I grew up in the magical musical world of the 1960's and 1970's. The youngest of 4 children on a small farm in Eastern Washington. My older siblings music became my music. At 5 years old , I developed the most fantastic crush on Paul McCartney. A crush that still exists today. Being the youngest child on a farm could be pretty lonely. Music became my closest companion and friend. I would sit in my red bean bag chair, place my headphones on, and drop the needle of my turntable onto a well loved album. Pause, crackle and then the music came flooding into my ears and filling my soul.
Hours would go by, as I was transported into another time and dimension. Have you ever played the same song over and over and over? Just trying to pull out and absorb every layer of what you were listening to? What was the message? I just had to know.
As I grew up and became an adult , I found that I spent less and less time 'dropping the needle.' I was always too busy to sit still and listen. Trying to be everything to everybody. I also became too busy to make the effort to experience live music. The last concert I attended was Hall and Oates. 1985 at Key Arena, Seattle WA.
*Fast forward to 2010; the year I turned 50.*
Like many working Moms, I had pushed aside my personal interests and relationships while raising children. But suddenly the hands on My Life Clock had started to move quickly. I needed to remember WHO Susan was. I needed to feed my dull and tired soul. I was not ready to Be Old.
Because of the onset of a new social media website, Facebook, I reconnected with some of my sorority sisters from college. We started to look for things to do. I saw the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery had a whole series of outdoor concerts. We chose to see Blondie and The B52's. OMG! It was so much fun! A flame that had been allowed to die, had suddenly been sparked back to life. I Needed More Music!
Spring 2011 arrived with the announcement of the winery's Summer Concert Series. I was SO excited to experience more live music. And then my world changed forever. I sat at my Mom's side and watched her take her final , painful breaths Memorial Weekend ,
2011. For my 51st birthday, I was given the honor of writing my Mother's eulogy. I wrote the words that her pastor spoke at her Memorial Service. Words that she never heard. Words that Celebrated her life. After that experience, I realized I didn't want to wait until I died to Celebrate my Life! I wanted to Celebrate Now. I wanted to share experiences with family and friends. To create memories. And I wanted to do it with the passion that sparked my soul back to life; MUSIC.
What started out as my 'ROCKIN Through My 50's Summer Concert Series ', grew into 'ROCKIN' Through 5O's Concert Series.' And now , 'ROCKIN Through My 50's And Beyond.' Since 2010, I have seen well over 100 concerts. All over the world. The song that started it all? 'Calling All Angels' by Train. The symbolism of Angel Feathers has been sent to me by my Mom, and used as my guide down this amazing musical journey. I've had the privilege of not only seeing Train perform 5 times, but actually meeting Pat Monahan in person.
My life has been completely transformed because of music. I'm not just a spectator. I'm a participant. I've become friends with musicians in the local Seattle/Tacoma area. I've been given opportunities to meet incredible artists. To be a part of the support and creation of their passions. I've even be able to be a roadie! And most importantly, I've been able to look into the eyes of the human beings that have poured everything into a song, and say "Thank You. I heard what you were trying to say." Musicians need us, as much as we need them.
I want to give a special thank you to my dear friends and local Seattle-Tacoma area musicians, Raymond Hayden and Jessica Lynne. Little did I know, that going to an acoustic show at The Seattle Hard Rock Cafe, was actually a date with destiny...Little did I know that a door was waiting to be opened...Little did I know that Ray and Jessica had the special key to open that door. It was the Key of Music.
I look forward to sharing more stories, more music and more experiences with you. Let's Rock!
Susan in Seattle
About The Author:
Susan Newland was given the painful privilege of writing her Mother’s eulogy in 2011. Those were words that celebrated her life and words she never got to hear. After that experience, she decided she didn’t want to wait until she died to celebrate her own life. She wanted to celebrate it NOW, with family and friends. And she wanted to do it with the passion that sparked my soul back to life; MUSIC. Her main goal is to share stories, that will hopefully inspire YOU, to pursue your personal passions in life. And to realize, that you’re never too old, or too young, to bring your dreams alive. A BIG Shout Out to Ann and Nancy Wilson, for being my guiding force through this new musical adventure. Also check Susan out on Grieve The Astronaut where she shares her musical inspiration.