Friday, June 26, 2009

Dancing on Lime Green

I grew up in rural Idaho with no MTV and very little pop music in the home. What I got came from Saturday morning radio (Casey Kasem’s Top 40) and my older brother and sister (AC/DC, Ratt, Def Leppard, etc.) It seems I was born with a fascination for pop music that has never quite left me (as you can plainly read). One of my earliest memories, and most certainly my earliest musical memory, is from about the time I was in Kindergarten. My oldest sister Alison came home one night, having borrowed a record from her friend. She went into our front room and put the vinyl on the turntable and let it spin. I spent the remainder of the entire evening dancing around on our shaggy green carpet to “Beat It”, “Billy Jean”, and “Thriller”. I’ve always appreciated Michael Jackson as an artist. There is a lot that can be said about him, great and terrible. But I’ll always remember green shag carpet and Eddie Van Halen’s unmistakable guitar in “Beat It”, driving a five year old boy mad with joy.

What are your earliest musical memories?


Quinn and/or Lauralee said...

I remember getting a 3rd or 4th generation hand-me-down cassette player -- you know those old fashioned single-speaker ones that were made for recording tapes more than playing them? Then I went to the state fair with my older brother and he bought me The Cars Greatest Hits from a booth there. I got it home to play it and found that it was warped from sitting in the sun all week at the fair. I do still like The Cars though.

Joe said...

In 1987 my parents bought a brown and tan Ford Aerostar. The commercials for the Aerostar were set to 5th Dimension's "Age of Aquarius," and compared the new minivan's sleek front end and outrageous ride to the space shuttle. But that's not really relevant: what I want to say is that with the Aerostar came a complimentary cassette tape, a free mix of various hits to prime the car's cutting edge sound system. Among the many enduring gems on the tape was Toto's "Africa" ("I bless the rains down in Aaaaaa-frica"). I can remember fishing my mom's keys out of her purse and sneaking out to the garage, laying down on the Aerostar's middle bench seat and staring at the ceiling while listening to that song over and over. I didn't realize at the time what was happening to me, but I realize now that that was my first experience with the intoxicating magic of pop music, something almost spiritual/erotic in nature. The raw feelings of longing and wonder it awakened in me were almost more than my little ten-year-old psyche could take.

I still get that feeling every once in awhile, most recently while listening to Beulah's When Your Heartstrings Break again.

Thanks for bringing this up, Les. The memories are raining down.

Les said...


"I don't mind you coming here, wasting all my time. Cause when you're standing oh so near, I kind of loose my mind."

Classic stuff. I'm glad the warped tape didn't dissuade you. I'm glad we don't have to deal with warped tapes anymore. I'm sure we all have a warped tape moment. Getting out to the car and glancing over only to see our favorite album sitting there in a curvey state of plastic gloom!

Les said...


Africa is such a fantastic song! I love the mental picture of your clandestine ventures out to the minivan soaking in eighties pop. I would sneak down to my brother's bedroom when he wasn't there and crank whatever tapes he left lying around. Asia's "The Heat of the Moment" is one that would really get me going.

Beulah! I have a copy of "The Coast Is Never Clear". Now I'm going to have to go check this one out!

Lori said...

My dad had a real to real player that we used to listen to the original Woodstock recordings on. Pretty rad. Sadly... on the road we always had to listen to Crystal Gale and the Oakridge Boys. "My heart is on fire for Elvira! ba-doom-boom!"