My wife and kids were away from the house most of today. The weather has been so rainy and stormy around here, so I used the opportunity to stay inside and dock my iPod to the stereo and play it at high volume on every speaker in the house.
I heard music from early days as a kid riding around in the backseat of my parents' car to the grocery store, the hardware store, or even to the beach. I'd listen to the old fifty thousand watt AM stations bringing me sounds from a thousand miles away. WOWO, WLS, KMOX, KDKA, WBAP, WSM, WCBS came to my little Panasonic transistor radio with the 9-volt battery. Later came a Sanyo boom box, a CD player, and finally an IPod where I now try to assemble all those songs again.
As a very young kid, my parents controlled the music in the house. Simon & Garfield, the Eagles, and the Rolling Stones meant a Saturday morning; cartoons were over and my mom was cleaning the house while my dad was out. The scent of Pine Sol was in the air.
Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" meant we were headed to the beach...
The Eagles' "Take it to the Limit" reminds me of a late night drive to get cough syrup at the drug store...
Journey's "Who's Crying Now" is a cold dark day, sitting in the car waiting for my dad to come out of the pizza place with a large pizza with everything and a calzone with marinara sauce.
"Every Breath You Take" by the Police is a hot day at the beach where every radio is tuned to the same station. The sound of the radio is muffled by the surf and thick air.
Oddly, "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and the Papas was playing in the operating room just as I was being put to sleep for knee surgery.
Good and bad; Odd and ordinary, music is my link to the past. Whether it is R.E.M and U2 of high school and college---The Talking Heads, Widespread Panic, INXS, 80s, Jayhawks, Johnny Cash, 40s big band, Metallica or others, uit is a touchstone for me.
As for now, it's "Gold on the Ceiling" by the Black Keys---already a reminder of our beach trip last July---with my own family. My 8 year-old has already said it reminds her of the beach house. So it continues. It's all good.
You take a walk and you try to understand
Nothing can hurt you
Unless you want it to... R.E.M./Pylon "Crazy"
My Story: Cruel Summer