How Teenage Fanclub Saved My Life

Teenage FanclubRecently I went to Kentucky to do some research for a new book I’m working on (no, it’s not about music – it’s about a racehorse). It’s a six-hour trip, and on the way up, NPR was enough for me to keep my attention, and I was looking forward to getting back.

Fast forward four days: I’m exhausted from my research, and I start driving. I look at the odometer every 5/10ths of a mile, wondering how much farther I’ve gone, and I know I won’t last six hours again with stories of Syrian refugees and the state of the Euro.

I pull over at the nearest Starbucks, have a coffee, and download something that I knew I could sing along to – something that would keep me awake throughout the trip. I decide on Teenage Fanclub.

I must admit I didn’t know the words to their songs, but they were familiar enough to evoke some response in my brain. Thanks to my hours of labeling my mp3s, I download the four- and five-star rated songs to my iPhone, get back in my car, and start playing the music.

Teenage Fanclub started out as your typical Brit-Pop band – heavy, screeching guitars, morose singing – but they seemed to find their sound by the middle of their second album – lots of layered harmonies, unforgettable melodies, and an energy that seems to go on forever.

I went through Kentucky and most of Tennessee listening to about 15-20 songs by them, humming the parts I didn’t know, singing in harmony with the group, and staying mentally alert. They literally saved my sanity; I don’t think I could have looked at my odometer every 30 seconds and stayed mentally balanced.

By the time I entered Georgia the playlist was over, but I found a sports talk radio station by then and all was good. I have a new appreciation for Teenage Fanclub now, and it’s become my soundtrack for my book; every time I work on it I play one of their albums. They’ll be in the acknowledgements to my book, and they may have saved me from running off the road in the hills of Kentucky.

Spread the love
  1. 2 years ago