Saturday, October 12, 2013

Some food for thought: owning up to my own musical past

Last night as I was scrolling through my twitter feed, I came across some horrible news...Jan Kuehnemound had passed away from cancer. She was only fifty one years old. While I do feel bad whenever an artist passes away at such a young age, I was really taken aback when I found out that Jan had passed away on Thursday what was a "fierce battle with cancer". Why? Back in my early teenage years, I absolutely adored the band Vixen. As a young teenage girl, seeing four women in a heavy metal band really blew my mind away. Heavy metal was a male dominated genre. Seeing Vixen in music videos or hearing their music on the radio empowered me and told me that women could play heavy metal as well as the guys. I was such a huge fan I even joined the band's fan club which was super rare for me to do. So Jan, thank you so much for playing such a huge influence on my life as a woman and music fanatic. 51 was way too soon to go but I do hope you are truly at peace now and no longer suffering.

Jan's death had me thinking today about the music I listened to as a youth over 20 years ago (I know, I know. I am 39 believe it or not...haha). Before I got into alternative rock in my late teens, I spent my formidable years listening to hair metal which included Vixen, Phantom Blue, Faster Pussycat, Motley Crue, and Poison to just name a few. I know it seems unconscionable considering what I listen to nowadays but I did listen to that music. As I was thinking about Jan's untimely passing today (while on my way to the mall to meet a friend for lunch), I thought it would be good for me to come clean with my musical history in honor of Jan's passing. I don't know what really led me to get into hair metal but it certainly played a big part of my musical history. I made the transition from listening to Michael Jackson, Culture Club, and Cyndi Lauper, and Debbie Gibson to the aforementioned bands. I have to admit that for a long time I was ashamed that I liked hair metal but as I get older, I realize that I should not be ashamed for a small time period in my life. Okay so the music was cheesy but the music was fun and incredibly catchy too. Do I still listen to those bands? No but I am not going to pretend that I didn't listen to hair metal or enjoyed it. That was part of my youth. I have moved on as I have gotten older. Now I can just look back on my youth with great fondness and affection. So much as changed since I was 15/16 years old.

If Jan's death has taught me anything in the past 24 hours, it is to embrace the past. Do not run from it or deny that it existed. Life is too short and precious. 

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