I remember being fourteen in 1986 and buying the Beatles' “Magical Mystery Tour” album. I went home, poured myself a glass of Dr. Pepper and sat down on our living room couch to look at the LP cover. Then I started playing the record. The last cut on side one, “I Am The Walrus” left me breathless. I quickly flipped the vinyl over. "Hello Goodbye" opened side two and then, I heard the mellotron intro of "Strawberry Fields Forever." "Penny Lane" came on next. As Lennon and McCartney's childhood memories streamed into my consciousness, I realized that not every song had to be about love. As I entered the place where “nothing is real" and tried to picture what "the fireman with an hour glass" looked like, I understood that pop songs didn't have to be predictable, unchallenging ditties. Instead, they could be like good novels that fired up your imagination.

In my youthful naiveté, I decided right there and then that I would dedicate my time to writing songs, such as the tracks I had just heard on the legendary Beatles album. Little did I know that I would have to learn how to write all types of songs for all kinds of artists, including myself. As I began my decade long liaison with major labels at the turn of the millennium, I spent hours on end attempting to write potential hit singles. Roughly one third became hits - the rest were misses - but I did learn the craft.

When I was offered an opportunity to write this blog, I grabbed it with both hands. Finally, a chance to discuss something very dear to me on weekly basis and put together a playlist featuring what I consider to be first-rate tunes with great lyrics. In addition to hopefully introducing new music that fits the mood of the list, I am also looking forward to reintroducing some of the lesser-known tracks by well-known artists, such as the Beatles, Tom Petty, Zombies, Nick Drake, the Go Betweens etc. However, what really excites me about this blog is the opportunity to be able to offer young, aspiring bands a place to send their songs.

Here it is, from me to you, "Music to Celebrate Life."

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About the curator - Tommi Tikka

Tommi Tikka - Music to Curator

Tom Tikka is a linguist, poet, professional songwriter, recording artist and a music aficionado. He started playing guitar when he was four and writing songs when he was six. Consequently, he doesn't remember a time when he wasn't playing or writing. It's fair to say, music and lyrics are not just something he loves to engage himself in; to him, they are a way of life.