It doesn’t mean the same when you are ten
For christmas that year I got my own record player. My own stereo. I think my mom was getting sick of me hogging her turntable as we were both music junkies. I think my Sean Cassidy, Pat Benatar and Blondie were just too much for her. Dancing around in my pajamas and singing along at the top of my voice to my records was like religion.
My dad was a DJ and I got some cool records from him. I met the Commodores and Lionel Richie when I was 7. He was kind of a dick but their 7 foot tall drummer was nice but made me cry. It was 2am. So, I loved music. My dad taught me to sing in his blue beetle bug car because it didn’t have a radio. I loved female singers. I loved Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Rhonstadt, Pat Benatar and Debbi Harry. Later I loved Chryssie Hynde and Patti Smith.
When I listened to a record for the first time it is like magic. I relate to that moment in Cameron Crowe’s ALMOST FAMOUS when the boy sits down, lights a candle and listens to his sisters records for the first time. Music was like this mystical language. When you are too young to get the adult content you apply the concepts to your life. I remember crying and listening to “Promises in the Dark” by Pat Benatar. As a child of 4 divorces in 4 years I felt like most of the adults in my life were just screwing me over, leaving me laying there while they walked over and out on me.
~~”Never again, isn’t that what you said? You’ve been through this before you swore this time you’d think with your head. No one, would ever have you again. And if takin’ was gonna get down you’d decide where and when. Just when you think you’ve got it down. Your heart securely tied and bound….they whisper promises, in the, dark…”~~~
As a child I picture my mother kissing me goodnight and wondering if things would be okay when I woke up. Would she love me? Would she leave like my dad did? Did she want me? Did she want this life she had? Why did my dad leave me? Why does it bother me so much? This was just my life and I don’t know anything different. Why did it feel so bad? Why did it feel so weird and wrong and different?
At some point, I don’t know which one, I just decided that that was all I was going to take. I would not let them hurt me anymore. Until of course they did. Each time a little scar formed over where that hurt was and that tissue becomes inelastic and useless. That area toughened and leathered and a reminder.
But those songs. The music was like this blanket I could hide under and in. It said all the things I wanted to say but could not. And it sad them loudly, in your face and for all to hear. And with guitars. And drums. Wearing leather pants and standing in the spot light.
Music was like this armour that I imagined the rock stars wore. If you could sing this song in front of all those people then the hurt you were singing about would just disappear. Like a spell you cast, music seemed like that to me. Spinning around, my eyes closed, dial turned up to eleven I would shout and sing and dance. I would share in the chant and my spell would be broken. But I would still be whole.