Friday, September 30, 2016

Songs and Long Ago Memories

"I was listening to the radio; I heard a song reminded me of long ago."
Eddie Money: I Wanna Go Back

I don’t know about most people, but many times when I hear a song from the past, it often triggers memories I’ve associated with the song.

Out in the country, when I was still young enough not to be in school, I remember quite well an old yellow rectangular radio box. It was in the kitchen. My mom would have it tuned in to the nearest local radio station. 

I remember that situation because I heard a song that really caught my attention. Mind you, I was only four years old. But I still remember that feeling to this day: hearing Bob Dylan’s Blowin” in the Wind come across that old radio in the kitchen. Probably set me on my road to question authority and to dislike rules.

From the decade of 1980-1990, here are a few selected songs and associated memories.

John Lennon – Woman. College freshman, dancing at a dorm party on St. Patrick’s Day 1981 and all of us breaking the college alcohol policy.  Green (spiked) punch.

US Highway 136, Nebraska
April Wine – Just Between You and Me. Back home during my first college summer break. Off some patch of grass near US Highway 136 and Republican City, Nebraska, I happened to find a party:  I can still recall the beauty of the star lit sky.

Talking Heads - Burning Down the House The dance halls in LeMars, Iowa.  What crazy good times.

Elvis Costello – What’s so funny about Peace Love and Understandin’. An anthem while a college newspaper editor to push me further in writing passionate editorials.

Duran Duran – Hungry like the Wolf. Had the pleasure of having the Marriott feed me every day while living in Washington, D.C.  They would blast songs at a high decibel across their café area – nothing like eating while hearing the pornographic ending of this song (the extended version).

Twisted Sister – We’re not going to Take It. Kemper Arena, Kansas City, at a Twisted Sister concert. Can still remember the bass guitar waves hitting my chest like a hammer.

Genesis – Invisible Touch. A private, members-only club, Gammons, in Lawrence, Kansas where I played backgammon for hours, ate free food during happy hour, and met a lot of KU coeds. The day I left Lawrence heading for some type of life in northern Kentucky, this was the last song I heard from a Kansas City radio station as it faded off into the distance.

The Who – Eminence Front. Right next door to Gammons was a smartly located pizza shop, Pizza Shuttle. One early morning after leaving Gammons while I was waiting for my pizza to be made, I can still remember the conversation between the employees. Eminence Front begins playing. Employee one asks employee two – who plays this song? Employee two replies, exactly. Employee one looks quizzical.

Corey Hart – Never Surrender and Bruce Cockburn If I had a Rocket Launcher. KU student in Lawrence, KS. Two songs that helped me back onto the road of spiritual discovery. 

Dive Bar, Covington, Kentucky

U2 – Angel of Harlem. At a dive bar in Covington, Kentucky picking up fast games of pool.

John Mellencamp – Paper in Fire. Clubbing in Cincinnati dance halls along the riverfront. What crazy times.

Midnight Oil – Beds are Burnin’. Small venue in Cincinnati packed to the gills rocking out to political rock music. 

The band Velcro Pygmies. Yesterday’s. The happening Chattanooga night club. I loved Yesterday’s – ran a bar tab, great music, met a lot of people, and the Pygmies just blew me away with their energetic performances.

Please enjoy a playlist of the 14 songs mentioned in this post.

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