Prompt 2 – What is your strongest memory tied to music? (Prompt by Sarah)
It’s taken me an inordinate amount of time to consider this, not because I have no memories connected to music, but that it seems ALL my memories are accompanied by music of some sort, and it’s hard to sort them out to the “strongest.” I’ve written about the different songs that played as background music to some movie moment in my life: The unfortunate timing of Paul Anka’s “You’re Having My Baby” with my being pregnant and Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs” while dancing with my baby on my hip, but I’ve been around awhile, so there are many more . . .
I can remember nearly every occasion where I heard some new music that I had to own. I discovered “Grand Funk Railroad” while picketing my high school for a relaxed dress code (yes, kiddies, once upon a time, we had to wear dresses to school every darn day of the week, and the hems of those dresses were to touch the ground when we kneeled, in spite of the fact that the rest of the planet was wearing their skirts a minimum of two inches above the knee, and in spite of the fact that we would have all been much more modest and comfortable if we had been allowed to wear the blue jeans we really wanted to wear! Ooops, still resenting, after all these years!). One of the “bad boys” I had a crush on at the time (he was in a rock band, for crying out loud!) walked by with a tape player blaring the song “Inside Looking Out” and I was hooked. I blew a week’s allowance on the double album “Grand Funk Live” and never regretted it.
At a party in 1971, I heard mysterious music coming from a dark room down a hallway. I followed it, and the smell of incense, to find a black-lit room and the most exotic sound I’d ever heard. “What IS this?” I asked a guy by the door. “Hashish,” he answered, handing me a pipe. “No,” I handed the pipe back. “The music. What is this music?” “Pink Floyd. Meddle.” Until I bought the album, I thought the band name was “Pink Floyd Metal”. From that moment on, Pink Floyd was to be the number one of my musical loves, above even the Beatles in my esteem, and I can attest that it will be a lifelong love, having lasted over 40 years and still going strong.
Perhaps my best memory of Pink Floyd is that the music spoke to my son in much the same way it had spoken to me (although he was much, much younger the first time he heard it), and it was his lifelong favorite as well. The day my husband, Chris, and I put Ozzie’s ashes into the keepsake containers we gave to his friends, I tried several different types of music for the task (silence was much too oppressive and bleak) until I put on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” (one of Ozzie’s all-time favorite albums) and a feeling of rightness and peace came over us. We wondered if he was hanging out with us, listening to the music and letting us know that he was doing just fine . . . and so were we.