There’s something special about a husband-wife created Pandora station that blends two very different, and at times opposing, music styles. And that moment is even more special when the hive mind of Pandora decides to play all husband-music for the entire 45 minute drive.
We were about 15 minutes late to a doctor’s appointment and the stop and go traffic wasn’t helping. Just then, as if Pandora’s settings were set to ‘irony’, a Journey song was queued up on our virtual jukebox and Steve Perry transformed our stressful traffic moment into a Faithfully sing-along (well, at least for me).
“Highway run, into the midnight sun,” I sang to my fellow traffic mates and beyond.
“What is this?!” she said with the disgust of an ungrateful teenage girl.
“Wheels go round and round, you’re on my mind…” I sang louder at her face of revulsion, knowing eventually… love would win.
“Quick!! Who sings this!” I knew it was a hopeless question, but I needed her to not miss this Journey moment.
She rolled her eyes and gazed out onto the slowly moving traffic. Frustration covered her face. I could tell she was allowing her awareness of time to rob her of this Faithfully experience.
“I don’t know… Beach Boys.” She answered flatly, throwing out any random “old man” musician name. I felt for her… I truly did.
“They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family, right down the line it’s been you and me!” I stretched out a rock-star-reach-to the-crowd hand, but it was rebuffed.
“No… not Beach Boys… these are men. And this, my ungrateful little angel, is a power ballad.”
Traffic released its grip for a few seconds… only to lock us in again at the next light.
“What the hell is a power ballad?!” she exclaimed, using very non-mommy language as the kids weren’t present.
I was taken aback. “You don’t know what a power ballad is?!”
“No.” She glanced at the car clock and back at the slowly moving traffic. Thanks to an amplifier a previous owner had installed in our mini van, Journey continued filling our mini van with the energy of a stadium concert.
“A power ballad is an anthem of love that moves you to your core. It’s got mind-blowing drum and guitar solos.” I paused to let that sink in. — It didn’t. “It’s quite possibly what makes the world go round.”
“Power ballad…” she mused as she tapped on her phone screen. “That’s an oxymoron. How can something be a ballad… and be powerful… it’s like reality-tv or child-proof.”
“Very poetic,” I pointed out. “I can’t explain it, but if you wait for the end of this verse, you’re going to feel the power drum/guitar solo crescendo followed by the lead singer’s voice piercing the night!”
Just then, as if Steve Perry and I were sharing the stadium stage, his voice resonated: Whooa oh oh ooh, whooa oh oh ooh ahhhh!!!
I followed along with my own air guitar and drum solo, raptured by the moment as I played for other cars as they started to mysteriously pass by.
And suddenly, as if a disgruntled neighbor had abruptly pulled the massive power cord from the concert’s energy source, a sharp car horn disturbed me mid-drum solo. Traffic had finally opened up and it was time to continue on our own Journey into the midnight sun… Faithfully.
Feel free to sing along… it’s hard not to.