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At some point in 1988, I started listening to a band called The Alarm. They had a song called "Rescue Me" that got me through more than a few adolescent rough patches. On the live version, singer Mike Peters starts chatting up the audience by noting the general emptiness of most pop songs at the time. He quotes Woody Guthrie (who I hadn't heard of up until then) and then tells the small but passionate crowd that they were "the future of Rock and Roll". That confident declaration made me feel not so alone or weird for liking non-mainstream music. There were others out there like me!

As the 80s spun into the 90s, and as punk and 'alternative' music was embraced by the late-to-the-party mainstream, we 'weirdos' were vindicated. The "future of Rock and Roll" indeed. So, it was special for me to meet him at the MN State Fair a few years ago and thank him for his music and what it meant to me. He was gracious, friendly, and down to earth.

What song provided that parachute in your life? What song rescued you?

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