Jun

7

I was just browsing Laurel Kenner's blog and she has a great post on music there titled "Artaud":

I don't have Laurel's knowledge or depth of sensitivity to the arts, so I think she was making a point through Artaud about how art can get too involved in its form and sometimes lose sight of its inspiration and emotion. For whatever reason an artist is inspired and creates, the art can still impact the individuals that make up its audience in profoundly different ways, depending on the who they are and where they happen to be in their lives — their own specific context. For me, music is often much more than just the music. Its impact on me depends on what is going on at the time. Here are a few examples.

MICHELLE (Beatles)

At age 10, crossing the equator aboard the Italian passenger ship (I wouldn't call it a liner) "Aurelia" — it was playing on the loudspeakers by the pool. I was traveling with my mother from Adelaide, Australia to Genoa, Italy. Learned to swim, learned to play chess, and also played a lot of bingo on that trip. (Also visited the pyramids of Egypt.)

AND I LOVE HER (Beatles)

In my cousin Zsuzsi's apartment in Budapest Hungary, 1966. The first time I ever heard the song; she introduced me to it. I can still hear the blue articulated buses roaring by on Dohany Street five stories down below. (I now play this song with my "band")

COME TOGETHER (Beatles)

Night-skiing as a young teen down the municipal ski hill in Sherbrooke under the stars with the city lights laid out below. They played it through the PA system. Wonderful way to ski. Another song I like to play.

RUBBER SOUL (Album — any song) Beatles

Riding across and beside the St Francis river in a school bus in pretty Lennoxville, Que. on my daily commute to and from Alexander Galt Regional High School.

CROCODILE ROCK (Elton John)

My best friends and I (high school years) belting this out at the top of our lungs (particularly the falsetto part) riding in Glen's red VW bug to his house out in Buckingham, Quebec.

MORNING HAS BROKEN (Cat Stevens)

Riding in Rick Trites' Triumph TR-6 sports car on a Friday night in Algonquin Park at night under a blazing canopy of stars, on my way to the most memorable canoe-camping trip I have ever taken — the Petawawa River.

CLAIR - Gilbert O'Sullivan

As an infatuated 17-year-old, slow-dancing to the song with my cousin's beautiful brown-haired 20-year-old friend at the top of the round hotel (that's what they called it) in the Buda hills of Budapest, Hungary. A magical moment on a beautiful moonlit night.

50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER (Paul Simon)

I actually didn't like that song, but they played it to death on the radio as my friend Glen and I drove to Florida for the first time in 1976, all the way to Key West and back. We sang along with it anyway.

MY SHARONA, & GOOD GIRLS DON'T (The Knack)

In a club in Vancouver, on a great trip out west (Calgary to Vancouver and back through the Rockies in a rented Camaro) with my good friend Don Parker. Nothing like your transmission falling out onto the logging road halfway up a mountain. Happened near Elkford, BC to Don's friend's jeep as we were coming back down.

BETTE DAVIS EYES (Kim Carnes)

The brokerage office at Bache in Ottawa. It was a fun group of guys and gals, and that song was one of the top hits at the time. (That and Strut -by Sheena Easton)

RAT IN THE KITCHEN (Album) UB-40

Riding through the Alps on an Intercity Express between Innsbruck and Vaduz, listening to reggae during my trip to Europe in 1986.

LA PALOMA (Mireille Matthieu) and LIBIAMO NE' LIETI CALICI (Guiseppe Verdi from La Traviata)

Sitting on an outcropping with a Walkman, completely alone, on the southern cliffs of Capri soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine and ocean breezes, and gazing out over the azure-blue ocean 300 feet below. What a magical afternoon that was.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LONELY (Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline overlay)

Driving to Greely just outside Ottawa on warm summer evenings to my horseback riding lessons. I was in my mid-20's when I took up English riding, and it was humbling to have pre-teen girls kick my butt at every aspect of it. But it was all worthwhile in the end; I eventually got in my fair share of clean jumps.

I'LL BE WATCHING YOU (The Police)

The top hit at the time when I travelled to Ft Worth Texas for a conference. Now that was a party. I wonder if Billy-Bob's is still there.

EVERY NIGHT (Paul McCartney)

Came on the radio as I was driving along Skyline drive up high in the hills between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, CA. A song I love to play and sing today. I've always loved cruising, and to do it in a place like that…

SHOUT (Tears for Fears)

My most amazing work/travel adventure in Perth Australia. The packed club I was in with my Aussie friends was absolutely rocking to this song.

And so on; this is just a sampling. Great music (and sometimes not-so-great music) anchors great memories. The reason I've selected these fairly old experiences is because they are still so vivid when I hear the music, despite that they happened so long ago.


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