Monday, November 30, 2009

What's Your Theme Song?

I remember I was about 5 or 6 when I discovered Starsky & Hutch. I loved that show for a variety of reasons, Starsky who was my favorite, Huggy Bear let's face it was pimp'n cool and of course that car - the famous Red Torino. But in the end it was the theme song that really captured me. Whenever I heard that music it was like someone shot me out a canon and to this day my pulse still races when I hear it.

A few years later when CHiPs came on television it replaced Starsky & Hutch as my favorite show. I'll admit I thought Ponch and John were about the coolest guys in the world. I loved the high speed motorcycle action and of course all the car crashes that happened every week. But again it was the theme song that played at the beginning of every episode that captured me. It became my theme song for my little life and whenever I thought it of it I walked a little taller, played a little harder and of course fought off the imaginary bad guys with even more gusto.

That theme song was soon replaced with the theme song from Greatest American Hero which convinced me that if a normal guy could be a super hero then a normal kid like myself had half a chance. That song lasted as my theme song for about a year until the theme song from Magnum PI caught my ear - then I was convinced I too could be a Hawaiian shirt, beach bum detective. High school my theme song turned into what else? the theme song from Miami Vice! We must have played that song a bazillion times as we cruised our "drag" trying to be cool for the chicks.

At every point in my life I have found identification with some sort of theme song. It wasn't always a television show --- the two songs from Rocky I and III still hold a special place in my heart - I suspect almost anyone's heart that watched the movies in the theater. Heck just finding the songs for this post pumps me up and makes me think I can do one armed push ups (which a isn't a good idea for a chubby guy like me).

The point is we can all identify with a theme song. That one song that gets you going a little faster, pushing a little harder, achieving a little more. I recently had a conversation with an executive that was really struggling and I asked him what his theme song was. His reaction, as you can imagine, was one of wide-eyed confusion to this very unusual question (a Ripple Connection Question by the way).

I explained that everyone needs something that gives them an edge. A theme song from a show, a movie or hell just a song from a kick ass band can elevate one's mood, perspective and attitude. I went on to explain how despite being a little scrawny two bit nothing in elementary school I was the baddest ass there was when I had the CHiPs theme song playing in my head. I told him that my own private playlist - well before the invention of an iPod, played at will in my head and no doubt gave me a bit of swagger when I needed it most. It worked then and still works today.

As we chatted he finally confessed that the theme song to the A-Team had been his personal theme song back in the day. I told him to set his mental playlist to the A-Team, go take on the challenges before him and pretend he was Faceman. He nearly bolted from the table drenched with excitement about taking on the challenge before him.

Regardless of your age, occupation or lifestyle, we all should have a theme song that plays whenever we most need it. I think beyond a shadow of a doubt that without it, we are left to adhere to the mundane and macabre tuneage (my own made up word) that life tends to offer.

I don't know about you but that sounds too much like elevator music to be.

Screw that! Life's too short and clearly I have too many theme songs to play along with that!

Hope you do too.

Oh and by the way...each link has the theme song attached to the show or movie that I describe. Go back and listen and next time you see me ask me what theme song I've got playing in that head of mine. I'll tell ya but you better be prepared to tell me what's playing in yours!

Ripple On!!!

1 comment:

thom singer said...

All the great 70s and 80s TV shows had great theme songs. In an effort to squeeze in more commercial time, the theme song has been done away with or shortened beyond recognition. Shame for future generations that they wont have those same memories you shared. I was glad see that "Happy Days" was not on your list... although the Fonz was cool.

good post, I enjoyed listening to all the links.