Music has played a pretty intense role in my life & I really think that is normal. I firmly believe that it’s what separates people, forms lines & social clicks in high school & really focuses the way people see the world.

Some songs bring back intensely vivid memories.

When I was in high school we had a tape deck in the darkroom that was more than a little stuck & had absolute shit reception.

As a result, I hear this, or really anything off the album well, the first side of the cassette tape & I instantly think of a darkroom, I can almost smell the fixer.

It was almost the same thing in college, but in college it was a stuck CD & a different Irish band.

In fact, the darkroom turned me into a Cranberries fan. I absolutely hated them until they were the only thing to listen to for hours on end in college.

But that is the darkroom.

For high school as a whole it was 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins. At the time, it was just another of their songs off a really good album that we listened to all the time & now it’s the song that makes me weepy with sentimentality.

The first date with the girl that I was head over heels for in high school

And there is a little bit of shame that comes with that song, mainly the fact that I owned it & it was playing in the car, in the tape deck, that I was driving on that first date.

And then the girl I was head over heel for in college.

In some cases these are associative memories. In most cases they are, you don’t mean to so closely associate certain songs with memories, they were on at the time or they were played over & over again. They were clearly memories & associations that were thrust upon you.

If you had a choice, you certainly wouldn’t want to have powerful positive memories associated with songs like this:

Mainly memories of playing basketball in the alley behind your house all through the summer before high school with a little boom box that could only get Star 105.5. No Killer Bee B96 for you, on no, you’re associating that memory with suburban rock.

You have no choice, some songs, the ones that you liked when you were really little, oh my God, you would take those back in a mad minute. You would never, ever, associate yourself with your childhood fancies.

Sometimes, the forced associations aren’t that bad, like when you are in college, in grad school & you drank a poisoned bootleg Canadian beer. Sure, it was a horrible experience & you were sick as a dog for a few hours & threw up all over Clarke’s on Clark, but it turned out to be a really good day & an even better night.

And as you were sweating beads n the couch, waiting for the sickness to pass, your apartment was packed & they were playing Frontier Psychiatrist almost on repeat. Which, of course, is guaranteed to form an associative memory.

And the forced memories, like the song you ONLY listen to when you land at O’Hara. It’s the first thing you do before you even get off the plane.

It’s also the song that you are playing when you pick someone up from the airport that isn’t fro Chicago.

And the songs you played in college because they seemed to have an appropriate tune for circling around the parking lot trying to find a free space in the rush before your first class.

Sometimes, to change it up, you played this song whilst searching for a parking space:

In either case the goal was to fine an open space before the song finished, hopefully, ironically, when either of them were winding down because that worked best with your parking music.

The song that was playing when I first purposed to my ex-fiancee

And the song that was playing when you first walked in on her & her boss from working, fucking on your couch & playing again the moment you got back into your car to go bowling, directly after getting your heart ripped out.

The song that was playing when you high school love dumped you the second time:

And when you were too dumb not to dump your college girlfriend

Which is the reason that I refuse to listen to Jimmi Hendrix. Under no circumstances will I willingly play him, especially in a relationship that I want to take seriously.

I have however, in the past, listened to him nonstop, when I didn’t have the balls to break off a relationship.

And the song that one of my girlfriends subjected me to, none stop, over the winter of 2005. A song that I have fond memories of watching her take down my Christmas decorations & replace them with Hanukkah decorations, over & over again because I thought is was an hysterical exchange Y for some reason she put up with me.

And why on Earth do you have the crap songs associated with great memories.


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