January 23, 2014

Musical Memories

I recently got a new car and still have the free trial of satellite radio. During my commute, I like to flip between channels 7, 8 and 9: the seventies, eighties and nineties channels. I love how I can go from American Pie to Gin and Juice in one car ride.

One of my new goals with this blog is to start recording some of my childhood memories. And music brings back such powerful memories. The last two nights, on my commute home, I've heard Billy Joel songs.

I was never a huge fan of Billy Joel growing up, but his music was really popular in the early 80s. I'd never decide to listen to his music now, but the 80s channel played two songs I couldn't switch off.

Me, circa a really long time ago.
The first was Uptown Girl. Back in the ancient days of my youth, I attended a summer camp for young teens. Every day we went on a different field trip, from the movies to the beach. And every other week, we went on a camping trip. It was perfect. I made some great friends there, had some of my first crushes, and met the first guy I would "go with."

Side note: He now owns an amazing photography studio in L.A. I won't embarrass him here, some of my readers will know who I'm talking about. (And if need a photographer recommendation in the Los Angeles area, please send me a message on my facebook page. He and his wife are truly fantastic.)

Anyway, on one of these camping trips, we had a talent show, and this boy did a lip sync performance to Uptown Girl. I was the girl, and sat in the camp's big bus, wearing cool Ray Bans or knock-off Vuarnets or something, and there was some big reveal where the bus pulled up and I was sitting at the open window. I don't remember exactly. But I felt pretty damn cool.

The other was The Longest Time, which has this 1950s doo-wop feel. My dad loved this song, and at the time my dad, my brother, and I were all taking music lessons. Billy played piano, I played flute, and even my dad had picked up the clarinet he played when he was younger. We all had the same music teacher, and at my dad's request, Mr. B wrote the parts for all three of us to play The Longest Time together.

Honestly, I don't think we ever really nailed it as a trio. As far as I can remember, we played the thing just a couple times all together, and I'm pretty sure no one ever made a recording of it. But I remember the effort, and I would bet that hand written sheet music is still in the piano bench at my parents' house.


  1. It's astonishing what I find in my parents' home that I had thought would be long gone.

  2. Music also played a big part of my older childhood; I became a fan of Fleetwood Mac around the age of 11 and while I'm still a huge fan today, hearing certain songs of theirs spirit me right back to when I was younger. And I became a fan of ABBA during my senior year of high school; I rented "Muriel's Wedding" from the video store for a week and watched it every single day that week, and hearing the song "Hole In Your Soul" reminds me of ABBA: The Movie, which I adored watching on VH-1.


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