch of quakes, but never had to deal with a hurricane. I always figured the quakes were easier because I didn’t know they were coming. It always seemed harder to know the hurricane was coming and to just have to wait and see what happened.

      It is pretty nasty to see the after effects of some of these things, but sometimes they happen.

      Hope you found a new song to listen. 😉 See you later.

  5. bridgetstraub.com January 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I’ll never forget the feeling of my little boy’s heart almost literally beating out of his chest as our building shook and transformers out in the distance exploded. When it was all over there was the early morning light forcing it’s way through the cracks in our walls.

    • Jack January 18, 2013 at 12:08 am

      Hi Bridget,

      It really was one hell of an experience that isn’t easily described to those who didn’t live through it. It was hard for us “grown ups” I can imagine your little boy was really scared.

  6. Bill Dorman January 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I thought maybe you were talking about Lunatic Fringe – I know you are out there….:).

  7. Betsy Cross January 17, 2013 at 4:14 am

    I want the music I listen to to guide me…so it does. 🙂

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