I work for a division of Kroger and each store's music is based on the typical ages of customers. So the music that plays at the store frequently might not be played at all or very rarely at other stores. I worked in the backroom for almost 2 years because my primary and usually only job was doing prep work. Ever since I started working on the sales floor again during the last year and a half I've been paying a lot more attention to the music my store plays. It's seems like they've changed the music they play but it may also be that I can focus on the music that I don't work in the front end of the store anymore. The music that catches my attention the most is from the late 90's when I was in Junior high. Most of the bands and songs I recognized right away but there's a few that I had to look up either with the Soundhound app on my phone or looking up whatever lyrics I could remember on Google. One of those bands is Fastball, and this band specifically I never would have remembered them if my job didn't play their music. They had one song that reached the top of the mainstream rock chart in 1998 which is the one this post is specifically about. "The Way" and another song from the same album "Out Of My Head" reached the billboard top 40. Two others charted as well but not in the top 40 and probably aren't recognized as well. Those two songs are "Fire Escape" and "You're An Ocean". The first 3 songs were all released around the same time from their album "All The Pain Money Can Buy". The 4th "You're An Ocean" was released a couple years later in 2000 off their album "The Harsh Light Of The Day". Their 2000 album was the last to be released on a major record label and didn't do very well compared to their success of "All The Pain Money Can Buy".
I've brought up this band and a couple others recently and while most don't remember them at all, I was reminded that there is a back story to their more successful song "The Way". I looked more into it and the song is about a elderly couple Lela and Raymond Howard. They left their home in Salado, Texas in June of 1997 heading to the Pioneer Festival close by in Temple, Texas. Lela had Alzheimer's and Raymond had brain surgery recently and was started to show problems from that including memory problems and becoming disoriented. They were found 2 weeks later dead in a ravine near Hot Springs, Arkansas. The bassist for Fastball, Tony Scalzo read articles about the couple and came up with the song. He already finished by the time he learned that the couple had passed away. Scalzo said that "It's a romanticized take on what happened" and that he "pictured them taking off to have fun, like they did when they first met."
What sparked my interest in the story was the mention of brain surgery. When I looked into it I kept on finding the same article about the song and the story of the couple just posted on different sites. I decided to try to look even deeper and found out that the surgery was to relieve swelling his skull after the car accident. The first thing that came to mind was Hydrocephalus but since I can't find any more information on it I still can't be sure.
Thanks for reading, I've mentioned this before but I plan on writing more about this specific topic again soon. The problem is that most of the ideas that have to do with this subject are ones that involve a lot more research.