Music I discovered “auf Mish”

The rules governing Mormon missionary music listening habits are quite austere, generally restricted to churchy-stuff (like MoTab) or classical (but no Carmina Burana, lest the elders and sisters get the wrong idea). Individual mission presidents may adapt the rules a little. If you’re lucky you might be allowed a little easy listenin'; if your Prez is of the schoolmaster variety, you’ll be lucky to go beyond the hymns on CD.

Here’s the music I really heard for the first time auf Mission. Some if it was kosher, some not, some of it I did not approve of at the time, some I loved. (Don’t judge us too harshly. Even hard-working missionaries in Catholic central Europe need to let off steam.)

James Taylor and John Denver, Enya (sail away! sail away!), Michael McLean (homeless! homeless!), Amy Grant, the Little Mermaid soundtrack, and the mighty Phish.

Were it not for my mission, I doubt I would ever have discovered Phish given that they are largely anonymous in the UK. My first DL gave me a tape of Rift which I carried around with me for two years but mostly did not play. Driving around in my car back home in 1997 listening to “Fast Enough for You” brought back funny memories of Knittelfeld in 1995 with Elders AS, RL, and JS III. I even sang “Waste” to Rebecca on our wedding day.

What did you guys listen to?

__________

There are other musical memories from the Mish (Pearl Jam and Soundgarden at District Meetings, missionary suitcases full of illegal bootlegs), but I shall not confess other people’s sins here…

Comments

  1. Aaron Brown says:

    In the MTC, one of my companions had (and sometimes played) a Toad the Wet Sprocket tape. I and our third companion would make fun of him mercilessly, insisting that the exotic name was compensating for a lack of talent. To this day, if I hear one of their songs (which isn’t often), I think of the MTC.

    In my first area, one of the elders in my district had “Chorus” by Erasure. It would get played, we’d make fun of how “gay” it was, but we were desperate for music, so it was enjoyable. Now whenever I hear an Erasure song from that era, I relive life in Carmen de Patagones, Argentina.

    In my subsequent areas, I and my companions were all models of righteousness, so no more American music to speak of. We did listen to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” constantly, however, since it was ubiquitous in Argentina at that time.

    I used to argue with one of my companions about whether it was fair for him to label any and all worldly music as “iniquo” (evil, iniquitous). I insisted that just because something was prohibited by the mission rules, didn’t mean we needed to treat it like Satan was its author. But he liked to talk that way, so we agreed to disagree. Good times.

  2. Reed Russell says:

    Auf mish habe ich Udo Lindenberg ausdiscovered.

    Crazy Germans . . . think they can play rock and roll.

  3. In the MTC (when I was there, we were allowed no recorded music, not even hymns) someone went all crazy non-obedient and played — something, I don’t remember what — but after 6 weeks in the place I was mesmerized. It reminded me of the scene in Shawshank Redemption where he plays some classical music over the loudspeaker…

    My 2nd companion in the field got a tape from someone which had “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on it, and when I hear that I’m transported back to our cold, sparsely furnished apartment. Another companion signed up for one of those CDs by mail services… He had all kinds of 80’s and love song compilations.

    My big discovery was Andrea Bocelli. He was just gaining in popularity and the future Mrs. Eddie (on her mish at the time) sent me a recording she’d heard from some members.

  4. How did you avoid listening to Falco (Der Kommissar, Vienna Calling, Tut-Ench-Amon, Brillantin’ Brutal, Wiener Blut, and Rock Me Amadeus)? When I visited Austria many years ago, his music was omnipresent.

  5. I had a Brazilian companion who had a stack of mixtapes labled “church music” that he would listen to constantly when we weren’t out of the house. Little did he know that I had snagged a few when I was looking for something soothing to listen to, and I was (pleasantly) surprised to hear some 80’s metal. Fun times.
    As for me, one of my favorite bands (Lagwagon) played a show in Brazil while I was down there, and I picked up the live bootleg recording of it. After that, I kept track of who was playing concerts locally, and tried to pick up the bootleg of it right after. It was kind of fun to show them off when I got back.

  6. You’re all going to hell…

  7. Aaron Brown says:

    Brad, two years without good music IS hell. Send me to Hell, and as long as I can bring my iPod with me, I’m good …

    AB

  8. It was in the MTC (called the LTM in January of 1976 when I was there) that I acquired a taste for Pink Floyd’s then newly-released, Wish You Were Here, thanks to Elder Carlson, who would play it each P-day as we did our laundry.

    Six months later in Seoul, Korea, Elder Leopard received a mix tape of recent pop hits from his girlfriend and he made me a copy and I listend to that tape virtually every P-day for the rest of my mission. Pop music was permitted on P-day by our mission president, so I listened mostly guilt free.

    Thirty three years later I can still remember most of the songs: Peter Frampton, Baby I Love Your Way and Show Me the Way; Chicago, If You Leave Me Now; Seals & Crofts, Get Closer; Starlight Vocal Band, Afternoon Delight; Gary Wright, Dream Weaver and Love is Alive; Elton John, Don’t Go Breaking my Heart; Eagles, One those Nights and Best of my Love; plus, one earlier song: Diana Ross, Aint no Mountain High Enough.

    Hearing any of those songs (and heaven knows I’ve heard some of them many, many times since then) instantly takes me back to to Korea.

  9. I mostly listened to Italian music on my Italian mission, though Nirvana did come through loud and clear.

    Litfiba, Liganue, Diaframma, Baglioni and Battisti were the primary culprits – though I was also introduced to Teenage Fanclub, The Wonderstuff and The Jesus and Marychain while in the field.

    I chose mostly to listen to Jazz. It was wordless and balanced the middle of Mission Classical and Worldly Rock.

  10. S.P. Bailey says:

    I fell in love with Brazilian music on my mission. AMV post that talks about that here: http://www.motleyvision.org/2006/the-things/

    This brought back great memories of Elder Pinheiro, whose personal study every morning consisted of reading comic books while listening to Metalica at hearing-loss levels on his headphones.

  11. Latter-day Guy says:

    Heh… in Boston, for the first few months, we foreign-language missionaries were able to listen to pop/rock in our mission languages. I quite liked Juanes. It was pretty cool. However, our President later thought better of that particular indulgence. I wasn’t too bummed though, because almost anything classical/orchestral was kosher, and they had a fantastic library system. I listened to even more opera on my mission than I have managed since. (Majoring in vocal performance, that is no small feat!) I fell in love especially with Britten’s operas, though Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress gave ol’ Ben a run for his money! Of course, good English libretto’s are rare things, and it’s hard to beat Auden. (Get the Gardiner recording with Bostridge and Terfel––it is sublime.) For spiritual music, nothing could ever top the Matthäus-Passion. (My personal favorite is the 1998 Herreweghe recording. Do not, under any circumstances, waste your time with the Bernstein––anathema sit!) It is deep and complex enough that you can return again and again, always finding new insights and inspiration. It was a balm on even the very, very worst days.

  12. So Brad, #6: Does this mean you listened to Metallica on your mission?

  13. I discovered Enya on my mission. I and the three other missionaries with whom I shared an apartment in one area would listen to her at night while enjoying a nice reading from Nibley.

    The odd thing is that I can no longer listen to Enya. My mind so strongly associates Enya with my mission that whenever I hear her I have massive mission flashbacks and I get really emotional. I am not exaggerating one bit. My wife thinks it is really funny but to me it is like I’m a Vietnam vet having an overpowering ‘Nam flashback.

  14. Kevin Barney says:

    I mostly listened to my Messiah tapes. But I also listened to, as I recall, lots of Led Zeppelin, Styx, Heart, Boston, Kansas, Yes, Supertramp and others.

    But here’s where I’ve got you all beat–I actually attended a concert! As in a big, arena rock concert. I think the line-up was Journey, Heart and Ted Nugent. I was a Heart fanatic back in those days, which is why I went. I think like three other elders went with me, and one elder brought his area girlfriend. (I think she was a bishop’s daughter or something; it was one of those deals where she left the house wearing one outfit and then grabbed a different one she had stashed in the bushes. (Don’t anyone try to compete with me on mission rule breakage…)

  15. I became more familiar with the current pop music on my mission that before or after. When you can listen to the good old stuff whenever you want you don’t notice the pop played in public as much you do when you’re deprived.

  16. One of my companions had a tape with some Milli Vanilli and (seriously) we thought that it was the best thing we had ever heard.

    On a more respectable note, I first heard music from Phantom of the Opera when the bishop of a ward we were serving in took us to see the fireworks one night and played the tape en route. I bought the highlights tape about a month before returning home and was absolutely captivated by it.

  17. Enya and the christian Amy Grant greatest hits – we must have served around the same time. I also gained my love of Opera – especially Madame Butterfly

  18. Am I a square?

    On my mission I learned to love Boris Godunov, Falstaff, Goetterdaemmerung, Tannhaeuser and Prince Igor. I saved up cash from my MSF under my mattress to buy CD’s on P-day. I also listened to way too much Mahler and Beethoven. And then there was My Turn On Earth.

    My first companion was Taiwanese and listened incessantly to Chinese love songs. My second companion didn’t wear his name tag anywhere he went and listened to Chris Ledoux and Limp Bizkit. Something about hot-dog-flavored water. And rollin’.

    A relatively common thing to hear in my mission were Metallica or Queen songs played by an orchestra or string quartet. I was never clear on what “approved” music was, but I wonder how much more spiritual acoustic metal is than the real thing (not to say that my music was “spiritual”).

    Six months toward the end of my mission we got a letter from the twelve saying CD’s were no longer allowed and I actually never used them again on my mission. In my last area we had a record player in the apartment and the used bookstore in town had an amazing collection of classical LP’s. I’d go there every P-day and pick up great stuff for only a couple of bucks. That’s how I discovered the Karajan “Ring” and one of my favorite recordings of all time, Sir Neville Mariner and the Academy of St. Martin playing Peer Gynt. Lucia Popp is divine on the songs. Oh I also stumbled on Boulez conducting Liebesmahl der Apostel, a rare find.

  19. I’m actually more embarrassed that I didn’t know these before my mission than I am that I learned of them on my mission (in England), but:

    Chicago

    Erasure (like Aaron, I can’t hear certain Erasure songs [I Love to Hate You, for instance] without wonderful memories of people and places coming to mind)

    ABBA (I personally believe that ABBA Gold is approved missionary music in most parts of the world–at least, it’s orthoprax, if not orthodox)

    Simon and Garfunkel (I think the only real fight I got in with a companion was when I suggested that Bridge Over Troubled Water was a MoTab song and who were these interlopers?)

    Les Mis (we listened to the “you’re on your own, you have no friends” line so many times we wore out the tape)

  20. Oh, and Steve L, I was going to say “repent” for the Wagner, but if you listened to some Mahler it appears you already have.

  21. The one good musical discovery I made on my mission was american spiritual music. The Paramount Singers’ “Work On, Pray On” album is awesome (found it in a library in Rauma, Finland of all places), and MoTab’s “An American Heritage of Spirituals” is entertaining. It’s also very hard to find, even online. Can’t imagine why MoTab hasn’t added it to iTunes.

    If I ever make a mormon-ish record, I’m going to send free copies to every mission president in hopes of getting on their approved lists. That’s thousands of easy sales right there!

  22. I remember, once, as a missionary in Finland, I walked into a chapel and heard some other missionary (Hi Kyle M!) playing Just Like Heaven, by the Cure, on a piano. It was awesome. It was one of my favorite songs growing up, but I hadn’t heard it in a few years. Still one of my favorite songs.

  23. Reed Russell says:

    Kevin, #14, You’re a real Mensch for coming clean on the liberal influences of Colorado.

  24. Latter-day Guy says:

    RE: 20,

    Alex, are you saying that Mahler is penance, or evidence that he’d forsaken his sin? (The whole incest storyline in Wagner does creep me out, though in the Met recording I never quite believed that Jessye Norman was Gary Lakes’s sister. However, I can’t really argue less creepiness for my favorite composer: when Billy Budd opened, it was referred to in the press as “The Bugger’s Opera” and “Twilight of the Sods.”)

  25. The album that stands out as a mission album for me was The Stone Roses’ first album. It was fantastic, and it became a soundtrack for being isolated in a cold and lonely place while everyone around you seemed to be having a great time.

    There were many others — I rolled that way — but another standout was ‘Sensual World’ by Kate Bush.

    I also found Nits, a great Dutch band that I still count as one of my favorites.

  26. I mostly listened to classical music and MoTab on my mission (it was 2002-2004, and the MoTab/OTS label had just recently come out, so we were all stoked to have some cool new stuff available). I also listened to music by Dave Barrus, who performs folk music and show tunes (until a companion complain to the Prez, because it had some Phantom of the Opera music on there, who said I should put it away).

    Of course, it was during my mission that I was also introduced to Evanescence. Shinedown, Black-Eyed Peas, and the early music of Will Smith thanks to an EQP who didn’t like how isolated missionaries were from the “real world”.

  27. Antonio Parr says:

    1. Lex de Azevedo’s “Messengers of Light” (schmaltzy and self-righteous, and yet captures the sentiment of my more idealistic moments as a missionary)
    2. Justin Hayward (of the Moody Blues) “Night Flight” (sent to me by my nonmember brother, who took pity upon the imposition of my 2-year denial of music . . .) . This was Hayward’s weakest solo release, but, thanks to a dozen or so listens during my mission, has tremendous nostaligic value.)
    3. Jackson Browne’s “Hold on/Hold Out” (see above).
    4. Yes’ “Going for the One” (a bootleg bought from some street vendor during a moment of weakness. Some gorgeous music mixed in with the progressive rockers.)
    5. “Open Any Door” by the Brothers Justus, a folky musical made by some California-based Latter-Day Saints, one of whom was the late actor Gordon Jump. This one, along with “Messengers of Light”, is most likely to “take me back – take me way, way back” (to quote the great Van Morrison on his great 2-LP release “Hymns to the Silence”)
    6. Some homemade tape from the “Colorado Denver Mission”, which included a song called, well, the “Colorado Denver Mission”. That tune still runs through my head . . .

  28. Steve L.,

    Well, there’s at least two of us! Thanks to one of my first companions (who was an organ performance major in college), I got turned on to the Deutsche Gramaphon series of cassette tapes of Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker, and also Neville Mariner and St. Martin-in-the-Fields playing the Wassermusik…. We had a cassette deck with an auto-shutoff, so at lights out we’d put in a 30-minute cassette and let it put us to sleep. Ah, the memories!

    My “concert” experience on my mission was a Military Tattoo held at a huge indoor arena in Berlin (unfortunately I don’t remember which one). I have absolutely no recollection of why we were allowed to attend…(?).

  29. Christafari.
    *hand head*

  30. We had all kinds of black market CDs available on the street and I availed myself of many of them. Mostly it was momentos for after the mission such as Spice Girls and Jessica Jay, which played incessantly on the buses. I fell in love with The Prodigy as that was played in the piazzas as we got our food stuffs on p day. I picked up a fair amount of Balkan disco and wedding music and will share with anyone in the Seattle area.

    I’ll never forget though borrowing a copy of a greatest super hits CD (everything was a dollar on the street) that included “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette and couldn’t figure out if I was going to hell or had ended up in heaven.

    I also picked up a great copy on the Wergo label of the Ligeti Mass, the one from 2001 Space Odyssey. That was one piece no companion could stomach.

  31. New discoveries included Schweisser and Hubert von Goisern.

  32. Aaron Reeves says:

    I used to keep a list of music that I would listen to when I get home. Although I used to get my companions to teach me the lyrics to a song they loved. This seems kinda weird now that I am writing it, but it is a weird time. I learned unanswered prayers – gareth brooks, goodnight elizabeth – counting crows, an eminem song from 8 mile, don’t take the girl – Tim Mcgraw, Maybe she’s an angel – ?. a bunch of others I can’t remember…

    I would never have listened to Stone Temple Pilots, Lit and Eva Cassidy.

    I also learned that there was some great classical music like Schubert.

  33. Richard Parsons says:

    In my mission, we were allowed to listen to classical music at least 100 years old. My favourite classical music is Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which was written in 1900-1901. It meant that it became kosher approximately half way through my mission…

  34. John Mansfield says:

    The months I lived in downtown Comodoro Rivadavia, our apartment was behind a dance hall that opened on Friday and Saturday nights. Every Friday and Saturday evening, we would go to bed (but not sleep) with the exact same line-up of dance tunes as the previous time. As the night sky began to lighten, the music would end, and I would sleep for about an hour. In all those hours of music, there was very little that sounded particularly good; maybe it was great for dancing, but not for just listening while lying down all night. To get the effect, record a couple hours of a mediocre radio station playing “lo mejor de la música latina,” and play it in a loop in your bedroom a couple nights a week.

  35. My favorite was Reger Waters – The Wall Live in Berlin. It was a rock opera, it was performed in Germany, hence it was German Opera. That got me through a remarkable number of rough patches.

    Pictures At An Exhibition helped a lot too. That’s the Mussorgsky version, not the EL&P. The 1812 overture was good for the days when I wanted to blow things up.

    I finally ended up buying a tuba on my mission and therefore had a lot more control over my music. I even performed “All I Want Is You” by U2 at a mission conference. It was either that or “On The Turning Away” by Pink Floyd. Turned out the U2 song had a lot more of a particular note that shook the light fixtures in the chapel.

  36. On my mission in Arkansas we could only listen to MoTab. Not Classical, not churchy pop. Only MoTab. I had eight tapes, which I listened to over and over. Then one day, twenty months into my mission, I broke. My mind just snapped. The music sounded horrifyingly discordant and sickening. The last four months of my mission I could not even be in the same room with Mormon Tab playing. Now thirty years later the MoTab still sounds like a cat scratching a chalkboard with a poorly tuned weedwhipper accompaniment. Seriously, every conference I have to leave the room when they sing. There is something very Clockwork Orange about making someone listen to MoTab for twenty months. I’ve never recovered.

  37. Ronan, I saw Phish a lot back in HS. Thanks for reviving some good memories. They’re an acquired taste – its nice to meet other fans…

  38. Back to the OP, I’ve got two words: Enoch Train

  39. I’m sorry to say the overwhelming musical memory of my mission is the “Saturday’s Warrior” soundtrack, which I think I heard a million times. It, of course, is campy and sentimental and not the kind of thing I’d volunteer to listen to. But it seemed to be as much a part of most missionaries’ libraries as Jesus the Christ. While I have not heard SW in years, thinking of those dumb songs pleasantly transports me to those innocent days.

    mjp (no. 8): I too listened to “Wish You Were Here” many times in January 1976, my copy having been made for me by a priest in the ward I was serving in. It was definitely a minority taste among my companions. But “Afternoon Delight”? You’ve got to be kidding.

  40. Russian Techno.

  41. In the mid-70s my mission had its own pop music group, The New Horizon, which played “Church music, folk songs and uplifting pop music in Korean”, and had a song on the Korean pop charts. Often, we regular elders would attend the concerts to hand out New Horizons’ swag and FHE pamphlets.

    It was a more or less full time job for the elders in the group–they relased albums and cassettes, appeared on TV and radio and gave hundreds of performances–probably not the mission experience any of them expected when they were called.

    Mack Wilberg, pre-MoTab, played piano and arraged music but was by no means the star of the group–then, as now, he did not relish the limelight.

    Here’s the story from the Church News: http://www.ldschurchnews.com/…/Singing-elders-took-Korea-by-storm.html

    For a different view of the musical universe in which a group of Mormon missionaries could become pop stars, go to netflix and check out “GoGo 70s”, a recent Korean movie about the pop music scene in Korea during the authoritarian regime of President Park Chung Hee.

  42. It looks like the link to the Chruch News doesn’t work. If you’re interested, just Google: new horizons mormon korea

  43. While I enjoyed classical before the mission, I discovered a good bit more there as I expanded my collection to avoid overdoing anything. However, while I’d performed Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem prior to the mission, after listening to them both so many times, I discovered that I could sing the entirety of both works from memory when my choir performed them last year.

    One couldn’t avoid hearing lots of contemporary music though as we roamed the streets, stores, or visited people. I hardly felt like I missed anything and picked up a number of French albums to enjoy (most notably, Amel Bent and Mes Souliers Sont Rouges).

    Then there was my last companion who had an MP3 CD with, quite literally, every Ben Folds track ever recorded. Also, the District where we had recordings of SNL’s “Celebrity Jeopardy” skits, which made for great amusement during car trips.

  44. anon for a rude comment says:

    #38

    “Mack Wilberg” “then, as now, he did not relish the limelight.”

    I think we must be thinking of different Mack Wilbergs. Have you played under him?

  45. Latter-day Guy (24):

    Sorry, you’re right, that could be read two ways. I meant the second–huge Mahler fan here. Britten, nice. And with Norman’s voice she could only be the sister of deity, so I understand your skepticism. :-)

  46. Kevin: Your last, parenthetical sentence of no. 14 seems to be a post struggling to get to the surface. I’m here to encourage you. Confession is good for the soul.

  47. I had two memorable musical experiences as a missionary at the Royal Albert Hall in London. One was going to hear the 1812 Overture, with real cannons. 4 of us Elders, one was bored to tears by the classical music and fell asleep shortly before the cannons were coming. My companion and I could barely contain ourselves waiting for his wake-up call and we died laughing when he practically hit the ceiling.

    The other experience, the same companion and I were both big John Denver fans and he was coming to perform at the Royal Albert. We were APs and had a super-nice mission president and knew he’d approve if we asked to go. But we felt like we’d be weasels abusing our position to ask. We decided not to, then weakly caved in a few days before said concert, got permission, and saw John Denver in a most amazing concert just about 6 months before he died in a plane crash. Wild Montana Skies became my favorite from his long list of great songs after hearing him perform it that day in that perfect setting.

  48. We were allowed to listen to music (not just church stuff, though most didn’t have anything else) on P-days. My companion in my last area had a collection of fairly new recordings, including someone I’d never actually heard of or knowingly listened to: Billy Joel. “The Stranger” still transports me back to Peru.

  49. Struwelpeter says:

    Because I served as Young Men’s President while a full time missionary in Germany, I got to help with the approval of music for stake dances. It was always fun to hear the youth try to justify their gangsta rap suggestions: “But Elder! @#$@$%$#!! isn’t that bad a word in English, is it?”

    One group I learned to like (several of our native Elders were fans) was Pur. I still rock out to Abenteuerland on occasion.

  50. I love the comment on the Korean rock group. My uncle was in Tailand and in a group that did the same thing.

    On my mission I was a pretty good boy. But I did go on splits with local ward missionaries and that’s where I learned of G Love and Special Sauce and also the Michael Jackson “Blood on the Dance Floor” album.

    I went to Germany. Rammstein was also big there but I didn’t hear them until I got home.

  51. Glenn Smith says:

    I won’t tell you about my radio used every day in my 71-73 mission…… Some of you kids rally had austere missions! I had better leave the movie choices out of this blog.

  52. Blaue Blume says:

    Berlin Mission, 1961-63: President Fetzer took the entire mission to the German rendition of “My Fair Lady” with Karin Huebner, as well as the operetta “Im Weissen Roessel” the following year. We attended many operas and concerts, often with tickets gifted by members and on-member contacts. Every missionary had a tape recorder. My companion had recordings of Vera Lynn, the famous British singer of World War II, which I still listen to with abject nostalgia. I still buy recordings by Freddy! After hearing Moon River” on a radio in the background as I gave the door approach late one cold evening, I bought the 45, which I still play. Ahhh – the memories.

  53. Germany South/Germany Munich back in the day for me.
    Mostly classical although a member in the American branch had a bunch of LPs and let us tape them. Hmmmm, Elton John, “Take me to the Pilot”, and BadFinger mostly come to mind. Did go to operas a few times, saw Fiddler on the Roof in Germany and yes, saw “Young Frankenstein” in German which was just hilarious….
    and Kevin B., bet I can beat you on the mission rules.
    Trying staying in Austria with your companion’s relatives for a week and your DLs thinking you’re visiting his other family relatives who were within the district, little village about 30 miles outside of town.

  54. Blaue Blume, you’ve reminded me of another mission “concert” experience – Bertold Brecht’s “Die Dreigroschenoper” (Threepenny Opera) performed outdoors in a beautiful garden. I think it was in Berlin, but it might have been Hannover.

    Sam also brought to mind the one movie our President let us go see: Christopher Reeve’s “Superman” – dubbed in German, of course! The American elders got a kick out of the visual joke early in the film, when Clark Kent first looks for a place to change into Superman. He stops in front of a modern kiosk-style phone, looks it up and down, then moves on with a disgusted look on his face. None of the Germans in the audience understood why we were all laughing so loudly…!

  55. On my mission (France) we were allowed to listen to any music we found “uplifting.” I tried to convince my training companion that Liz Phair was super uplifting, but for some reason she disagreed with me. So we ended up listening to a lot of classical music, some Christian pop, etc.

    Most of the music I remember from that time was stuff we heard just by being out in public areas and in people’s homes. Céline Dion was huge (of course) as well as Tina Arena (she recorded songs in French), and in other areas we’d hear a lot of French Caribbean reggae, which I still love.

  56. Going without my music for two years was a bigger hardship than being away from family.
    I never intentionally listened to any rock music I liked (so no Pink Floyd, Rush, or Dream Theater for two straight years). I never heard Rush on my mission, but that didn’t stop one of their songs from being stuck in my head for over a month.
    I had one companion who had some similar tastes in music, and we’d both cringe when one of us would accidentally start humming a tune. One day we heard two or three notes of something undeniably good blaring from a car radio. It hurt. Another time we were in a shoe store when a new Bon Jovi song started playing–we both cringed.
    An investigator family insisted I translate some Marillion lyrics for them, and had us listen to one of their songs. They were surprised we had never heard of them. I liked the music, but couldn’t determine whether I liked it because I was rock-deprived, or because it was actually good. After my mission I investigated the band and found that they have some fantastic stuff. That was the only time I intentionally listened to rock music on my mission.

  57. Jon Schmidt was in my mission. We always used to make him play for us.

    My mission president didn’t like the “seminary” soundtracks I was playing in the office and said I could only listen to classical music. I then started playing my tape of “Switched on Bach” done on synthesizers. He hated that too, so ended up just saying not to play it when he was around.

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