Eric Upton

Live. Learn. Run.

My First Love

Ok, you are thinking that I’m gonna dig up an old love story about a girlfriend from the past, share how wonderful she was and how that relationship changed my life forever.

Nope, I’m not…

Plus, she was 10 years old and hated me.

But I digress.

I am talking about something that has moved me since I was a kid.


I can remember my experiences with music as far back as the age of 5, listening to many genres:

  • The song I was taught to sing to my grandpa.
  • Choir music from Caudle Avenue Baptist Church in Springdale, AR
  • Listening to vinyl with my grandmother, like the much sought after soundtrack from the “Baldknobbers” show in Branson, MO
  • Owning my first album, “Urban Chipmunk” (the Chipmunks parody on “Urban Cowboy”)
  • Listening to my brother sing “Bringing In The Cheese” from a hymnal in Red Oak, AR.
  • Buying my first cassette, “Ride The Lightening” by Metallica.pushead_calf_piece_by_coyotechild
  • Going to my first concert to see Metallica in Tulsa, OK.

The list would go on forever if I felt like typing it out.

As I got older, I grew into quite the love for Heavy Metal.

Metal stands for a few healthy beliefs that I still hold true:

  1. Rebellion against the norm is expected, and
  2. Having a healthy irreverence toward authority is appreciated.

One of the best music stories I have involves my dad…

Dad was a Southern Baptist Minister.

(Yeah, yeah. I’m a PK.)

In my teenage years, the love for music created a stack of cassettes in my closet that I would listen to secretly.

Metal music was frowned upon by the church, so I felt compelled to hide it in the upper recesses of my closet.

The stash included AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Slayer, Aerosmith, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Dio (Rest in peace, my friend) and the like.

Dad found them one day… I’m guessing he went through most of them and wasn’t feeling all that proud of his oldest boy.

I was confronted with them one day when I got home.

Any guesses which album he had a problem with?

Based on that stack of cassettes, I expected to see a “Satanic” theme to the speech that would lead to my multiple-week grounding.

Instead, to my surprise, what I got was a lecture over the song “Dude Looks Like A Lady” on the “Permanent Vacation” album by Aerosmith.

My first thought was, “Dad could care less if I go to hell. Just don’t be a cross dresser!”.

I know that statement isn’t true, but I still laugh about it to this day!

I can categorize a lot of my life’s events by music…

As a child I played the trumpet in band.

I played the bass guitar for awhile, but never really got that good at it.

I can still sit at a piano and pound out “Mary Had A Little Lamb”. (Please hold your applause)

The lows of my life included some seriously depressing country songs in the 90’s.

There are a few pictures of my “country phase” still out there and I’m on the hunt to burn them all.

The highs in my life are too many to count and all seem to have a song tied to them as well.

The power of a great song can…

  • Move you to tears.
  • Miss someone you’ve lost.
  • Raise your fist into the air and defy everything.
  • Slow down and appreciate life.
  • Make you want to sing and dance, even if you can’t.

The music is just the soundtrack to the “Life Of Uppie”.

Devil horns are up and I’m enjoying the ride!

I’ll leave you with one for the road…


Eric • 01/27/2013

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