The Soundtrack Of My Life

By Ronnie Shapiro Stoeckel

When you are the ultimate superfan of independent artists worldwide , you deserve your own page . Welcome to the SUPERFAN page and the newest edition to our team , Ronnie Shapiro Stoeckel .
She is going to bring you the independent music scene from the fan perspective .
The soundtrack of my life began to take shape when I was a very young girl . My mom always would tell me that when I was around age 3 , I played my Partridge Family and Carpenters albums until they wore out . ( I won ’ t lie – I still do .) I would walk around singing “ Close to You ,” well , as much as I could as a three year old . My mom is a fantastic piano player , and taught me how to play as a kid . Of course , I wanted to be good immediately and was very impatient when it came to practicing , so the lessons didn ’ t last long . I didn ’ t want to do the work ! ( See my article in the previous issue .) But how to read music stuck with me . As I got older , I would listen to the radio during any free time I had . I had a little transistor
radio , and I ’ d sit there with it up to my ear , switching stations until a song I liked came on . ( To this day I still switch stations constantly until I find a song that suits me , much to the chagrin of the passengers in my car .) This was the 70s , and the pop music from the decade is what I gravitated towards . To this day , “ Rhinestone Cowboy ,” “ Convoy ,” “ Afternoon Delight ,” and many others still have a home on my iPod . Don ’ t worry , there ’ s plenty of rock on there too ! At that time , my dad would sit in the living room and play banjo every night . “ Foggy Mountain Breakdown ” and “ Cripple Creek ” are two bluegrass songs I can pick out when
played . Bluegrass is my dad ’ s go to genre .
In elementary school we always did little musicals . I was in the chorus for “ Oliver ” and “ Oklahoma .” That ’ s when my love of Broadway music started . One of the first albums I remember my mom buying me was the soundtrack to “ Oklahoma .” When I got a little older , I asked for a boombox . Cassettes were the in “ thing ,” replacing the 8 track tapes we had . I was so excited that year ( I want to say it was 1980 ) when I opened up the box with the picture on the front ! However , to my disappointment , inside this box was nothing but 2 pictures . One of my Mom and one of my Dad , each
“ To this day I still switch stations constantly until I find a song that suits me , much to the chagrin of the passengers in my car .!”
holding the boombox that was supposed to be in that box ! Such jokesters , right ? Off I went with my new toy . I got some blank cassettes and hid in my room . The first song I ever recorded on that radio was “ Centerfold ” by J . Geils Band . All of you who are around my age remember the drill , sitting there by the radio , waiting for your favorite song to come on so you can record it .
The frustration of waiting for the DJ to stop talking drove us crazy , right ? You would anxiously await the moment you could hit the record button ( if I remember correctly , it was the play button and the record button at the same time .) Of course I then started buying cassettes . I don ’ t remember what my first one was , but I do know I have quite the collection that I can ’ t play on anything anymore ! As I got older , music became more than just something to listen to . It became a stress reliever , a therapist , a friend , and the best medicine . Going into Junior High school was tough . I ’ m going to get very real for a minute here , uncomfortably real , but here goes . I wasn ’ t as thin and petite as most of the other girls my age . As I am now , I was a bit on the chubby side , and the other kids
never let me forget it . Music became a way for me to hide from the bullying . It let me hide my tears , become a superhero ,
become someone else . In my fantasy world I was a rock singer , a Broadway star , or a pop singer , depending on my mood . Heading farther into my teens , the rock star in me started coming out . Van Halen , AC / DC , Led Zeppelin , they were what I started listening to , and doodling on my notebooks . When the DJ on my local radio station said if you play Led Zeppelin ’ s “ Stairway to Heaven ” backwards you would hear a Satanic message , you better believe I went into my room turned off the lights and listened for the devil . I also got real scared when I thought I did hear something so the lights went back on real quick ! So much for me becoming the stereotypical devil worshiping rock music listening to brooding teenager ! When I was in high school , things did get a little better .
( Continued on page 61 )
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