38 special
The band 38 Special will perform at the Chumash Casino Resort on Friday. (Publicity photo)

Researchers have claimed that people form their lifelong musical taste by the time they reach age 14. Is it really true?

Well, the very first music that I purchased was the single “Caught Up in You” by 38 Special, way back in 1982 when I was 12 years old. Yep, a single, as in 45 RPM, on vinyl. I still love the song, and I still love the band, so maybe the researchers are on to something.

At any rate, 38 Special will bring their popular brand of Southern rock to the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez on Friday, Nov. 22. Tickets are available by clicking here.

The band was founded by Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Fla. They released their first album in 1977, sadly just a few months before Donnie’s older brother, Ronnie, the original singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, died with others in a tragic plane crash.

Things started to take off for 38 Special in 1979 with the title track of their third album, “Rockin’ Into the Night,” one of the greatest driving songs. If you like rock ‘n’ roll trivia, this song was written by the band Survivor but was given to 38 Special and became a hit.

That set the stage for the band’s next album, “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys,” which featured “Hold On Loosely.” Notably, the video for that song was played in the very first hour of broadcast by the then-new MTV. “Hold On Loosely” was a huge hit for the band, and it seems to still get played almost every day on KTYD.

The band’s first No. 1 record was the aforementioned “Caught Up in You,” a winning combination of Southern rock and guitar-oriented pop. Like “Hold On Loosely,” this was co-written with members of Survivor. I can’t remember for sure, but I expect that seeing the video on MTV motivated me to buy the single. “So caught up in you, little girl … .”

The band had one more No. 1 song, 1983’s “If I’d Been the One.”

Although their last album came out in 2004, they have continued to tour regularly. Unfortunately, health issues forced Donnie Van Zandt to retire from the band in 2013, but Barnes is carrying the torch.

So, whether you want to relive your youth, or just enjoy rockin’ out to great songs and smokin’ guitar, check out 38 Special at the Chumash Casino.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his website, music-illuminati.com. The opinions expressed are his own.