The Musical Time Machine

Reading Mike Henderson’s I am Indisposed I see a post entitled: John Denver Anonymous:

My name is Mike, and I like John Denver. There: it really does feel good to get something like that out. And I won’t apologize or feel ashamed. My music collection kicks ass. I’ve got everything from Ella Fitzgerald to Alice Donut. Nine inch Nails to Garage A Trois. Django Reinhardt to Theivery Corporation. I know my shit. Nevertheless, there’s a John Denver track on my IPOD, and my only regret is that it is the only one there.

Eventually the little holes in the dashboard of Dad’s bronco filled with dirt and leaves and the speaker gave out. No more JD or anything else. But that was the truck that got the whole family to the mountains to go camping and climbing and biking and hiking and skiing. So he had a nice CD player and in-door stereo speakers installed. He even got the add-on speaker boxes for the back se
at so my sisters and I could hear. We bought CDs: John Denver’s Greatest Hits: volumes one and two. That and Full Moon Fever could get us from Bakersfield up to Dome Rock and, to my mother’s chagrin, back.

Mike’s post is very powerful and describes very well what a song can do to a person. I find period songs often bring back vivid memories and even if they are not restricted to a certain period they can given the right circumstances form a bond to a certain place and time.

A song from a local band (a polka-rock fusion band) instantly transports me to the Philippines. Mid to late ’70s disco music often whisks me back to Shawano Lake and Ravel, the Kronos Quartet, and Bartok flash me back to the UAE beach city of Khorfakhan.

Some time ago I wrote about this phenomena (at least once):

The funny thing is, it is not every ski location I associate with Abba. When we go to Ski Brule there is no particular association with Abba, but I strongly associate Abba with skiing the Big Snow Country hills and Blackjack is one of those What an incredible coincidence this was, the weekend we were going to ski Blackjack, Abba is going to be a major part of that weekend.

I am dancing on the edge of what Mike talks about above. Abba brings back memories of Ironwood and Hurley during dark and snowy winter nights looking for a place to eat after a day of bending boards. The reason this is so — is because the Abba CD was stuck in the CD player of my Brother’s truck and so there was no other option. I don’t remember much about those ski trips, but I remember being with my father and brother and always will and the skiing was just incidental.

Good Stuff!

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