When I hear Fuel’s “Shimmer” I’m immediately transported to my small cab Ford Ranger in the La Costa Canyon HS parking lot. For some reason it’s night time, but I’m there, in the cab driving home. For Beck’s album “Guero” Rema and I are driving on the I-80 from Tahoe to Reno so we can get a space heater (and people watch) at Wal-Mart, perhaps the last time we shopped in one. Filter’s “Take A Picture” brings me to a bathroom stall in Thousand Oaks, listening to a walkman, trying block out all but a single instrument in the song to sharpen focus before a tournament for USC. Three notes from Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose“ and I can smell the football field from my freshman year… I can feel the excitement of the first day, and the disappointment of the day I pulled my groin and couldn’t kick for the team. Silversun Pickups, Everclear, Linkin Park, Dave Matthews Band… a few notes, a relatively unoccupied mind, and I’m instantly taken somewhere.
This is but a small sampling of the songs tied forever in my mind to events, or periods of time in my life. Until recently I had never paid attention to the association as it was building. For some reason it just wasn’t interesting, or had simply never occurred to me that the music we listen to becomes cemented as part our memories.
So far, I’m happy to report that my acknowledgement of this association hasn’t seemed to have changed my song selections. For some strange reason it does add to my enjoyment of the music I decide to entangle with my life. There’s a comfort in knowing that, until my body or mind fail, I can get back to this very moment… or at least to one close to it. I know that listening to Beck’s recent album “Morning Phase” will bring me to our early days of Australia. I’ll be transported to the weather, people, food, unemployment (it’s not all positive association!), struggles and successes of this period.