12 July 2009

Songs and memories

There are some songs out there that always bring up memories, some pleasant, others maybe not so. And I suppose the tunes that bring up good memories you always like, no matter how much everyone around you hates the song after the 70,000th time you played it at the last get-together.

What are some memory-dredging tunes of yours, YD? you ask. Actually, you didn't ask and don't really care, most likely. Tough. You're here. So sit back and listen.

Yes, even you.

When I hear this particular tune, I remember riding around all other the back roads of Northwest Illinois in Mom's old VW Beetle when I was about 4 years old. We could get WLS-AM out of Chicago (back in the days when they played music), and the song was in the heavy rotation, which meant you heard it about once every 45 minutes or so. Hare Krishna. Hare Hare...

Now this particular song I was singing along to some years back at Charlie's Country Lounge when the lead singer for that night's band came over and stuck the microphone in my face. I really think I could've been a country crooner but for my lack of musical talent. I remember my dad having this song on 8-Track (!) back in the day, so that's how I learned it.

I had this one cranking in Driver's Ed class, 'round about 1982, as I was learning to parallel-park that most impressive of Detroit's creations, the Chevy Citation. Nervous? Oh, hell yeah. We all wanted that learner's permit and driver's license. Mechanized beats leg infantry.

Speaking of school, we had a unit of dancing in Phys Ed. Not a bad idea-it gets you used to being close to the opposite sex without falling to pieces. Unfortunately, the instructors evidently thought it was still 1958, as they played this one song to death. There are plenty of single-time swing songs out there, and in the early '80s, they could have played some Stray Cats stuff. But no, not to be.

Yes, but could you bust a move, Yankee? Most certainly.

Forward to college, which in many ways weren't great years for me. My folks were out of work and we were living on a shoestring. But this tune conjures up nights in the drafting lab, doing our semester project, designing and drawing a house-by hand. No CAD for the masses back then-it was paper and pencil and ink.

Oh very well. Yes, NatalieV played and posted the bassline for this tune last year. Check it out too.

1987 found me spending a lot of Friday nights at a bar called Lassiter's, which isn't there any more. I played a lot of darts-301, cutthroat, and cricket-to a song by a band with enough clout to overrule the orders of a Federation Admiral.

Finally, this song takes me back to 1988, and visiting my friend JP when he was in the Army at Ft. Campbell (Charlie Company, 3rd of the 187th-Rakkasans! HOO-AH!!). There was a park along the banks of the Cumberland River in Clarksville, TN where the troops and their main squeezes hung out at night. I distinctly remember hearing the song blasting from a Toyota pickup with big home speakers mounted in the bed of the truck. The music has changed since then, but I'd bet the Pukin' Chickens still call The Fairgrounds their after-hours home.

OK kids-your turn. Toss out some tunes and some memories that correspond with them. This I gotta see.

Oh yes, we've had an interesting race for Mayor here in Rock Island. We had the vote back in March, but the final tally was too close to call. After the usual round of recounts and legal challenges (in among which one man was actually sworn in as Mayor), a judge has ruled the vote a tie. The local news showed how the two candidates decided who would win the post. Wanna see it-here it is! And really, wouldn't something like that ensure that the best person wins the office?

yankeedog out.


  1. Cold Chisel always takes me back to my mate's weddings. Redgum's "I was only nineteen" to Bali where I listened to the song repeatedly on tape.

  2. OMG...Rockin' Robin was flogged at our square dancing lessons in primary! Ha!

    Great post Yankee - some of those songs didn't make it to OZ.

    My songs would probably require a seperate post altogether...you remember my post about 10CC's I'm Not in Love? Ahem.

  3. My songs would require a novel. Which is probably just as well as I've basically written one.

  4. Bangar-Cold Chisel did a lot of songs down there. Hope it wasn't one tune at each wedding!

    I've heard that particular tune by Redgum. A poignant song, that.

    Nat-Square dance to Rockin' Robin? Ohh-kay...

    I wasn't particularly thinking about songs that evoke, mmm, compromising positions. But I suppose that would be part of the deal.

    Yarbo-You've been plenty forthcoming!