Today’s song marks an insignificant milestone. This is the first time I’m highlighting a band/artist for a second time. This is bound to happen again, and if I keep doing these weekly posts until I’m dead there’ll eventually be entire catalogues of certain artists among the pages of my forgotten blog. But for now, this is a first.
Everybody needs their signature blues tune; that slow, self-pitying bluesy song that provides the perfect atmosphere in which to wallow. Typically we latch on to such a tune in those hormonal rollercoaster days of our high school years and I was certainly no different. Neil Young’s “Helpless” was for rock bottom and Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers Get Lucky Sometimes” was for the bounce back, but it was this song that provided the greatest comfort when all I wanted to do was pity myself and loathe the world.
Yet despite the moodiness of this tune and the context in which I soaked it up, it’s a surprisingly optimistic song. It’s about hard living and resilience and just fighting through to another day. Sung perfectly by the immortal Bon Scott. And while the lyrics have very little to do with the bi-polar nature of the teenage psyche that message of strength in the face of perceived adversity really spoke to me as a young man.
It’s silly in retrospect to think that lines like “I ain’t too young to worry and I ain’t too old to cry when a woman gets me down” or “I ain’t too old to hurry cause I ain’t too old to die” would resonate with a heartbroken, naïve sixteen year old but that’s kind of what makes this song so great. Young or old, the words are timeless and they manage to fortify your soul and push you on to tomorrow.
God, just writing this takes me back to some dark times from those high school years. They are part of who I am but it’s sure tough to recall them like this. Yet I can’t help but smile as this song rolls through my mind. It really did help keep me going.
To kick off the weekend it’s time to dig into the AC/DC catalogue once more for a true gem originally released on the 1976 album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. I, like many others, would discover it on its rerelease for the 1986 AC/DC penned Maximum Overdrive soundtrack, Who Made Who. This is my signature blues tune; “Ride On”.