Christmas Music, Pencilstorm-Style, part one: Christmas Is The Time To Say "I Love You" - by Scott Carr

Today begins Pencilstorm's contributors' take on Holiday Music: various of our regular scribes will be presenting their choices of their favorite Christmas tunes, along with a (hopefully) heartwarming Christmas memory to go along with their choice.  (We don't know exactly which contributors, because nobody seems to know how to meet a friggin' deadline around here, and the egg nog is flowing a little more freely around the offices than we might like, if you get my drift.)  (Even Ricki C. has been dumping Southern Comfort in the punch-bowl, and we didn't even think he DRANK anymore.)  Anyway: here's part one - Scott Carr's take on Billy Squier. 

When Colin G. asked the Pencil Storm staff to write a little something about a favorite Christmas memory and tag it with a song, many ideas went through my mind, as Christmas is my favorite time of year and there are a lot of great memories to choose from.

I narrowed it down to the Christmas of 1981. That was the Christmas that I got my first real guitar. My parents bought me a Gibson RD Artist and it was a total surprise to me. I had been desperately wanting this guitar and would make regular visits to the local music store and stare at it for what must have been hours. My mom told me that they couldn't afford to get me a guitar that year because they were buying my older brother Tim a Gibson Les Paul.  Tim was six years older than me, was beginning to play clubs and my parents felt like he really needed a nice guitar. Plus he had proved that he was dedicated to his instrument and was going to stick with it. Although I was disappointed, I was really happy that my big brother was getting a kick- ass guitar, that he might occasionally let me play. The thing I didn't know was that my mother was being really sneaky and had told my brother the same story: that he wasn't getting a guitar that year because he already had a decent guitar and I didn't have one at all, so they were getting me that glorious Gibson RD Artist. We were both sworn to secrecy to not tell. So we were both a little disappointed but excited to know that the other was getting a new guitar. In the end we both got new guitars, mom's plan worked beautifully.

So, that ranks as the coolest Christmas memory ever for me. 

1981 was also the year that MTV premiered and I think we were the first house on the street to get it. I was obsessed with MTV when we first got it. I couldn't wait to get home from school everyday, turn on the TV and watch hours of music videos. And this was back when all they showed was music videos, if you can believe there was such a time. That December MTV premiered the Billy Squier video for "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You" and it featured the whole cast and crew from MTV along with Billy having a jolly good time in the MTV studio. Squier's Don't Say No album had been released earlier that year and "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love you" was the B-side of the album's fourth single "My Kinda Lover." The song would later be released as an A-side with "White Christmas" on the B-side. Don't Say No was one of my favorite albums of 1981 and Squier's Christmas tune instantly clicked with me. I generally love Christmas songs that rock and Squier delivered one that did just that. Every time I hear "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You" I am instantly transported back to 1981 and it brings back the memories of what I would say was the best Christmas ever.....

Check out the video below..........hey.....did anyone notice J.J. Jackson is wearing a Cheap Trick T-shirt?!?!?!!!!

                                      Me with the glorious Gibson RD Artist.

                                      Me with the glorious Gibson RD Artist.