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My Classic Rock Life

A playlist by Amanda Olejniczak

By Amanda OlejniczakPublished 14 days ago 7 min read
My Classic Rock Life
Photo by Filip Andrejevic on Unsplash

1. Amanda By Boston

The song that started it all. My mother, Shelly, and father, Tim would dance their first dance at their wedding to the song Amanda by Boston. Not only is Amanda a beautiful love song, it was a favorite of both my mom and dad. They decided at some point throughout their many years of dating since teenagers, that if they were to ever have a daughter, they’d name her after this song. A while after getting married and dancing to the infamous song Amanda, my mom and dad would try for a child. A beautiful little girl, and they’d name me, Amanda.

I felt very special growing up being able to say I was named after a song and to this day love telling people the story.

2. Thriller By Michael Jackson

My Dad typically cooked dinner for my mom and I. When I was growing up, he would also usually play music while cooking. The kitchen is where my dad and I had fun. We messed around and he taught me how to roll up a towel and snap it really hard, it is also where I learned who Michael Jackson was. My dad sang along to his Thriller album and made all kinds of funny “he! he!” sounds to imitate him.

3. Only God Knows Why By Kid Rock

My childhood experience was neither good nor bad. As a family of 3 we were poor, but I never went without. My mom always made the impossible, possible. I was smart, active, and creative with deep emotions. As Only God Knows Why played on the boombox outside, I swung on my new swing that my dad had just hung in the tree a few days prior. I was deep in thought, listening to the music and quietly singing along while I twisted my disk swing in a circle around and around. This was my favorite thing to do on swings. Apart from swinging, I would twist around the swing until I could hardly touch the ground, tuck my legs in tight, and spin. The next thing I know, I’m screaming for help. As I was distracted twisting around the swing, my long red hair got caught wrapped around the twine. My dad came running and said he had 2 options: to cut my hair or cut the swing down. Crying, I yelled for him to cut my hair, but he would have practically had to cut all of it down to my scalp. I think it goes without saying, but the swing was cut down shortly after. I was devastated.

4. Hot Blooded By Foreigner

I was born with a soft cleft palate. It was repaired by surgery when I was a few months old but because of my internal anatomy, I was sick often as a kid. Growing up I was usually on some antibiotic or steroid for a severe sinus or ear infection every few weeks. So often that most antibiotics no longer work when I take them. One night in particular, my mom took my temperature and it read as 100.3 degrees. I thought it was hilarious that it sounded like 103 which is sung in the song Hot Blooded. I then yelled down to the basement to my dad and his buddies playing poker and sang “I’m hot blooded, check it and see, I’ve got a fever of 100.3”

5. Kiss By Prince

Making up dances with friends was a fun pastime. One of my best friends who I am still friends with today, I actually met in preschool. When we were a bit older, Keleigh and I loved making up dances and performing them for my mom in the living room. One of the songs we had chosen to dance to was Kiss by Prince.

6. I Don’t Care Anymore By Phil Collins

I was in 6th grade and was aspiring to be a drummer for a rock band. My mom and dad had a huge stereo system in the basement and my mom often listened to 80’s rock concerts with the volume up so loud that the house shook and I loved it. 79’s, 80’s, and 90’s classic rock was and still is my absolute favorite genre of music. One day as my mom and dad were playing a Phil Collins concert, I sat with them and shouted over the music that I had the urge to play the drums along with the songs. My mom and dad both told me to go ahead. I have always been encouraged to follow my passions and for as long as I can remember, my dad had a drum set in the corner of the basement. This was definitely not my first time playing the drums, but it’s a core memory of when I thought that this, drumming, was something I could get really good at and I did! I would audition and be accepted into an art school the Summer before 7th grade, and chose percussion class as my elective.

6. Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin

Middle school was tough on my mental health. I’d say 7th and 8th grade were when I really needed evaluation and assistance with my mental health. I found myself listening to music every night on my IPod very late into the night. Fool in The Rain was a favorite because the drumming was so catchy. I also warmed up to this song every week in my private drum lessons.

7. Comfortably Numb By Pink Floyd

After 8th grade, I left the art school and was back in the public school system. I remember being excited to see my old friends from elementary school as we were almost all now in the same high school. The excitement didn’t last though, as I fell into a deep depression and Anorexia. Feeling numb was soon my new normal. I listened to songs that I felt I could relate to such as Comfortably Numb.

8. Time For Me To Fly By REO Speedwagon

After being discharged from treatment for my eating disorder in 2012, things were never quite the same at home. My every move was monitored to ensure I didn’t relapse, but I did anyway. For the next 2 years (my junior and senior years of high school) I would struggle with both Anorexia and Bulimia behaviors. My mom would also divorce my dad the Summer before my senior year. The song, Time For Me To Fly has multiple meanings here, I know my mom related to it because she felt it was time for her to go regarding her marriage, but I also related to it in that my mental health was still suffering and I didn’t know how to let it go.

9. Resist By Rush

The lyrics of Resist perfectly sum up my relationship with myself and the world around me as I returned to treatment for my eating disorder in 2017. I was determined to recover and ready to fight for a life worth living which would put me on the path towards my ongoing healing journey.

10. Love Walks In By Van Halen

In 2020 I met the person I thought I was going to marry. We were together for 3 years. This person supported me through a lot, including graduating college, mental health issues, adopting my dog, making police reports, and going through family fallouts. Our relationship was fun and goofy a lot of the time. I do not regret my time with this person one bit. It was what I needed at the time and I have grown from every experience durning the time we were together.

11. The Living Years By Mike + The Mechanics

I have been through a lot with my family. From going no-contact with many, to being ignored by others for seemingly no reason. It can be hard not to focus only on the bad, but I am so grateful for where I am in life now. Relationships within my family are far from perfect, but I’m alive and well, I have a new job, my own apartment with my dog Penny, and this song perfectly describes how you may not see eye to eye with family, but bitterness isn’t going to be the solution. So, with that, I’m choosing to focus more on the good when I can because it truly is “too late when we die to admit we don’t see eye to eye.”

bandsinstruments90s music80s music

About the Creator

Amanda Olejniczak

I am a content writer for Addiction Recovery and a proud advocate for mental health and abuse survivors. More of my content can be found on Instagram @amanda_unfiltered or @amanda_unfiltered_poetry

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