I touted not long ago in “If only we could go back…”that time travel wasn’t possible. Then contradicted myself when I said it was possible in a sense in “Yesterdays Friends”. Now I am going to say once again, thanks to our memories, we travel back in time almost every day. The vehicle of travel; a song on the radio.
We all have songs that remind us of a time, and event, or a person. When I hear the song “On and On” by Michael Shankar Group I am reminded of a night driving north on 894 west of Milwaukee. I had not heard the song in a long time, it came over my trucks speakers, and I perked up instantly. “Oh cool!” I shouted and cranked up the volume. My fiancé was perplexed, and I found out later a bit peeved. She later asked, “How come you never get that excited when you hear a newer song?”
Can’t say that I had an answer, it was a dumb question. Must be why she is my ex.
Boston’s “Cool Your Engines” brings to mind the cute little girl I met in Duluth. Every time I hear the song, Dana is the first thing that comes to mind. We never really had a relationship, just went out a couple of times. During one of these dates, we were discussing music interests, her pretty face lit up, and she said. “I just love Boston. Every time Cool Your Engines plays on the radio I can’t help but crank it up.” It was Boston’s most recent release at the time. We never heard the song on the couple of dates we had, but it will always be Dana Little’s song.
Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do” takes me back to a late night running across the Ohio turnpike with my old buddy Jeff Goodman. CB radios have the regular channels, and then there is what we called side band. Sometimes we would switch to the sideband to avoid people listening to our conversations or to avoid getting stepped on by a couple of hands running the opposite direction. The one problem with side band is that things didn’t always sound right. It was getting late and Jeff and I were getting slap happy. We started singing back and forth to each other. He put in his Peter Frampton CD and the mouth guitar parts came on, and Jeff started to mimic them. If we had been on the regular channels, this would have sounded ridiculous, but the distortion caused by the side band channels made it sound as though Peter Frampton himself was sitting in my truck playing his mouth guitar. It was all I could do to keep from driving off the damn road because I was laughing so hard. “Do You Feel Like We Do” will forever be Jeff Frampton’s song.
Recently “Wonderful Tonight” reinserted itself into my mind as a memory place holder. A dear friend found me on Facebook and we started reliving old times. As we messaged back and forth, about events twenty years in the past, something triggered a memory. She and I danced together one time at a North Star Christmas party. The song was Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” She was a huge fan, and she was a dear friend. That song belongs to that memory until all memories are gone.
Black Sabbaths “Iron Man” will always take me back to Mr. Hollinger’s class. It was sixth grade and I was still a heavy metal greenhorn, but a budding comic book geek. One of our assignments in that class was to present differences and have the audience (the class) judge what they liked the best. Chris Hallanger and his group were playing the first few seconds of a song. One of those songs was Black Sabbaths “Iron Man” I was blown away! The intro of that song grabbed me by the balls and never let go. Too bad, every time I hear it I am pulled back to Mr. Hollinger’s class and Minnehaha Elementary School.
Who could forget “She is Only Seventeen” by Winger? This song came out in 1988 and I met her right around 1989. Leslie was a sweetheart who just happened to be “17”. She was a waitress at a truck stop I frequented. It took all the courage I had to bring myself to talk to her. When she mentioned she was a student, and I asked her what collage. She said high school with the shy sidelong smile; my heart fell to the floor. I pursued her anyway because she was clearly interested in my, and she was that blonde haired sweetie I always wanted. Leslie will always be, one of those I wish I never let get away.
Not all songs are pleasant memories. Metallica’s “Last Caress/Green Hell” is a raunchy song that is on the outer limits of mine and good tastes. But it was getting air play back then and became the topic of conversation one night before I did a whole pile of stupid stuff. The aforementioned Chris Hallanger brought the song up, admitting it was raunchy, but pretty cool. That night would later cost me over $800.00 to replace the trees and park equipment three drunken idiots destroyed with my car.
And no, I was not driving!
I know many of the above travels back in time involve the girl I was with at that time in my life. But isn’t music and emotions closely tied together? Many songs out there are not tied to an event, but still spark a strong emotional response in me. Harry Chapman’s “Cat’s In the Cradle” later covered by Ugly Kid Joe, always causes the eyes to glisten. Then there is “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass always give me pause. I don’t think I have ever known a brandy. Drank some, but the song hits a chord, pun intended.
I have been married twice and engaged once. There was never “our song” in any of those relationships. In fact in none of my relationships, no matter how long or short, was there ever a “song”, except one.
“Thank You” by Led Zeppelin belongs to the dearest of all my memories. If you listen to the lyrics, it’s about eternal adoration.
If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.
I gave that song to her, so, so many years ago. We were just children. We were not even old enough to drive. Yet, with the passage of time, our puppy love became much more than that for me. That song will forever be her song, and can belong to no other. So when it plays, its memories of her and a happier time that connect the present to the past.