To Be A Man

Boston’s Third Stage came out when I was in eleventh grade. I had turned sixteen over the summer and I was experiencing all those things that teenagers experience during that time of their lives. I had my first car, my first job, and my first girlfriend. It’s kind of funny that this album became such a hit with my age group. It was only their third album it had taken nearly eight years to complete. It had been ten years since their first one. By the time Third Stage was released Boston were already considered a “classic” rock band.

I was six when their incredible debut album came out and was eight when the second one came out. I was just a kid and I really only knew who they were because my uncle Neil had their albums. I remember hearing songs from those first two albums on the radio so I was familiar with them but I just assumed that they were one of those bands who had a few hits and vanished. I guess that was partially true.

I remember radio stations really hyping up Third Stage. To people into rock music it really was a big deal. This was one of the first albums that I eagerly anticipated. I wasn’t disappointed when it came out either. It sounded just like everything on their first two albums. Third Stage was an important part of the soundtrack to my high school experience. I don’t know that I paid much attention to lyrics back then but I do remember listening to the words of this songs and they spoke to me. I wasn’t a perfect kid and I did some things that I am not proud of but I always TRIED to live the right way. This song reinforced the idea that I was supposed to.

So much of the music from my teens years is trashy. The whole sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll thing was in full swing. I listened to some Christian bands that didn’t go that route but for the most part, my favorite bands sang about that stuff. It was actually refreshing for a rock band to write a song that offered a slightly different take. This song reminded me that being a man was more than bagging chicks and partying. Even now, thirty years later, this song means a lot to me. It’s actually hard to believe that this September will make thirty years since Third Stage came out. I’ve gotten old but one thing hasn’t changed. You still don’t have to do all that silly stuff to be a man.

Grace and peace.



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