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Music leaves its mark 

Street Smarts

There are songs and musicians that leave their fingerprint on our lives. Music itself holds a certain amount of nostalgia and memory — from bringing us back to carefree teenage years, to reminding us of the markers of growing older.

click to enlarge Andrea Riggs
  • Andrea Riggs

Andrea Riggs of Castle Rock works in public relations.

Do you remember the first album you purchased? I bought the Carpenters LP. I listened to it over and over with the big headphones on.

Do you think music holds any nostalgia for you? Very much. It's like Eric Church says in his Springsteen song: 'There is something about a melody ...' You can smell, see, experience everything from that moment in time.

What performance from your past still stands out as a significant memory? I had moved to Chicago, I was 25 years old, so it was 1995. This girl at work was like, "We've got to go to the Lincoln Theatre. This no-name band is playing, but there is a rumor Bruce Springsteen will play." And I didn't think there was any way Springsteen was going to play on a Tuesday night after this band. She talked me into going and just before midnight he came on with the E Street Band and they played a completely unplugged session. It was amazing. I will never get that lucky again.

click to enlarge Cory Leppert
  • Cory Leppert

Cory Leppert of Flying Horse works in banking.

Do you remember buying your first album as a teenager? Tom Petty was my first and I am going to see him at Red Rocks in May. That was my first concert, my first album and I get to go see him again. That's what it is all about.

What do you remember about listening to Tom Petty? He is 70-something now and he has never aged. I remember listening in high school and it was about all these good times, good music, not like so much music today that is about bad stuff. It was mellow and super cool. Kids from 10 years old to 50 or 60 at the time liked it and that's still true today.

click to enlarge Roth Hyland
  • Roth Hyland

Roth Hyland of Woodmoor is an engineer.

What do you remember about playing albums as a teenager?

How has your musical preference changed over time? The genres keep expanding. As a kid I grew up around a lot of classical and I was trained in music. Then rock 'n' roll started and I was like 'Wow, that is wild!' and then I went away to college and there was a whole new universe. At that time it was exploding and things were changing. Chubby Checker and the Beatles and Jefferson Airplane ... It was a kaleidoscope. Jimi Hendrix was one of my top favorites as well. When you first heard them you didn't know what they were saying. As I get older there are lyrics I suddenly understand. When you get a chance to hear history again, that you lived, you feel connected in a different way or maybe even enlightened.

How does knowing more about artists influence your appreciation of their music? When you read a biography of a band that has gone away or a singer that has died and then hear their music again you get a lot more out of it. When you hear them you get to understand them better. You find out about why they write music the way they do it and discover more about their creativity, so it means so much more to hear the final product. The more you learn the more you appreciate and get attached to what musicians are doing and what they go through to make their music. It is pretty remarkable.

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