A lot of people want to be my best friend and I like that, but they always have to realize that they are never going to replace the man I met on a downtown street corner near Liberty Ave in Pittsburgh wearing red shoes and looking like he was about to punch someone in the face back in 2002. We instantly connected and while many people have tried to tear us asunder over the years, here we are! There are SO many songs that remind me of him for so many reasons that sometimes it's difficult for me to truly trace what kind of an impact he's had on my life thus far. In honor of his birthday, I'm going to highlight the first 10 that pop into my head. Here they are -
1. Cher - When The Money's Gone
Pretty sure we were requesting this song long after it was remotely relevant (I'm actually fairly certain this was not a super popular hit for her at ANY point) when we went out to Pegasus and The Real Luck Cafe in the early 2000s. This amazing video did not exist at that time and I'm feeling extra grateful to the person who made this. I want to be their friend. Anyway, this song is extra special for us because we were poor and we ate a lot of Wendy's in Josh's car. We're a lot more literal than people usually think we are.
2. Sweet - Little Willy
This is one of those curve ball songs that Josh would bust out that reminded me that he was growing up and wasn't just into divas with a side of Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette anymore back in 2011. The world was changing and Josh had decided to embrace the 70s outside of the context of The Cher Show. To be totally honest, I wasn't super familiar with it until he introduced it to me. It's a legitimately fantastic song.
3. Britney Spears - Lucky
Like many Americans who knew virtually anything about music in the early 2000s over the age of 12, I was always VERY hesitant to openly embrace the music of Britney Spears in any capacity before "Toxic" came out. Well, Josh was determined to change that. He took it seriously. He would put this song on the jukebox at 5801 and would say "It's a really good song! Listen to the words!" SO often that finally, one night, I started singing along.
4. Reba McEntire - If I Were A Boy
Overall, Josh has made me truly appreciate what an amazing example of a feminist female musician Reba McIntire is. Obviously the Beyonce version was great, but I really connected with this version a lot. It makes me appreciate the writing and the universal message. Also, it amplifies the fact that Beyonce really IS a legitimate country artist.
5. Florence & The Machine - Shake It Out
When this song came out, Josh's mom was in the process of going through a double lung transplant and this was one of those songs that was really there for us on a spiritual level. I'm pretty sure most mornings consisted of listening to this alternating with "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips for at least six months.
6. Eminem - Slim Shady
I can't think of any other reason that this reminds me of Josh other than the fact that he used to dye his hair blonde and a stranger shouted "Look, there's Marshall Mathers!" at him one day. Can't envision that? Here's some photographic evidence that the accusation was not completely unfounded:
7. This SUPER Bad Remix Of "Take My Breathe Away"
Poor Josh. He actually really liked this and put it on a mix CD for me and it made me laugh out loud. Still does. It's terrible.
8. Cyndi Lauper - At Last
This is a song that I was actually not hip to until Josh put it on a mixtape for me and even though I'm sure the rest of the tape was great, I would rewind and play this one over and over again. Josh has always encouraged me to shine, even when I feel like being a thunderstorm. Hearing it reminds me that he's always in my corner cheering me on no matter where he is.
9. Faster Kill Pussycat - Brittany Murphy
We love Brittany Murphy and we miss her a lot. Many young, hot Hollywood actresses during this time tried to drop a track with a DJ and make it work (Lindsay, Kim, Paris) but Brittany could actually sing and choose to work with someone who knows what they're doing. This track still sounds great.
10. Everyday Is A Winding Road - Sheryl Crow
This is definitely a constant theme song for us. We've gone through a lot of ups and downs over the years as individuals and as friends through work turmoil, family stuff, and a lots and lots of crazy lovers (sorry everyone, you're ALL BONKERS). Many people say they like to roll one day at a time. Well, Josh and I live life one moment at a time. I am truly grateful to have him in my life. He's always there to remind me of who I am, even when I forget.