Life Measured by Music

I’ve said before that I have a terrible memory.  I thought it was just childhood stuff, but then over the holidays I was having drinks with a few sorority sisters and they brought up an old friend from college.  The conversation went a little like this:

“Who?”  I asked with my face all scrunched up.

“You know that guy who dated Marci and was ALWAYS around.”

I shook my head.

“He was tall, had red hair, was in Chi Phi.”

I shook my head again.

“How can you not remember?  He was ALWAYS around.  What’s wrong with you?”

“I”m telling you, I have a terrible memory.”

After that conversation it’s been bugging me.  How many important people or moments have I forgotten and WHY?  Well today I read this post from @whyisdaddycryin and I started applying his technique.  For me, I’d definitely say “music is the soundtrack of my life” and when I started thinking about music, all these memories started flashing through my head.  So, I thought I’d share a few of them.  (I am going to use first names here, it just feels more real that way.)

When I hear “Thriller,” “Beat it,” or “Billie Jean” I remember my obsession with Michael Jackson in 3rd grade and the hours I spent over at my next door neighbor, Jennifer’s, house waiting for any of those videos to play on MTV.   And when I hear Culture Club, I remember my 9th birthday party at Showbiz Pizza Place where I walked around with my new boombox on my shoulder listening to Boy George sing “Karma Chameleon.”

Play me any song from Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” and I am back in the 6th grade jumping on my trampoline with Brandi, Jeff, and Randy with said boombox blaring the boys from Jersey.

Flash forward a few years when music becomes a bit more important and the memories fight for acknowledgement.  Salt-n-Peppa’s “Push It” and I’m on the Mind Scrambler at The Pavillion in Myrtle Beach, SC with Stacia screaming my head off.  Enter New Kids on the Block and we are spending hours up in the bonus room of Stacia and Stephanie’s house learning to dance just like the New Kids.  (I bet we could still pull off “The Right Stuff” dance.)

Strike up a little Bel Biv Devoe and I am back in the jacuzzi at The Links Golf and Raquet Club with Christy and the cousins we met from Georgia.

If I hear or think of Grateful Dead “Fire on the Mountain” I’m with Laurie at Brandon’s house after school.

The Eagles (“Hotel California” especially) and I’m riding in Heather’s 69 convertible Firebird on our way to an AYSO soccer game.

Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Under the Bridge”), Nine Inch Nails, and Jane’s Addiction and I’m back in “the house” I spent almost every weekend of 11th grade hanging out in and trying to score a boyfriend (finally succeeded at the very end of the school year.)

Play some Eric Clapton and I am on my senior trip to Myrtle Beach riding around in James’ Volkswagen with Laurie and Benji in the backseat.

“I Melt With You” and I’m at the Rainbow Deli at the Arboretum singing karaoke for the very first time with Amy.  Anything from “The Chronic” by Dr. Dre and Amy and I are in our dorm room warming up for a night of dancing at the Pterodactyl.  “Gin and Juice” by Snoop and we are at the Sea Gypsy Inn on the beach with Chris, Scott, Mike and a few others. “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s and I’m sitting in Amy’s blue Ford Probe during a Moore Hall fire drill.

“Trippin Billies” by Dave Matthews Band plays and I’m visiting Toby at NC State and trekking across the dew covered soccer field in the middle of the night.

Alanis Morrisette reminds me of my Spring Break trip to NY with Kristin, “Calling Baton Rouge” by Garth Brooks takes me back to the A-Town apartment sitting next to the only boot-wearing, Stetson-owning “cowboy” I was ever attracted to, Joe Cocker makes me think of Graem (the ZTA most eligible bachelor of 94), Alien Antfarm’s cover of “Smooth Criminal” reminds me of the gym friend that used to walk around Bally’s with his headphones blaring and his head bopping, Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” reminds me of teaching second grade at Leawood Elementary and how I wasn’t sure what was more disturbing, that my kids knew and liked the song or that Mrs. Richardson did.

And of course there are so many memories of Mark that are sparked when I think of music.  Jane’s Addiction “Kettle Whistle” reminds me of our trip to Atlanta where I was actually 50 feet (or less) away from Perry Ferrell, Dave Navarro, and Flea.  “Easy” by Lionel Richie reminds me of watching Mark as the sexy frontman of K-Blu-E.  The Verve’s “Lucky Man” reminds me of Mark’s attempts at teaching me to play the guitar (he’s a great teacher, I’m a terrible student).  “Rehab” by Amy Whinehouse and “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon remind me of the funny lyrics he comes up with to make songs appropriate for our girls. (“Oscar needs to take a flea bath, but he says no, no, no” and  “Lilly don’t pee on the tire”)

So those are  some of my music memories…would love to hear a few of your’s.


17 thoughts on “Life Measured by Music

  1. Renee January 13, 2010 / 8:29 am

    I have a million. The most up front, though, are Pearl Jam, which remind me of summer days driving to Ithaca with Missy and Roxanne and also of Emma’s father. Billy Joel also reminds me of him; and Rocky Horror Picture Show reminds me of Missy and Roxanne again.

    I won’t go into all of them. There are too many. 🙂

    • lesleehorner January 13, 2010 / 9:46 am

      Even the stuff you mentioned here brought back more memories…Pearl Jam reminds me of a trip I took with a touring youth choir, and there was a guy in that group who was always singing Billy Joel songs. And a friend and neighbor Mike in high school was always suggesting we go to see Rocky Horror Picture Show…but we never did. (I did end up seeing it at some point though, just don’t have a vivid memory of that.)

      • Renee January 13, 2010 / 9:47 am

        We used to listen to the Rocky sountrack all the time. I knew the music by heart before I ever saw the movie,

  2. WhyIsDaddyCrying January 13, 2010 / 8:59 am

    I love it. So great and so many of your choices remind me of girlfriends, great trips, moments of sadness, and many of the amazing friends I’ve made along this journey of life!

    Thanks for mentioning my post and amazing job – again!Well done my friend.

    • lesleehorner January 13, 2010 / 9:47 am

      Thank you for the inspiration. You’ve given me a new way to remember the past.

  3. Darkwulfe January 13, 2010 / 11:17 am

    I tell people I have a photographic memory….just out of film andunderdeveloped! Great post! I use music in the same manner very helpful tip.

  4. Laurie (@GoodByeGracie) January 13, 2010 / 11:50 am

    Love this! I have so many memories rooted in music, too. I am hoping to pass my love of music on to my kids. Great post!

  5. cjaxon January 13, 2010 / 7:14 pm

    “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls takes me back to an 8th grade dance when Kate and I got in trouble for simulating rubbing our hands on our bodies … not even, you know … there!

    “Beautiful Tonight” by Eric Clapton takes me back to meeting my first love Clint while teaching VBS, when he serenaded me in the gym in front of everyone.

    “Stay” by Lisa Loeb reminds me of driving around with my best friend Ashlee, singing at the top of our lungs.

    “Galileo” by Indigo Girls … Ashlee and I are driving to high school graduation, windows down.

    Dang … I should have written my own blog in answer! the memories are rolling now!

    • lesleehorner January 13, 2010 / 7:22 pm

      I’m pretty sure that it was “Stay” (I know it was Lisa Loeb) that Laurie and I used to play on repeat when we were driving home from the bars…

  6. Winslow January 13, 2010 / 7:32 pm

    Thought-provoking post, as usual. Why do we equate ‘memory’ with ‘brain cells’ or linear thinking? Smells can transport us through time to a moment too, as can taste! My darling mother is seriously losing her memory and I’ve begun to see how our brains are actually not the reservoir of stored information: something else is, like a song, as you say. Lovely.

  7. Kasey January 13, 2010 / 9:58 pm

    Loved this, Leslee! It brought back many memories for myself! I love music!

  8. Stephanie January 14, 2010 / 8:58 am

    Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh. Oh, oh, oh-oh….First kiss was a sweet kiss, second kiss had a twist, third and the fourth kiss…I don’t wanna miss….The good ol’ New Kids days, and don’t forget all the video tapes we made for them. Ha.

    Thriller takes me back to a 7 year old, living at Providence Square Apts. I remember watching MTV, and my mom fell asleep on the sofa. Thriller came on, and I was scared to death to watch it by myself. Thriller was hardcore back then!

    BTW, I also remember the scrambler at Myrtle Beach pavillion. Not the regular scrambler outside, but the indoor one that went up diagonal…pitch dark, and the lights would flash. Seventh grade summer, and it was the “Pour Some Sugar On Me summer.” We rode that ride over and over, and they played Pour Some Sugar On Me over and over. You couldn’t go anywhere on the strip w/out hearing that song blare out of boombox and car speakers that year.

    I literally could on and on when it comes to music memories, it represents every age and phase of my life…from Bob Seger, and yes Eddie Rabbit when I was little, to Candlebox and Snoop Dog in high school. When Jamie and I were dating (when I was 16), we would go to this s!*t-kickin’ bar w/ Tammie and Quentin, Quentin would always play Eric Clapton- You Look Wonderful Tonight. Jamie and I would dance- young love…w/ no responsibilities…just all about each other. Wonderful Tonight- no matter if I’m in a grocery store when I hear it, always gives me goose bumps…I think no matter how old I get, that song will take me back to being a tan 16 year old w/ brown hair down to my waist (I was brown sugar- ha), dancing w/ my first (and only) love. *sigh*

    See, and I didn’t even get to the Naughty by Nature (who’s down w/ OPP), Bel Biv Devoe, Bobby Brown, Boys to Men, or NWA days. Haha. I enjoyed your reading yours. 🙂

    • lesleehorner January 14, 2010 / 9:37 am

      Yes, The Mind Scrambler was the inside one and they did play a lot of rock/heavy metal songs, but they also played “Push-It” (unless I’m remembering incorrectly…) That ride was so cool. Stacia and I were in one car and you and Dawn would have been in the other! And do you remember the Magic Attic? I couldn’t think of any songs that particularly reminded me of that place but I def. remember going with you guys!

  9. Stacia January 14, 2010 / 1:41 pm

    Music from my life is definitely linked to specific memories. When I hear certain songs, it is like I am right back to that/those moments. There are sooooo many that come to mind, I may need to write about it on my own blog ;o)

    I have several songs that remind me of our young days of hanging out. When I hear Bobby Brown, “Tender Roni” or “Every Little Step”, I think about being over at your house for a sleepover, listening to music and talking about boys and make-up, etc. I have this one clear memory that you may find odd… when we were in North Myrtle with your family… I was sitting in the floor and you were sitting up on the bed behind me braiding my hair… you were singing “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses! And of course NKOTB was a big part of those days. I don’t know if you are friends with Matt Guthrie on FB, but he recently posted the video for “Please Don’t Go Girl” and WOW that really took me back! I bet we watched that thing 100,000 times!!! Kudos for prompting sis to comment on a blog, *gasp* =)

  10. Stephanie January 14, 2010 / 3:10 pm

    Yes the Mind Scrambler, and they did play Push It, we seriously rode that thing like 200 times. The Magic Attic…oh my, Dawn and I always remembered that buck-toothed guy coming up and saying, “Vanna vance.” Hahaha! Oh, what I would give to have that life back for a few days! We stayed in the ocean all day and on the strip all night- good times. 🙂 And Stacey, shet up. 🙂

  11. Jack January 14, 2010 / 9:59 pm

    Music is the soundtrack to my life, without a doubt. Far too many songs to list here. But suffice it to say that I routinely include links to videos in my posts.

    Tunnel of Love by Springsteen will forever remind me of someone incredible.

  12. Tara January 15, 2010 / 8:03 pm

    I love this blog. It also brought back many memories. I love driving or listening to my iPod and a song will come on that makes me smile! I love music and wouldn’t want to live without it.

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