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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Music

I seem to be on a bit of a music thing lately.

Nice! It's great to have these little periods - these bents - that come along every once in a while. These are the times when you completely lose your "grown up" persona (some will doubt I have one in the first place and am talking through a hole in my ass) and let yourself go free. Have a beer or a glass of wine, hit the playlist titled "The Good Stuff", turn the volume up to "obscenely loud" then start to dance and sing yourself back all those years. My sister is really good at it. Just give her some time away from the kids, a stereo and a wooden spoon doubling as a mic and you have guaranteed entertainment. It's great singing along with her. The start to every song is preceded by "Oh, oh! Do you remember when......" or "God this reminds me of.....".

As I said, this is heaps of fun. Allowing external stimuli to assist you remembering little bits of your personality and how they got there. Like a certain smell. Fresh bread takes you back to your grandmums house when you were four and a kitchen was an enormous place full of things you weren't allowed to touch yet. Or seeing a particular make of car makes you think of the time you took a ride in your mates new wheels when you were 18 and.... and... I'm sure it was that kind of car... maybe it was blue... or a station wagon - ahhh, it doesn't matter what set the memory off - it's the fact that that you remembered it anyway! And when you are reassuring yourself that you can physically draw those memories up from whichever black pit of cerebellum that you have stashed them in, you feel immensely proud of yourself for the achievement.

And music does it for me. Especially Pearl Jam. The band takes me to a fantastic time in my life Back when I was starting to get the idea that I had my own identity; independent of my family. Bright, shiny and new, I was sponge for everything the world had previously held from me until that exact moment when it deemed me ready to be smothered in life.

Some call it the "Soundtrack" of their lives. and it is. Listening to "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam means cruising down to the bottleshop in a yellow Austin 1300 to where there was a fair chance of underage guys like ourselves being served with little hassle. Then back to someone's flat to drink amounts of alcohol usually prescribed for running high performance engines and looking cool doing it. Standing back looking at girls looking at us; wearing flannel shirts to signify that rather than just listening to grunge - we "were" grunge. We understood the pain of being the ignored generation. Shit, we felt so ignored that sometimes we didn't notice ourselves!

And hearing Pearl Jam also sets off thoughts of other music as well. Going to gigs like Buffalo Tom and Hunters & Collectors at the university ballroom were standouts. Among the sweat noise of youth, we started to matter to ourselves. It was here that we "made our bones" as people in our own right. Our own tastes and preferences expressed free of the Axis of Evil that consisted of Mum and Dad.

So to all you other 30-somethings out there, or anyone for that matter, get your old songs out of the cracked and faded CD covers. Set aside an hour for "me time" then dress in comfortable clothing (flannel shirts if you got 'em). Pump up the volume, sink back into a beanbag and take yourself back a ways. Remember where you were and, in the process, remember who you are.


  1. The same applies in your fifties.
    Grateful Dead and Jefferson Starship bring back memories of things and places that are well worth revisiting. Bell bottoms and paisely shirts are no longer available in the size I am now so the memories have to do it on their own.

  2. Lol! Thats the great thing about music, PO. It's the universal communication that everyone shares.

  3. eeeehhh.....you mention faded CD covers, some of us pull out Vinyl evey now and then ( tho I do confess I use the covers for a 4 piece changing image set on the loung wall, currently sporting the NZ post punk collection)

    So I take it the Hunters and Collectors gig you refer to was not the one with New Order at Mainstreet in the days when they stil played a hot water cylinder on stage?