The Soundtrack of Your Life

Nov 27, 2023 by Anthony Damaschino
Geddy Lee - My Effin' Life - The Empty Nest BlueprintAcknowledgments - The Empty nest Bleuprint


Instead of posting my blog last night, I went to a book reading for a new author by the name of Geddy Lee. In case you don’t know, Geddy Lee is/was the lead singer of Rush, the most well-known Canadian rock band of all time. This post isn’t about how great Rush is, and they are great, but rather two arching themes about people and music. Out of all of the influential people in my life, known and unknown, Geddy Lee is one of the seven people I acknowledge in the final paragraph of my book. I have attached a picture so you can see Geddy mentioned along with the other six.
So why did I mention Geddy Lee in my acknowledgments section, a person that I have never met and who doesn’t know I exist? My answer is that I often think about the soundtrack of my life, the songs that have been part of my living experience or played in the background. From an early age, music was both important and dominant to me. As a child, I grew up listening to the music my parents played. My strongest initial musical memory is the 1973 movie soundtrack, American Graffiti a two-record set. I was five years old, and I fell in love with the rock music of the late 50’s and early 60’s. From there, I remember branching out to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 every Sunday on the radio. I would sit with my brother and listen to the weekly 40 songs on Casey’s show, wondering if the Bee Gee’s were going to be number one again. By the way, How Deep Is Your Love went 3 weeks at number 1 and was on the billboard chart for 33 weeks. It is the Bee Gee’s longest billboard hit. This happened in 1977 when I was 9 years old. As my interest in music progressed, I had my first musical purchase of a 45 record, Heart of Glass by Blondie. I attended my first concert, The Spinners at the Concord Pavilion. Why the Spinners you ask? Because a friend won tickets on our local radio station KFRC. That same year I purchased my first record album, AC/DC’s High Voltage.
Throughout my life, and perhaps all of our lives, songs are intentional shadows we choose to see or are more discrete yet always playing in the background. I love the soundtrack of my life. There is a song that represents a memorable kiss in middle school, Tainted Love by Soft Cell. There is a song that represents teen love, Against All Odds by Phil Collins. There is the first song at my wedding When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge. Each of these and countless others melodically solidifies some of the best memories of my life. But it’s not just the best memories, the soundtrack of my life is an immense collection of all kinds of songs that were a companion when I was studying, working, and driving. And that companion has always stayed with me when I was crying, contemplating, or experiencing something new. Even today, if I think about the top annual leisure time experiences and expenses I have with my wife and family, they are the musicals and concerts we attend.
Back to Geddy Lee. I was 13 years old when I bought my first Rush album, Moving Pictures (one of the greatest rock albums ever). Over the next several decades, I purchased and listened to each of their 19 studio albums. I am not the biggest Rush fan on this planet, not even close. I've seen Rush in concert four times, nowhere near as many times as I’ve seen Train, Iron Maiden, and The Killers. But throughout my life, there are five of the 19 Rush albums that I seem to gravitate towards and keep in my musical rotation. Of course, these albums came out during my formative teenage rocker years. They are ingrained in my musical memory. I can’t say Rush is my favorite band; I find that question like asking which of your children you love the most. But I will say Rush has been a big part of the soundtrack of my life. And Geddy Lee’s voice is ‘the voice’ on every song, during every play, over the last four decades of listening. In the end, there is no soundtrack of Anthony’s life without Geddy Lee’s voice and Rush in the background.
As luck would have it, 46 days after launching my book, The Empty Nest Blueprint, I got to hear Geddy speak last night as he launched his book, My Effin’ Life. He may never know his impact on me or that his name is celebrated in my acknowledgments, and that’s okay. It all came together last night as I listened to him read to me about his life. The soundtrack of my life includes parts of his. In this way, other than us both now being authors, we are forever connected. I sat there feeling thankful for him, his story, and his contribution to the musical world and the soundtrack of my life.