Friday Jams: 50 Shades of Music

As few may have noticed, I haven’t posted on the blog for quite some time. Oh, I’ve written posts. Many. But when I go to publish them, I realize that nothing written can be more important than talking about my dear friend Shelly, and her suicide.

And to be honest (TBH), music isn’t either. But I’m trying. It’s been difficult. Oh sure, we’ve had travels and fun and every day stresses that we get through, but deep in my heart there’s always the fact that my friend was in such a bad place and I didn’t even know. In fact, no one knew. Again, I don’t feel guilty, just sad. But I’d like to move on even a little bit if only a blog post does the trick for today. So, Shelly, my lovely friend; I miss you. But today we’re going to talk about music and I think you’d approve.

It is officially Birthday week! No, I don’t really do a birthday week. In fact, this will kick off a fairly quiet week where I’m trying to keep my food on track post Savannah southern cooking and Pre-Boston seafood. The hubs is in town for a few days which means I can put him to work on the grill and keep the protein high and the carbs low. In theory. I just really want bread these days. Poor me.

However, to kick off birthday week, I thought about music and what it has meant to me in my life. See, music has seen me through dark days. It has brought more joy to happy days. It can quickly transport me to a past event and make me write down a current song that speaks to me. I love it. I’m very fortunate that I lived in a world where music was appreciated. Well, not all. Pastor John never was a fan of Prince. But that’s just, like, his opinion man.


I was 6. My brother was 8 and this song was on the radio more times each day than the shortened version of Jane Says on Classic rock stations these days. It was my introduction into Rock. And to this day, it remains one of my favorite. Also, men were manly in the 70’s. Sucks to be you Millennials.


I was 11 and Oooooooo, these girls could sing. See, this was the age where I realized I couldn’t. And if the good Lord came down and sat at my kitchen table right this moment and said, Well Jules what is the one thing you really want in life? I’d be hard pressed not to tell Him to give me the gift of song rather than, ya know, no more cancer or shit like that. I had the 45 of this song and outplayed it. Srsly. Kudos to mother Lynda for not imposing a Pointer Sisters embargo in the home. You can add Donna Summer, Olivia Newton-John, really any woman with a strong, kick ass voice. Those were my idols. Well, and Billie Jean King. Anyways.

Speaking of kick ass chicks…


Who, other than Blondie, could make teenage girls across the country want to become platinum blonde Playboy centerfold punk rock singers? Especially us suburban girls. Give us a little edge and we’ll do the rest (I also went through a brief Chrissie Hynde stage in college. Tons of black eye shit and never combed my hair.) It was glorious. Still couldn’t sing though. That sucked.


Basically, all things Prince. Look, I don’t know how this played out in other parts of the country but Prince was a Minneapolis boy; therefore; he was ours. Heh. He was talented A.F. and freaky and when his shit hit, it hit hard. Of course now the rest of the country (maybe even Pastor John) understands the depths of his talent but back then he changed music and brought my age group out of High School and into the college years; aka, adulthood (no, not adulting. Growing up is a noun, not a fucking verb. FOK!)

That’s it. My childhood in a nutshell. The first 18 years summed up with Rock; Soul; Punk, and Prince (yes, he gets his own distinction.) I’ve written enough about how I didn’t have the Disney childhood; but I tell ya what, looking back at it through music actually makes it pretty fucking cool. I’ll take it.

Nature give you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty. 

Coco Chanel

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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1 Response to Friday Jams: 50 Shades of Music

  1. bencrush says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Suicide has taken a few friends from me over the years. I enjoy your writing, and I sincerely hope that it is cathartic putting your thoughts on “paper.”

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