Pretty much 24/7 there is music on in my house. Our tastes are wide, jumping from The Civil Wars, to Pitbull, to Devo, to Patsy Cline, to Iron Maiden, to the Glee cast (yes I admit that). It heals, calms, pumps, and speaks volumes to all of us who live in the Hogan household. As with most parents out there, we can aptly sing along with the Frozen soundtrack without skipping a beat, we welcome it all. Well mostly all, I still don’t like country aside from Johnny Cash, but never say never.
So this morning my mind wandered back to the olden and golden musical montages of our youth. You know, pre-internet, pre-cell phones, pre-facebook, yes I’m talking the 1990’s old school days in which I will recount our adventures in the great wild of Canada to my kids and they won’t care, but I will tell them anyways. The days that tweeting was a bird noise, pausing your TV was like WHOA, and we bought tapes and then CD’s from a real music store.
Yes kids, when I was a young whipper snapper, we couldn’t just open iTunes, push a button that is hooked up to mom and dads credit card, and in 4 seconds hear the one we wanted. Ho no, when I liked a song, it was because I heard it on the radio which would set off a series of events in order to achieve that coveted song because of corse I would have missed the name of it after it was played, resorting to a series of lengthy steps:
I would begin by a) singing it (very badly) to a friend over the phone in case they knew which one I meant and if that failed, plans b) & c) were set in motion, aka watching 14 hours of muchmusic a day and blaring the local radio station from sun up to sun down waiting for the moment that they would inevitably play it, screaming at everyone in the house to shut the hell up as the song wound down to a close before the DJ jumped in with the playlist details.
Then it would be off to Sam the Record Man or whatever the place was called, to sift through 1000’s of cases in order to find that the slot you wanted EMPTY. Sorry, nerdy CD store guy would tell you, it’s a popular track, but we are getting a shipment Tuesday, check back then! WTF?
But once you finally scored the album, unwrapped that case, placed it into your player that was the size of a small dresser, and cost about 200 bucks which in today’s money was like a 1000, you instantly got the shivers. It sounded so much better on your stereo then the radio. You would then continue to listen to it on repeat 4,000 times until your mom came in and told you she was going to rip out the CD and chuck it onto the street if you didn’t choose a new song.
That was when you felt it was ‘time’ to listen to the whole playlist. Not just that one instant hit, you spent 25 bucks on this CD which was like 3 weeks allowance ‘Back In The Day’, and you were going to enjoy this sucker. You fell in love with all the songs, the non-radio played ones, the obscure ones that grew on you the more you listened. You studied the lyrics in the case notes, you stared at the cover art until it was seared in your brain and you never really forgot them, even today. Perhaps the small details are fuzzy, but you will always remember the band who had a swimming naked baby on the cover, the black one with the lone snake in the corner, the prom queen crying with her make-up smeared down her face, and that Canadian guy who had one arm up and one arm down, bent over with a guitar strapped to his back. Tell me it’s not ringing any bells?
So by this point, my kids will have tuned out, and I will begin my next story about how stores weren’t even open on a Sunday and if you wanted to find your friends you had to drive around Burger King 68 times, and I will laugh because I’m so glad I had to go through all the work of the 90’s because the rewards were that much better ‘Back In The Day’.