I was born in 1969. When we imagine 1969 now, through the shattered lens of revisionist history, we think of hippies and acid and the overuse of the word “quagmire” when describing the Vietnam War. I look at things through a pop culture filter, always, so it isn’t really a surprise that I would, one drunken night, check the charts to see what the number one song was the week I was born. It had to be something cool, with lots of flanging and sitar and lyrics about flowers.
The number one song the week I was born was “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet” by Henry Mancini.
I was perplexed by this. That wasn’t a cool song. Not only had I wound up with the worst sounding astrological sign (Cancer), but I was also born under a bad song. Okay, okay. It’s not a bad song. Let’s say it isn’t one that I felt helped mold me as a music fan. And really, that’s what I am. Just a fan. So are you. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.
The Romeo and Juliet revelation, as shocking as it was, put me in an introspective mode. What songs really did mold me? When did I start to love music, and why? Is it something one can even track back to a specific starting point? When did I—hell, when does anyone—become a fan?
It’s a curious question. Think back on your own life. What’s the first song you remember hearing? What band first made your crown chakra flip open and the light pour out while the music poured in? These are things I would like to know about myself. These are things I would like to know about you. After all, we’re fans, right?