Music and Memories

I really have a terrible memory. I cannot remember the details of what I was doing last week never mind last year and I am often surprised to be told what I had done at some particular event that I have no recollection of whatsoever. For example, I came across some old computer files yesterday – hockey statistics for my eldest son from a decade ago. It made interesting reading especially the four games played in a tournament in St. Louis. I could swear I had never been there and yet there was suddenly a glimmer of a memory and boom – I remembered the arch there and it all came flooding back. To my defense, ice hockey rinks all look the same after a while and much of the weekend would have been spent inside the rink. But my memory is poor and getting worse.

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The funny thing is though if I open iTunes and play a track – any track – I am transported immediately to a memory. Yesterday, I played whatever You want by Status Quo (the album not the single) and I was back in my little student digs in Birmingham recalling the people I shared with and some of the events that took place there. I didn’t have to make any effort to recall any of this. The music was like a key that unlocked those memories. It was a Quo day yesterday as I moved on to the Hello Album and immediately I was 14 and in our front room listening to the LP with my french pen friends Jean-Luc. Lots of good memories easily coaxed out of whatever brain cells they reside in or from the ether – I am not sure which.

Music does good things for me and recalling events and places is one of them. There are Bowie tracks that place me in our house in Dallas, Bryan Adams tracks that put me at Wembley with my eldest son just 4-years old for a Bryan Adams concert! He adored Bryan Adams back then. There are Roxy Music tracks that have me back as a scout in the scout hut in Hull. Amazing. One of the best is Hotel California – it puts me back in the south of France as a teenager sitting in cafe in the afternoon heat drinking ice cold coke.

Forgive me for leaving so soon but I am about to go visit Nova Scotia as a Ph.D. student again by playing another Bryan Adams song. I will be back later perhaps….

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