Music and Memory

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by drmilktruck, May 13, 2019.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Triggered by the thread about gated reverb drum sounds, I played the third Peter Gabriel album this morning. That was released when I was a senior in high school and as I listened I was immediately transported back to 1980-81. I remember singing along loudly to I Don't Remember as I drove to our family cabin late one night after work. I recalled deciding that Family Snapshot was about JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald (and found myself sympathizing with the lonely protagonist - what high schooler hasn't felt themselves misunderstood and wanting to be recognized for something, anything?) In a student council meeting Games Without Frontiers was running through my head and when the principal looked at me, I blurted out, "If looks could kill, they probably will." He asked me what I said and all I could embarrassedly mumble was, "It's just lyrics from a song."

    We've done threads before about this I know, but it's unique to music to evoke such powerful specific memories. I can connect TV shows or movies or even paintings to certain things, but it's not as evocative or recurrent.

    Family Snapshot also shows how timeless music is, since the events described are occurring now with nauseating frequency and no one really wants to tackle the subject. A 4 minute pop song 40 years ago is as accurate as all the news articles and books today.

    Any specific music memories that you can share?
    loudnlousy, Henry, DannyB and 2 others like this.
  2. Armygirl

    Armygirl Country Gent

    Mar 14, 2014
    I love this.... I was listening to his greatest hits in the car just now. Brilliant artist.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    drmilktruck likes this.
  3. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    During Basic Training, Summer of '69, two songs were on constant repeat on the San Antonio radio station---Crow's "Evil Woman" and Zager & Evans' "In the year 2525". I still listen to the Crow tune---it holds up 50 years later.

    Some Grateful Dead tunes have helped me get thru some bad times, and stick out in my memories.

    I can still remember when and where I was when I heard certain tunes. Riding my bike, delivering newspapers, in front of the Marcinkowski's house when I heard Neil Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" for the first time. Had to stop and listen. Same with Dire Straits' "Sultans" and Clapton/Cale's "Riding the River."

    Then, "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" by CSNY always reminds me of when my wife and I were dating.
    DannyB, thunder58 and drmilktruck like this.
  4. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    When I first listened to "The Rain Song" on Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains The Same", a warm summer rain started outside my window (I wasn't older than probably 13 then). I hadn't heard that song before, so the live-version is my favourite.
    DannyB and drmilktruck like this.
  5. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    Wabash said: "I can still remember when and where I was when I heard certain tunes. "

    Precisely why I have to turn the radio OFF so frequently.....
    new6659 and drmilktruck like this.
  6. johnny g

    johnny g Country Gent

    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    In 1961 Don Gibson recorded one of my fav songs. The Sea of Heartbreak. As a GI in the early sixties, this song seemed to stick with me and my mates in the army days of our life. For my band it was the most requested song we played. Still love it today 55 years later.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  7. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    For me, Detroit Rock City is a musical mnemonic device that instantly recalls my mid-1970's High School parking lot; under-dash eight-track players blasting out through rolled-down car windows just before the homeroom bell rang...
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    DannyB, new6659 and drmilktruck like this.
  8. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    Perez Prado's recording of "Patricia" from 1958 played on the Wahoo, NE municipal swimming pool about every fourth song or so during that period. I remember the clear sky, the warmth, the intense summer sun and the web pattern of sunlight that was projected on the bottom of the pool.

    drmilktruck likes this.
  9. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    This is a pretty great version;
    drmilktruck likes this.
  10. johnny g

    johnny g Country Gent

    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    Sorry folks I just saw were I had Bob Gibson recording Sea of Heartbreak. Bob was a baseball player. Don Gibson was a singer song-writer.
    At least I had a Gibson in it.
  11. Chris MC

    Chris MC Gretschie

    Oct 27, 2014
    Orange, Aus
    Sorry in advance

    speedicut likes this.
  12. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    I got so many of them, I think I could tell my whole life with the soundtrack for each episode, the one that was actually playing or the one I had in my head.

    Today: How I bought The Velvet Underground and Nico.

    There was a record store in Tours old quarter named Jazz Pop Rock and they had a few cabins with earphones to hear the music. So you had to pick a record, bring it to the counter and the guy would play the record and head you to the right cabin. Once I was there in the early afternoon, guess I was through of high school course early that day. Searching in the trays, I found that mythical album, it was the very first time I ever saw an actual one. I had read lots of article about that huge too little known band but never could hear anything from them. I guess that was back in 81 or 82 before the VU became trendy.
    So I went to the counter and to the cabin and listened to Sunday Morning, not so impressed. OK, there was a little deviance in the sound, but nothing much different from the usual 60s candy stuff (I could not quickly understand lyrics on the fly at that age). At the start of Waiting For The Man, it all changed. That was incredible. Probably it took me only 6 measures before I rushed out the cabin and told the guy: "I take it!". I know I quickly headed home to listen to it quietly. But I don't remember the way back home nor that first complete listen. Only how it stroke me in the cabin.
    calebaaron666 and drmilktruck like this.
  13. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    In the late 60's, early 70's we all had little transistor radios and listened to Top 40 constantly...all of those songs, whether I liked them or not, remind me of a great time of life..

    drmilktruck likes this.
  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    The only time I listen to radio at all is when I'm in the truck alone. Even then, it's more miss than hit. Like you, I often turn it off due to what's being played. For long trips, I still have CDs or an iPod or Mrs. Slim's phone. Broadcast radio has gone down the tubes.
    Gregor and drmilktruck like this.
  15. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    I've mentionef that I have all of my CDs on a chip in the car, and I find myself listening to Sirius XM since there is a wide variety of music, 50s 60, 70s, 80s, Sinatra, Hall of Fame, blues jazz, it goes on & on.
  16. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    ** CSN&Y - " Our House " my sister and brother in law were dating at the time . We were in Jeff's car when he popped in the 8 Track and that song came on . We were going over the now demolished Tappan Zee Bridge
    ** Jackson Browne - " The Load Out / Stay " - pulling into the parking lot at college this song came on the radio in my '72 VW Bug Super Beetle . Just had to listen , late for class , greatest song I ever heard at the time and still holds dear to my heart along with ......
    ** Bob Seeger - " Against the Wind " - still stops me dead in my tracks and takes me back to when I was 18 . The only song that holds true to much of my youth
    drmilktruck and wabash slim like this.
  17. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    Every time I hear "Get Ready" I immediately go back to a New Year's Eve party. I was a freshman, and I was there because my older sister and her boyfriend (my brother-in-law) took me to the party with them. As the ice breaker, everyone had to describe their perfect kiss (4 this or that questions). It was a fun party and as the midnight hour approached, we all got to meet our perfect match. Mine was a stunning senior (if you want more on what she looked like, I can still give you exact detail when the song plays). The New Year's kiss was wonderful, and came just after we danced to "Get Ready." After the kiss, even though her boyfriend was at the party, she lingered with me marveling at how we enjoyed the same things about the kiss. And then it was over. *heavy sigh*

    I believe the reason music is tied to memories, more than TV or movies, is that music is more immersive, and it is meant to touch the emotions, while movies and TV shows have a logical component that makes it less immersive emotionally.

    Ok, another *heavy sigh* :)
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  18. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I drive a '99 Jeep Cherokee. No way am I paying for a Sirius XM rig and fees to listen to it. Being retired, I don't drive much. Jeep still has a cassette deck, tho I don't have cassettes anymore but use an adapter for the portable CD player.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  19. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    I may not have the Sat radio if it didn't come with the car, but I do enjoy it. Every year when they bill me I say no and they eventually grind themselves down to about $5/month....
  20. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    When I was a young boy I was very hyperactive. My mother used to turn my attention to music when I’d be spazzing out, and I’d dance around the living room like a cultist in a trance.
    Whenever I hear the Beatles version of “Twist & Shout”, it brings me right back to being a little kid. It’s one of the very few memories I have of being that young.
    John Lennon’s primal screaming on that track is undeniable!

    There are hundreds of other songs that transport me to different times in my life, but Twist & Shout is the one that left the biggest impression. It’s the sound that made me trade my young soul for Rock n’ Roll.
    drmilktruck and new6659 like this.
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