my 10 favorite songs (sort of)
(from an interview for the poco fanzine "a good feelin' to know)

These songs are not necessarily my 10 favorites per se. I have too many songs I love and I don’t return to these that often, but they were some of the songs that captivated me and inspired me in my youth. The thing they all have in common is the emotional impact they had on me. All of these songs gave me the chills, transported me to a place inside myself that I didn’t know existed. They helped to define my outlook and, obviously, my direction in life. (As you’ll be able to tell readily, the order here is not chronological)

1. "Dream" – the Everly Brothers. This was one of the first songs that literally altered my consciousness. There was a quality so haunting, a magic so deep in these two voices.

2. "Marlena" – the Four Seasons. The first 45 rpm record I bought. I lived in a tiny town (pop. 500) and had to order this record from the local hardware store. Again, a goose-bump experience. Frankie Valli’s falsetto blew my little mind.

3. "What’s Your Name" – Don and Juan. I must’ve been no more than 10 years old, or so. A kind of typical 50s pop song, but it struck a pretty deep chord with me. I guess it tapped into my longing for a connection with a girl… any girl.

4. "Summer Song" – Chad and Jeremy. One of the early British invasion songs. Beautiful melody. I remember riding on a bus in a strange town and staring at this lovely, young girl while that song played on the radio - the air ripe with possibility.

5. "I Want To Hold Your Hand" – the Beatles. This is the one that did me in for good. I remember where I was (LeRoy Hestness’ car on Lambert Street in my hometown) when I heard this. I got my first guitar shortly after I heard this song, played until my fingers bled, joined a band, never looked back…

6. "If I Fell" – the Beatles. The way the harmonies intertwined, the vulnerable, aching lyric, the mesmerizing chord changes… I wore this LP completely out. I even knew all the skips in the vinyl. I’d sing along anyway.

7. "Help" – the Beatles. I was a total Beatles fan. Their music reached into my soul. Still does. The harmony answers on the verse killed me. The acoustic guitar strumming, the pained lyric, the boundless reaches of their creativity…

8. "Every Kind of People" – Robert Palmer. I loved the production on this. What a great mood. The vocal performance draws you in and nails you. The flutes, or whatever they are, are perfect counterpoint. The lyric, the song structure are so honest and intense. Lovely, indeed.

9. "the Blue album" – Joni Mitchell. 1970, I believe. Every song on this album is a masterpiece, in my mind. It came along just at a time in my life when I needed to hear something entirely new. Her acoustic, confessional style turned my whole outlook on music on its ear. The emotion she conveyed reverberated to my core.

10. "All Right Now" – Free. One of the greatest rock songs ever. Paul Rodgers can deliver grit like no one else on earth. Pure, raw rock ‘n roll. Beautiful.

Like I said, this is incomplete and only a part of the picture of what music has meant to me. There are so many more.