Music choices for me is not about popularity but how it touches my soul at that moment. Hearing the above track just recently I was swept away in a flood of memories and knew immediately that it had to be the song for this post.
Memories. Sometimes it is all that is left. I consider myself lucky that music can trigger those memories for me, because then I can feel peace at any moment in the day. For besides my vast collection of Pink Panthers I am known for my love of music.
I come by it honestly. The more I research my family history the more I find relatives that have the same passion and often talent for music. Be it writing or playing or listening. It's in the genes. My mother taught me that passion by example.
My earliest and fondest memories involve music. Back in the day choices were limited. With enough homemade wine passed around the adults would break into song, belting out all the traditional songs from the old country. The children sang along - for we were all familiar with the language and the lyrics. If there happened to be an accordion around, well that was the accompaniment.
In the past quarter century, I have had limited occasions to recall those beautiful words in public but rest assured the lyrics come flooding back with the first strains of the melody. It feels like I am surrounded by my family when I hear those songs. "Sul Cappello, Evviva, Evviva il reggimento."
|With Sandra and Ron in the foreground you can see |
the stereo that Dad built in the background.
|Not mine but a reasonable facsimile :)|
To appease the tastes of so many different musical minds in the early days, we often gravitated to K-Tel purchases of compilation hit music. The first one that I got to pick out and call my own was another bribe of sorts. I desperately wanted a chocker and my mom didn't like them. She slyly suggested that I would want music instead - a whole album. A chocker would have been soon forgotten. To this day I scour old bins of records to find that precious collection again. I would also like to know how it disappeared from the house in the first place - curses on the culprit whoever you are. I remember the cover artwork in my mind but can't seem to reproduce it on paper, the only song that I remember is Obla-di Obla-da by the Beatles. The album meant a lot to me.
|Sandra and I in our music-themed bedroom|
|Linda at the piano. She learned by listening to |
her older sisters practice.
When we actually got to the point where we bought an album by a single artist, it was a real treat to find the lyrics printed within. But with compilations and "best of's" it wasn't likely to happen. So with either her or I at the control of the arm of the turntable and with a steady hand we would move the song back one or two grooves in the vinyl over and over until we came to a consensus. With an ear right next to the speaker, eyes closed and face scrunched in concentration it was like the worlds best game. In the end, having those lyrics so we could confidently sing along meant the world to us. And that folks, is probably why to this day I can listen to the same song over and over again ad infinitum and not tire of it ever.
|A gorgeous lady, A wonderful Mom. A beautiful soul. <3|
And then there was dance. For what is music without the dance. Sandra, myself and Linda all took dance lessons. Ballet, tap and jazz. To be honest I sucked! Well at least compared to my sisters I did. Let's just say choreographed dance wasn't my thing, but really, I dislike lessons. I felt bad because I was only in the back rows of the dance numbers while Linda and Sandra shone in the front and lead positions. Oh well, we can't excel at everything we try.
After they were gone there was a considerable time were Ron and I were estranged emotionally if not physically. He tolerated me and I didn't know what to do with him. We didn't know how to rebuild our family from 5 to just the two of us.
But with a physical separation when I moved out, we found our connection. We were just two kids trying to make our way through the world on our own and hanging on to each other with spiritual threads. Music gave us that stepping stone into the world together. I called on him to help me build and compile my audio system and he shared the music that he had gravitated towards. To this day still my favourite genre of music, the alternative format and the Canadian musician. Bands like The Deserters, the Villians and Audience. Gone was Top 40 radio and I searched out the CFNY of Toronto for my fix of new music.
It didn't pigeon-hole the music I gravitated to, it expanded it and the vinyl collection. And although I may get a little teary-eyed when I hear Slade I will never stop listening to it because the memories are all I have. Even if some of those memories are sad not all of them are.
**On this day, March 21st I have endeavoured to remember my family in the written word in many different ways. This is one of them. For I never feel alone like I do on this day because 41 years later it still hurts.
For other stories please see:
http://www.pinkpantherfan.caFamily Here and Gone Blog Listing
I am eternally grateful to have found this forum to share and release some of the intense feeling that I have kept to myself for so many years.