Often when I hear a song, it sparks a memory from the past.

And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey,

Love the one you’re with.

As it turned out, I am still with the one that I was with when Stephen Stills came on the radio in the 1970s with “Love the One You’re With.”

I don’t see why he moves me.

He’s a man.

He’s just a man.

As a freshman in high school when “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” came on the radio, I was riding in the back of a vehicle headed to Clay Center, trying to explain Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” to my parents.

Can I tell you something?

Got to tell you one thing.

If you expect the freedom

That you say is yours

Barely 18 years of age, these lyrics by Kansas were heard in a Manhattan bar called Canterbury Court. The booking agent, Stuart Rosenberg, had the band that was having its breakout year under contract for a second year. A year later I was sitting in McCain Auditorium hearing those same words being sung at their sold out performance.

I’ve been drivin’ all night.

My hand’s wet on the wheel.

There’s a voice in my head

That drives my heel.

It’s my baby callin’

Says: I need you here.

I listened to Golden Earring while driving to Lindsborg on weekends as a freshman in college to see my “baby,” calling me through ESP or something like that.

Then the door burst open wide

And my daddy stepped inside

And he kissed my momma’s face.

When I hear these lyrics, I picture a bunch of fraternity brothers standing arm-in-arm, singing in an Aggieville bar, trying to hold back the tears to Paper Lace’s “The Night Chicago Died.”

I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind

That I put down in words

How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.

Hair almost to my shoulders, I was standing in a tuxedo listening to Elton John’s words sung by my wife’s uncle at my wedding in a church with no air conditioning on Aug. 1 when the temperature approached 100 degrees.

It’s kind of late, but apologies to any of you readers that may have attended our sauna wedding celebration.

We were able to hear those words again live in Kansas City at an Elton John and Billy Joel concert.

Now these fine ladies, they had a plan.

They was out to meet the boys in the band.

How do you explain to your 14-year-old son the album picture of four naked men sitting on bales of marijuana with a couple dozen American flags around them?

I was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attending the Hollywood World Classic, a greyhound race. The next day I went to Gulfstream Park to watch the Florida Derby, a horse race. Grand Funk Railroad was performing in concert between races.

Telling family about hearing Grand Funk live, son Ryan rushed out of the room to get my “We’re an American Band” album.

“You may not have heard of us, but if you have ever been in a supermarket or in an elevator, you have heard this song.”

That is how Firefall introduced “You are the Woman” at a concert at Sundown Salute in Junction City one July.

You are the woman that I’ve always dreamed of.

I knew it from the start.

I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart.

It’s been well over a year since we have attended a live concert, and 10 months since I have set foot inside a bar.

Memory, all alone in the moonlight

I can dream of the old days.

Life was beautiful then.

Up pops the memory of me and my young family leaving “Cats” in Topeka, trying to explain to my young children what a “fag” is after seeing Westboro Baptist Church members’ posters.

Music is so tightly tied to experiences in my lifetime. I wonder what current music will invoke memories of 2020 in the years ahead.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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