Music is my memory holder. Hearing certain songs brings me back to a moment in time in vivid detail. An ACDC song takes me back to 1986 when I drove a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. The car, purchased used by my dad, had an 8 track music player. The seller graciously donated a shoe box full of Barbara Streisand tracks. While I like Streisand and her music, at 16 it wasn’t really my thing. While I saved diligently to buy a real car stereo, I used a boom box to play cassette tapes while driving. ACDC was on a favorite mixed tape along with Poison and Van Halen, I was big into rock.
Boston reminds me of my brother and his room in our house growing up. The Carpenters and Elton John remind me of the times my older sisters and I would listen to the radio in the St. Boniface parking lot. Styx makes me think of green shag carpet because that’s what was on the floor of my parents bedroom. I would sit on that carpet in front of the record player and read the album cover, singing along with the lyrics. Air Supply still reminds me of the nights I would lie on my bedroom floor rewinding the cassette over and over to see if I could hold the final note of “All Out of Love” as long as the lead singer did.
I never could hold the note of that Air Supply singer, and I don’t listen to mixed tapes anymore. I hate how everything is digital and I can’t drop a record onto a player. But I will always love the old stuff, and the places it takes me.