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My Musical Calendar

My Musical Calendar &Raquo; Notes To Self By Mark Obrien

I have a theory that, for some people, the calendar just stops. It stops at different times for different people. But it definitely stops. All of their cultural influences — sartorial, tonsorial, musical, et al. — freeze. I don’t know if those freezes could be considered time warps. It’s more likely they reflect periods of time in which the frozen people were most comfortable.

I developed the theory in sixth grade. It was 1966. I was 12 years old. I had a classmate named Dennis Kennedy. I don’t know how old Dennis was. But he shaved, smoked, and drove his own car to school. His calendar had stopped sometime in the ‘50s. He looked like what used to be called a greaser. He sported a black leather jacket, white t-shirts, blue jeans, pointy black boots, and a slicked-back, duck’s ass hairstyle. He was nice guy, probably because he could afford to be. Nobody in school ever gave the slightest thought to messing with him. He was The Fonz long before The Fonz even thought about being The Fonz. And unlike The Fonz, he was bigger with a legitimate air of menace about him. (I never watched Happy Days and never found Henry Winkler particularly convincing as The Fonz.)

Name That Tune

In a sense, I suppose you could say I have a somewhat frozen musical calendar. Here’s what I mean: If you’re anything like me, you get out of bed on any given day with the themes of one of three television programs stuck in your head — The Wild Wild West, Mannix, or Hogan’s Heroes. That would freeze my calendar between 1965 when The Wild Wild West and Hogan’s Heroes debuted, and 1975, when CBS cancelled Mannix. You can probably already start to sense the kinds of days each of those sets up:

  • For some reason, the theme most frequently stuck in my head on any given day is Mannix. Composed by Lalo Schifrin, the man who also wrote the theme music for Mission: Impossible, there’s a kind of devil-may-care, free-wheeling jazziness about it. It gives me the sense almost anything is possible, as long as I’m willing to play fast and loose with just about everything. And I know for sure I’m going to get the girl, or at least one kissing scene before I revert to my role as the heroic loner.
My Musical Calendar &Raquo; Mani
Cbs Television, Public Domain, Via Wikimedia Commons
  • After Mannix, the theme that sticks in my head most frequently is The Wild Wild West. On days when this theme is stuck in my head, I feel like some kind of Western swashbuckler, riding the range on horseback like the Marlboro Man, feeling like the rugged, individualistic nonconformist I am because I’m supposed to be on the train with James West and Artemis Gordon. Like my Mannix days, I know I’m going to get the girl, or at least one kissing scene before I ride off on the train with Artemis. I also know Artemis is going to be pissed at me again because I got the girl again, and he didn’t … again.
My Musical Calendar &Raquo; Ww
Cbs Television, Public Domain, Via Wikimedia Commons
  • I dread the days I wake up with the theme from Hogan’s Heroes stuck in my head. Those days typically turn out to be routine, predictable, almost militaristically repetitious. I know I’m going to end up coming and going from wherever I am — especially if I don’t want to be there — as nonchalantly as I want to. There won’t be any meaningfully challenging or threatening risks or dangers during the day. I may or may not get the girl, or at least one kissing scene. If I do, it’ll be with a girl I have to send off in the escape tunnel, with a feeble promise to find her again after war. Or it could be with Colonel Klink’s secretary, Fräulein Hilda. But in the end, Klink will come back into his office, and I’ll be stuck with Schultz.
My Musical Calendar &Raquo; Hoga
Cbs Television, Public Domain, Via Wikimedia Commons


Does that make me guilty of being stuck in time like Dennis Kennedy? I don’t know. But from my perspective — and in my own defense — other than waking up most days with theme songs from the mid-‘60s to the mid-‘70s stuck in my head, I’m a pretty progressive guy. I have an iPhone. I have an electric toothbrush (Sonicare). And like every other word I say is like like.

If you get like any more hip than that, you’re like totally on a different scale, no musical pun intended.

Originally Published on https://www.bizcatalyst360.com/category/lifecolumns/notes-to-self/

Mark O'Brien Writer, Blogger

I'm the founder and principal of O'Brien Communications Group (obriencg.com) and the co-founder and President of EinSource (einsource.com). I'm a lifelong writer. My wife, Anne, and I have two married sons and four grandchildren. I'm having the time of my life.

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