I can hear a good or not-so-good tune and it transports me back to a time and place when it became important to me. I have a knack for strong memories tied to songs.
1. “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees
This song will eternally remind me of my dad telling me about his first girlfriend playing it for him. My dad is hard of hearing so she cranked it up so he could hear the song. He has such strong emotions tied to it that it transferred to me during the multiple times it has played around us.
2. “Eight Days A Week” by the Beatles
Another father-inspired song, I originally wrote about it in a lunchtime poll. I instantly think of my father signing and singing a long to this song on long car trips. My dad is a huge Beatles fan. I always thought it was so awesome he could sign and sing the song at the same time, albeit sing very poorly. He should have just stuck to signing along, at least with the faces my mom would make at him.
3. “Use of Time” by 311
Not the greatest band nor the greatest song, this one holds a special place in the heart because it reminds me of my late best friend, Mike. Our group of friends was kind of obsessed with 311 so much so we even were little hooligans and stole 311 signs off of hotel doors. Mike’s first band ended up doing a cover of this song. Of course a bunch of 15 year olds would cover 311.
4. “Inside Out” by Eve 6
This is the first song I ever had dedicated to me on the radio. Remember when that was a thing? I don’t know what it says about me that this was the song that got dedicated but it was nice hearing my name on the radio. I am still good friends with the woman who dedicated it, so there’s that.
5. “Complete Control” by the Clash
This is actually a full band memory. I discovered more than just the main songs by the Clash by purchasing The Singles at a pawn shop at 15. It opened my mind and really helped me become the punk I am today.
6. “Understanding In A Car Crash” by Thursday
Purchased the spring of my senior year, I had been wandering aimlessly through life trying to deal with my gender identity. I had been seeking whatever soothing thing I could possibly find to help me mentally cope with my dysphoria. Thursday has played a huge part in my life and it all started with me buying this album from Target in late April 2001.
7. “Rattlesnakes” by Tori Amos
Tori’s cover album, Strange Little Girls, came out when I was a freshman in college. My good friend Bryce introduced me to Tori Amos and I haven’t looked back since. He was obsessed so therefore I became tangentially obsessed. The whole album reminds me of him and freshman year of college. Because of his Tori obsession, I found my Tori obsession which allowed me to bond with my now wife and her Tori obsession.
8. “Rock You” by the Roots
Phrenology reminds me of the summer back in Great Falls after my freshman year of college. It was the first time I felt like an adult. I didn’t have a curfew. I had a crappy job, but who didn’t? I remember cruising the drag and just blasting my music trying to blow the country out of the water.
9. “The Ocean” by Against Me!
I was living in Seattle the first time when New Wave dropped. I had become friends with someone who knew Laura. I had kind of fallen out of listening to Against Me! at the time. He encouraged me to listen to New Wave. Even though I didn’t realize Laura was trans at the time, “The Ocean” struck me in helping me deal with some of my gender identity issues.
10. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
The first cheesy pop song that became Carolina and I’s song was played a lot on repeat in Giles, my 1996 Cadillac. I still hear it to this day and think of the early days of our relationship. Here we are 7 years later.
I am sure a lot of you have strong memories that are tied to music. I would love to hear your stories.