Friday, October 17, 2008

Ring My Bell


I remember a story about (novelist) Marcel Proust tasting a Madeline cookie and recalling his whole childhood. It was an epiphany of sensory recollection that inspired the twenty two hundred page of a novel: "In Search Lost Time"


For me the same can be said of music. It's unfortunate that these pedestrian, radio songs, are the marker fossils for the most poignant moments of my life. It is dumb luck which song you hear at the cross roads, and just like a duck emerging from an egg, you are imprinted with that moment forever. The song and the memory are inseparable. You hear them in your car and secretly turn them up, hoping the voyeur in the next lane, doesn't catch you singing.


Today over lunch, I heard a song, and told my brother a story about the summer of 1979. I went to Pennsylvania with my folks, and he stayed home. It was "that" summer that so many songs and books are written about. On the way north, I skated in my last ever big event, one of the last in Florida, that marked the death of the skate park era. I turned sixteen in Ligonier, met a girl and well...we learned a thing or two, about a thing or two. My cousin George and I spent our days at the "Ligonier Beach" pool. The big hits on the jukebox that summer were: "Chuckie's in Love", "Shattered" and "Ring My Bell". The mono soundtrack bombarded us from a single megaphone speaker and I saved the entire experience onto my hard drive. It must have been a pretty good story because my brother (who has a pretty short fuse for all things sentimental) didn't interrupt me once.


I started another love affair that summer, on a borrowed Schwinn Scrambler. There was a little outlaw BMX trail, behind the baseball field, and I was hooked after one run. That poor kid hardly got to ride his bike if I was around. It took twenty two years for me to get a bike of my own, but just like a good little duck, I never forgot.

See? It's always about the bike....


W.B.Z.N.

9 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

You know, I do sort of believe in magic.
Whoa! I said it!
And in the kind of magic I (might) believe in, music has a way of inserting itself at the most appropriate (magical) moments, via radio, usually, although not always.
To my dying day I will assert the fact that certain songs, certain albums, saved my life, and certainly my sanity.
And in thinking about this, for me, the Beatles represent the strongest force of this whole magical thing in my life.
In my life.
Good post, Brother.
Oh, and the bike thing too.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

"In My Life" is my favorite Beatles song. I got to sing it a few times, the ending kills me. thanks Sis...

gclark said...

Those were the days, my Cuz. "Shattered" and Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son" bring the memories flooding back. By the way, who is that in the photo?
-Geo.

nicol said...

There is no control over what's playing when something major happens to you in life and then it's seared in the brain and associated to that event from then on. I would imagine most can relate to this.

Another fine HWB post!

BIG JIM S. said...

Man, I can remember when I learned a thing or two, about a thing or two while listening to "Don't do Me Like That" in the background (Tom Petty, not the girl).

Ms. Moon said...

Brother B- I once listened to the Neville Brothers doing In My Life as the old year became the new in New Orleans.
THAT was magic.
Yeah, it might be my favorite song by my favorite magicians.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Cuz!!! Goddammit I miss you guys. I really want to come see you but I need to win the lotto! The pic is a random google image (nice though) I found under Ligoner beach. Tell everyone I said hey!
Thanks Nic!
BJS sooo funny! and unfortunate at the same time.
Sister Moon, believe it or not Bed Midler did a good version of it in the "For The Boys" soundtrack.
Good stuff all, I would give a years wage to be with my cousins tonight! I have had a few and am feeling a tad nostalgic (shut up Mag!)

TallahasseeTrails said...

Holy crap, WB. You made me check out "Ring My Bell" on YouTube.
Check out the little pre-zippernecked 'stached bastard shimmying around behind Anita Ward, wearing a black-banded white hat:
Big Pimpin' WBZN in 1979!
What were you, 10? I am once again amazed and humbled at the Greatness.
TrailGnome
"If I fall you're going down with me" - Trail running advice from my Dixie Chicks
"Pugsley: It's how I roll" 45 pounds of love
TrailGnome's home

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Theres nothing worse than having your secret identity revealed. Well played sir.