Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Songs That Trigger Memories

So many of us know that certain songs instantly conjure up a distant time and place, just from hearing a passage from a song or similar melody. I figured I'd be selfish and share my own little favorites:

The Who - "Shakin' All Over" (live, from Live at Leeds)
As I drove down to my college graduation ceremony in 1993, I remember constantly playing the little section after the second chorus, when they broke down into their own little improvisation, and it was so powerful to me, and I have no idea why. To this day I love that little section because it reminds me of driving down the expressway toward IIT and feeling validated, empowered, and arguably at the top of my game.
I had a steady job I loved, had no girlfriend, wanted no girlfriend, didn't drink, go out, or care. Just was happy.

The Doors - "Love Her Madly"
Takes me back to when my insane brother was playing this album on his "hi-fi" and I was a mere victim of his wildness. I couldn't have been 5 years old when I knew most of The Doors' catalog. It distinctly reminds me of my brother playing records in his room and otherwise torturing me. Not necessarily a bad memory, just a distinct one.

Styx - "Lady"
I remember this from the local am station W.I.N.D. back when I was like 3 years old. This was debuted on WLS in 1972 and I swear I heard it there too. Part one of the throwback to innocent days...

Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love"
Oy - I was soooo young when I fell in love with this song - I believe I was singing the riff at my brother's orientation for high school, which puts the date around 1973! But I distinctly remember, as a toddler, making a little divey sort of motion with my hand as to emulate the descending chord after each chorus of "wanna whole lotta love" (neeeeaaah). Yeah that was probably my first song that I fell in love with.

Wings - "Band On The Run"
Wow, in the day, one of those additional song memories that take me back to that innocent time of early childhood, hearing the song on the radio (WIND, AM 560 with Clark Webber) back around 1974 or so. I distinctly remember the acoustic guitar break before "well the..." lyrics. I reflect on that innocent time of childhood fondly, and miss it. I still actually sometimes cry when I hear that acoustic guitar break, just from the memories of being a kid and otherwise unencumbered.

Simon And Garfunkel - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Another childhood reflection. As my mom would tatter about the house on her day off, she'd play the "Greatest Hits" on an 8 track player made by Lloyds. Most of those songs take me back, again, to that innocent time of being 4 years old, free to play with my little toy trucks, and devoid of all the complications that growing up would eventually deliver.

Van Halen - "Unchained"
I heard it while I tuned in the LOOP (fm 98, Chicago station) in 1981, while hanging with my friends in our shed on a hot summer day. Being almost 10 years old, I stopped and remarked "who is this?" and nobody knew. Once I found out, I was hooked. Takes me back to that summer day - and summer always, for kids, is usually a great time.

Journey - "Don't Stop Believing"
Similar to the above, was a youngster in 1981, goofing around in my basement with a friend. The song came on while myself and a friend were building a fort (who didn't at that age?). After moving to Los Angeles in 1982, I bought the single (it always skipped during "South Detroit") and was prominent because during a birthday party, we all played capture the flag. There we all were, running in the streets at 11pm, and I couldn't stop hearing that song, with the passage "shadows, searching...". Pretty cool.

Van Halen - "Panama"
Ah the days of puberty - this song was on during my first, well, make out session, and whatever else you might want to attach to that scenario. Ah to be 13...

Tommy Tutone - "867-5309"
Yes, I called the number. It was a time when I was listening to the local rock stations way too much and getting into the music of the time.


Wendi Manning said...

That's the best part of takes you somewhere. I've done a lot of posts on this subject and will probably do another soon, but there are awesome choices here. There not depressing memories, they're the ones that make you smile. Those are the best musical memories.

Jason h said...

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