Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Musical Transportation

Music, more than just about any other sense, is the one that transports me in time and place. I can be just about anywhere and I'll hear a song and I can see and sense just what I was doing when that song was around first time out.

I remember earlier this year driving through Oklahoma on the way to a shoot. A song came on the radio - I forget what it was now - but my memories of that song go all the way back to when I only knew Oklahoma as a musical movie.

It happened again tonight, too. The drive from JFK airport in NY to Liberty, NY is probably about 2hrs straight. I've never managed to achieve that. For whatever reason my brain melts down as I navigate the twisting roads that cross from Queens, through the top half of Manhattan and the Bronx. Wiggling through New Jersey and then back into New York State again. I'm usually tired and hungry from the flight from SF. It's usually dark and cold and, more often than not, a little wet. Whatever it all is, I usually get lost several times before shuffling into Liberty sometime around 11pm. So, I normally try and get some food on the way. Usually that food is some horrid little roadside service station but tonight I managed to find a Chili's by the road in Ramsey, NY.

The food was pleasant enough and there was a Dunkin Donuts next door. I needed a coffee for the road so I called in. As I was waiting for my latte a song came on their radio. It was Spandau Ballet playing 'True'. My mind spun out of control and all the way back to 1983 when that song hit the charts and was played non-stop back in England. I was fresh out of school, I was 16 going on 17 and the world was my lobster. It was the smoochie record of the year but my teens were not a good time for me with smoochie partners so I remember, with some irritation, hearing that song being played over and over and over again on the radio, at parties, discos. You name it, wherever people were likely to be "makin' out", there was that Spandau style sax-break. There was Mr Hadley givin' it his best shot in the crooning stakes. I can still picture all the smooth dudes dressing sharp since Spandau ditched the highland tribesman look and went into full on sharp suit and tie, impeccable hair gelled to within an inch of it's life. All of that and all of twenty five years ago. I had hair then.

I smiled to myself, paid the man and headed off into the night to get lost in upstate New York yet again.

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