Fell On Black Days Indeed.

I was a preteen the first time I heard Eruption.

And when I heard Highway to Hell.

In 1982 I heard Billy Idol for the first time.

I was 13 when I first heard Kill ‘Em All.

1999. I was 13.

I was 14 when I found out I’m a lifelong Police fan.

I was 16 when I discovered The Cure.

Music is my pilot light. It fuels me. It changes my mood when I need it to. And when I don’t. My life has had a soundtrack since about 1979, the first time I heard Cheap Trick. My Little League coach had Dream Police on heavy rotation.

Through every relevant moment in my life, good and bad, music was there. I remember all of them. I remember the album I was playing the first time She and I drove to Fort Collins on a date. It was Whiplash Smile. I remember the first song I slow-danced to. Ninth grade, Open Arms. Before every concert I ever played in, I listened to Blue Highway by Billy Idol. I remember my oldest son and I dancing to Linkin Park when he was five. I remember the song playing when my youngest was born, The Mummer’s Dance. On the drive from Cheyenne to Laramie when I moved into the dorms I listened to The Lace by Ben Orr. The first time She and I drove to Minnesota after we were engaged? Great Southern Land by Icehouse. The first song I listened to when we moved into our new house? Pretty Little Ditty by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I remember all of them.

And I remember the day Freddie Mercury died in 1991. He was the greatest. I wish the world had been strong enough to embrace him in his final days.

I remember the day Kurt Cobain died. It was April 5, 1994.

I remember the day Layne Staley died. April 5, 2002. I went on a several day Alice In Chains binge.

I remember the day Adam Yauch died. May 4, 2012. A week of Beastie Boys and only Beastie Boys.

January 2016. The death of David Bowie.

April 21, 2016. The day the world of music cracked. Prince dies of an accidental overdose. It was Prince in my headphones for months.

And today. Chris Cornell died today. May 18, 2017. He was 52. So for the next few days, no one ask me to listen to anything. I’ll be on a diet of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog.

Our heroes are mortal, but what they’ve left us is not.

So in honor of my musical heroes, those that have passed, here are the playlists I made and repeated, repeatedly,  upon hearing the news.

Freddie Mercury, Queen (1946-1991)

Under Pressure
Somebody to Love
Killer Queen
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
We Will Rock You
I Want It All
Fat Bottomed Girls
You’re My Best Friend
Another One Bites the Dust
Bohemian Rhapsody
Stone Cold Crazy

Kurt Cobain, Nirvana (1967-1994)

Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
Heart Shaped Box
Lithium
In Bloom
All Apologies
The Man Who Sold the World
Where Did You Sleep Last Night
You Know You’re Right
Drain You
About A Girl
Lake of Fire

Layne Staley, Alice In Chains (1967-2002)

Man In The Box
Rooster
Would?
Down In A Hole
Them Bones
No Excuses
I Stay Away
Angry Chair
Heaven Beside You
Hate To Feel
River of Deceit

Adam Yauch, The Beastie Boys (1964-2012)

Sabotage
Intergalactic
So What’cha Want
Sure Shot
Ch-Check It Out
Root Down
Rhyme the Rhyme Well
That’s It, That’s All
Right Right Now Now
Egg Man
The Sounds of Science
Shake Your Rump
An Open Letter NYC

David Bowie (1947-2016)

Space Oddity
Let’s Dance
Rebel Rebel
Suffragette City
Changes
Young Americans
China Girl
Under Pressure
Heroes
This Is Not America
Modern Love
Fame
Starman

Prince (1958-2016)

Purple Rain
Let’s Go Crazy
Sign O’ The Times
Strollin’
Delirious
When Doves Cry
Gett Off
7
My Name Is Prince
Sexy M.F.
Little Red Corvette
Darling Nikki
1999
Kiss
I Would Die 4 U
I Wanna Be Your Lover
Raspberry Beret
Take Me With U
Sometimes It Snows In April

Chris Cornell, Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of The Dog (1964-2017)

Fell On Black Days
Outshined
Like A Stone
Black Hole Sun
Be Yourself
Spoonman
Cochise
Burden In My Hand
Seasons
Show Me How To Live
Hunger Strike

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