Ah nostalgia. I was thinking about this post I wrote on my old blog Red Robin Blue six years ago, and decided to slowly start to move posts over here. That was a blog for a traveller, and once I returned back to Oz I just couldn’t find me feet there anymore.
But to the point – here’s something fresh from the archives.
I think it would be fair to say the story of my life could be told through a random collection of songs. A strange idea I’ll grant you but stick with me here and I’ll try to explain.
I grew up listening to a mix of classic 1960s and ’70s rock and classical music thanks to my parents (and also developed, along with my brothers, the ability to throw a record on the turn table without scratching it with the needle at a very young age) but shortly after I decided that The Bangles were the BEST BAND EVER at the grand age of 4, both my brothers also began to influence me with their music choices from Vanilla Ice and Guns ‘n’ Roses to New Kids on the Block and Deborah Harry. Not the grandest start to a love affair with music but hey, we were children of the 80s growing up in the 90s after all.
The whole idea for this blog actually dawned on me when I was cutting limes one quiet Thursday morning at the pub I work at here in Paris, listening to the playlist I created shortly after I arrived and the only way I could describe it was that it suffered from musical ADHD. It bounced around from John Lennon’s Imagine to Ash Grunwald, Rage Against the Machine to the Jackson 5 and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Pop, rock, punk, jazz and dance were intermingling freely and I was very much in my happy place.
And I got thinking about what drew me to such a variety of different music. If a perfect stranger was to scroll through my MP3 player they’d find a strange collection before them and probably have no way to guess if it belonged to a 50 or 15 year old.
I’ve said before that one of my favourite ways to explore a new city is to put on my headphones, some comfy shoes and set out armed solely with a map. The result of this is that I now have vivid memories of sitting on a train headed to Spain trying my hardest not to rock out to Grinspoon and failing miserably, writing in a tiny Paris apartment the first time around listening to Dire Straits’ Romeo and Juliet, and wandering the hot and crowded streets of Venice chilling to Song for Holly by Esthero. And being the poor backpacker that I am I even had to create a sleep playlist which means that even to this day Ben Lee’s Ache For You reminds of the wracking snores of a Scottish woman in Florence who successfully managed to be the only person to sleep in a 20 bed dorm.
It seems music has underscored most of the important points and relationships in my life.
Steve and I bonded over a shared love of music in our early, heady days and took great delight in heading out to gigs or playing each other personal favourites and arguing over which was better. And the first time I moved out with the Bestie it was common to come home to find her stereo blaring while she studied in the kitchen or we cooked up a storm as best we could.
Then there are the drives to and from university, road trips to the beach, nights out with friends or just sitting around the dinner table at my parents house with my father asking the name of the bands or songs to whatever CD or record was playing in the background.
Even now it’s not uncommon for my brothers to introduce me to new bands and music genres, developing my taste for chilled out tunes and even Aussie hip hop.
And I’ve got to admit I wouldn’t have it any other way, so I’ll embrace my eclectic music library and keep it growing. After all, there’s now a whole array of French jazz and blues to delve into.
Edith Piaf anyone?