Asking me to pick 25 songs that have had a big impact on me is near impossible…because there are many more songs that have influenced me in some way. My musical tastes range from 50’s Country, to 70’s Rock, to 90’s Punk, to 2000’s Pop, and pretty much everything in between. Looking back at all the songs and artists that have impacted me thus far in my life while making this list was like a trip down memory lane. Come take a walk with me kids.
Bobby Mahoney’s Super Wonderful Funtime Music Biz 101 Playlist
“Friend of the Devil”- The Grateful Dead- I remember hearing this song for the first time when I was in 4th or 5th grade on a road trip to Cape Cod with my family. We had an older SUV that had a cassette player, and my parents had a Grateful Dead tape that had their “American Beauty” album on one side and “Workingman’s Dead” album on the other. For whatever reason, “Friend of the Devil” and “Casey Jones” (a song about a train engineer that was high on cocaine) spoke to a 10-year-old Bobby and it was those songs that really got me interested in music. I made my parents play those songs over and over until the tape broke.
“Wanted Dead or Alive”- Bon Jovi- This song was the first song I ever sang in front of anyone. I sang it in my 5th Grade Talent show…it sucked. I remember being so nervous that my legs were shaking to the point where I thought I was going to collapse. I ignored my friends that said that I “sucked” and kept trying to get better at singing-something I still work on a lot to this day.
“Heart of Gold”- Neil Young- The significance of this song, is that it is the first song that I learned to play on the guitar. My Mom tried, and failed, to learn guitar at a young age, but my Pop-Pop kept it over the years. I asked him to bring it one day when I was curious about learning how to play it. My Mom sat me down with the “Harvest” album and told me they were all awesome acoustic guitar songs, and told me to pick one. This song stood out to me, so I learned how to play an Em chord, and it all went downhill from there.
“Thunder Road”- Bruce Springsteen- Now perhaps the hardest part about making this list was limiting the amount of Springsteen songs (I forced myself to pick 2). This song is probably my favorite song of all time. I have “Well I Got This Guitar and I Learned How to Make it Talk” tattooed on my right arm. I am fortunate enough to say that I was able to play my favorite song of all time, with the guy who wrote it. That’s pretty darn cool. Plus the song has a lot of sentimentality for my Mom and I, so it will always be special to me for that reason alone.
There are about 56 other songs on my playlist that have their own significance and memories that go along with. Give it a listen, and begin to understand why I am as weird as I am. Enjoy!
– Bobby Mahoney, WP Class of ’17