How many times do you listen to a song and it takes you back in time to a certain place with a certain someone or circumstance? It’s not every day, but it happens a lot.
To this day, every time I hear, “Hello, I Love You” from the Doors, I think about a girl I dated back in 1969 named Shelly. It’s not because of the sentiment of the song. It was because of the lyrics, “Her arms are wicked and her legs are long, when she moves my brain screams out this song.” Shelly was 5’11 and was an avid volleyball player. I was 5’ nothing and always mesmerized by her smile, power serve and legs.
Anything by the Beatles takes me back to the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 when they made their debut. The girls at school were going crazy the next day and guys were beginning to grow their hair longer.
I remember my dad once talking to me about the Rolling Stones after watching them perform “19th Nervous Breakdown” on a TV show, telling me, “They wouldn’t be that bad if I didn’t have to look at them!” (I said the same thing after seeing Culture Club for the first time and realized I had become my dad).
Anytime I hear, “Bend Me, Shape Me” I think of me and a group of guys driving across the country going to a DeMolay convention in Kansas City. We saw the American Breed perform on that trip.
In my country radio days, my favorite all-time song was not a big hit. It was called, “Here Comes Heaven” and it was sung by Eddy Arnold. I used to play it for my girlfriend Ruth whom I thought I would marry someday. I was crushed when we broke up and soon realized I would never be able to listen to that song again. Then, twenty years later in 1996, I met Eddy while in Nashville and told him of my love for that song. He smiled and told me it was a song about a little girl. I said, “What!?” “Yeah! Listen,” he said excitedly. And he began to sing it…“Here comes heaven with soft golden hair, laughing blue eyes that tell me she cares.” After that, any time I heard it, I began to think of my daughter who was 7 at the time.
Music is powerful. Now and years from now, the music you grow up listening to stays with you for a lifetime. Good or bad, it’s here to stay. If not as a hit, it will as a memory. The song remembers when.