Musical Memories

I got to drive the Big Red Car to work Tuesday and as such, I got to listen to satellite radio for 2 hours out of my day. Its a first for me as Bruce tends to be possessive of his new Accord even on my work days when I don't need the "Mommy van."
I didn't think I'd care whether I had satellite radio or not. I had my stations and I was fine. But now I do care because satellite has variety and it has no commericals. AND it has the nothing but 80s station.

Yeah, I know, 80s music isn't as 'cool' per se as some of the other eras, but it was mine. I was born in 1973 and so by the time I was old enough to be listening to "today's" music we had hit the 80s - decade of big hair and bright colors. Its not the songs on that station will necessicarily be revered as classic any time soon. Sure, a few may make the cut but over all? Well, let's just say I'm not convinced it'll be hailed any time soon as the "great era of (insert genre here)." No, its not the quality of the music perse, its that these songs were *my* songs.

It was weird, actually, to hear song after song that I might not be able to identify by title or performer name...but I could sing along with it. I could hum the next notes before we got to them. I knew them because in some weird way they knew me. They were there in my puberty. They were there when I started High School. They were there when I left for college. So much of those corny songs were woven into my life in such a way that just hearing them brought memories to the service. The open chords suddenly evoked memories so clear I could smell them again. I could taste them. See them in such overwhelming clarity.

On the way home it was "Stand" by REM. Those first notes hit the airwaves and suddenly I was there again. It was September 1991 and I was wearing my 'hottest' jeans and shirt. I was squashed in what seemed to be the world's smallest dorm room. The smell of sweat and spilled alcohol almost nasueating. I had a drink in my hand - the first one I'd ever had at a real, honest-to-goodness, college party. I felt awkward. I felt out of place. This wasn't me. This wasn't what I did. I didn't know these people. I didn't really drink. I didn't 'party.' But the music started and suddenly these weren't loud, obnoxious drunks vs me. This was us. This was us standing with our hands to our sides jumping up in down in place -- standing in the place where we lived.

Song after song that played from the 80s station sparked the same in me. More memory. More reliving. More vivid recollection. I know smells can trigger memories. Specific images can send your brain for a 'this is your life' ride. And now I know music can to. I don't like to live in the past any more than I like to obsess over the future, but sometimes, as I live in the here and now, I think I'd enjoy dancing to my version of yesteryear.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

You make me want two things; a new car and snazzy radio. Glad you got to get your 80s fix! I think it is great.