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....