Music is so much a part of our lives that when we hear a certain song it takes us back in time, sometimes to a happier time, sometimes a sadder time, but through it all, the music is still there.
For me, Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl always brings me back to my high school girlfriend and those carefree days when we couldn't wait to graduate and make our mark on the world. And Gary Lewis and the Playboys remind me of summer days at the lakeside camp that had been my Grandfather's.
When you turn that radio on, you just never know what memories going to come out of those speakers.
One of my strongest memories from when I was younger was an annual event for several years running. I'd give my mother a list of seven or eight record albums that I'd like for Christmas and I'd always find three or four under the tree, so Christmas comes to mind when I hear groups like Herman's Hermits, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Simon and Garfunkel and many others, Most of those albums I still own to this day.
The wish list thing would change year after year. As my taste in music progressed and got further caught up in the 60's, I discovered the protest song! Of course my wish list reflected this.
I didn't actually see the incident, but in my mind I can clearly envision it as if I were there. Mother went to a music chain store called Krey's Disc, much like FYE of today. A helpful clerk asked if he might help her locate anything. She replied “Yes, I'm looking for ‘Pleasures of the Harbor’ by The Philharmonic Orchestra”. The clerk's eyes widened and, to his credit, without a trace of a smile said “Excuse me”? Mom said “See, here on the list” and she showed him my list, and there at the top was “Pleasures of the Harbor” by Phil Ochs. The clerk politely explained that was not an abbreviation and got her a copy of the correct album.
Mother bought it, left the store, and to the best of my knowledge, never went back. She said she just knew they were laughing as she left (and she was probably right). I know I did when she told me!
That was the last record album Mom ever bought me; she meant what she said when she said she'd rather just give me the money and let me buy whatever I wanted myself!
I still have that album but we lost Mom a few years ago and now whenever I hear Phil Ochs sing the “Draft Dodger Rag” or “I Ain't Marching Anymore” I smile and remember Mom and Christmas's past.
Written by Paul Dugan, Guest Groovy Reflections Blogger