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Crossed Wires

A couple of weeks ago I had the strangest experience as I was driving up to Tamworth for Belle’s check-up. A long time ago a fellow blogger (I’m pretty sure it was either Amanda or Karmyn) said that your musical playlist is pretty much set from the age of 18 to 25. I’ve found this to be right on the money, and apart from a few artists that I’ve discovered since then, just about all the music in my collection is from when I was 18 to 25 (the music, not the CDs!).

What has this got to do with anything? Relax, I’m getting to it. Well, a few weeks ago I made an mmmm (mp3 mega music mix) and put in on CD to play in the car, all 150 songs. I have to do this because I don’t get very good radio reception here, and the stations that do come in strong, play shit music.

Now here’s the thing about listening to old songs while you’re driving, there’s a sort of subconscious thing that happens where you get this internal mental movie of your life playing as it relates to the songs you’re hearing. This can be really good in a nostalgic sort of way, or pretty scary in an alzheimer’s kinda way. The latter is what happened to me the way to Tamworth.

As Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” came on,  I was suddenly driving my ’64 Chev Bel Air over a bridge in New Brunswick. Everything was crystal clear, it was almost as if I was actually there (which may not be the best way to drive), the mental image of the dashboard and windscreen was as vivid as the ones in the Feroza (the car I was actually driving), and I could see the bridge in my mind’s eye as clear as if I was driving over it. But then I started to get a little freaked out when it dawned on me that I owned the Bel Air when I was in Australia!

So somehow I got two distinct memories blended into one and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t separate them. Now here’s the worrying part…I don’t know if was the copious amounts of attitude adjustment I’ve ingested for most of my life that caused the memories to be stored wrong, or whether it’s actually the result of the huge quantities of toxic substances that caused the memory retrieval to stuff up.

Either way it was a real buzz, man!

* I was going to include some photos of the cars in the story, but I couldn’t find them. I did find an old Fun Monday post that has them all though. The first photo is the 64 Bel Air that I drove in Oz, the second photo is the 75 Chev Custom 10 that I drove in Canada, and the second last photo is the actual car I was driving at the time.


20 Responses

  1. Oh dear! I think I must be a misfit! I do have one very short little playlist of songs varying from my youth to now. But I have vast taste in music and listen to all sorts. A lot of which is fairly new!

  2. It’s got to be the toxic substances!!!

  3. “Going fry like Beagle….”. Alzheimer’s or substance abuse, your still fucked in the head either way. Lets hope your no having one of those flash backs the next time you get pulled over for a random breath test. Actually, isn’t it an offense up there to play anything but Country music while your driving?

  4. I vote toxic substances.


    I love all kinds of music. ALL KINDS.
    But I hafta say, there isn’t a lot of new music that rocks my world.

  5. hmmmmm…. and in that “crystal clear” memory that you were experiencing, was belle with you?

  6. Sounds kind of fun to me :-). I would not fight it…

  7. Oh yeah, any kind of playlist or homemade CD will do that sort of thing to me. Sometimes the flashback stuff is really great, and sometimes it can really bog you down. I’ve only had a few of those confusing Alzheimer’s type flashbacks (music related or no), but it concerns me because I’m younger than you are. I wonder what kind of shape I’ll be in when it’s really time for that to start kicking in.

    I have to say, though, that I don’t find that 18-25 range accurate for me. Many of the songs that would go on my soundtrack are from when I was much younger and is music my parents liked. A lot of it is from high school (14-17). There are some songs from that 18-25 period, but those are the years when I was having kids and had less time for real music. I really don’t want to include Raffi in the soundtrack of my life. I’m still picking up new or new to me songs all the time.

  8. The closest thing I’ve had to your experience – is hearing a song on the radio that I heard often at the age of 20 — and having the same sadness flood my body.

    Music and smells are what really get to me.

    I’m glad you recognized at once that your memories didn’t belong together.

    As you know my SIL is in early stages dementia – and she does that mixture of events and memories every day. Smell is the first thing she lost! )

  9. I love it when songs remind you of memories. Even if you can’t keep them straight.

  10. How much acid did you drop in those days?? sounds like a major flashback!! LOL

  11. I think Claudia might be onto something.
    I think you are pretty right about the music soundtrack being pretty set by those ages. Seems like during that time period of my life I was discovering “new” music all the time. Then suddenly I hit my 30’s and it seemed like there was no new music coming into my collection. And I miss that…discovering new music. But now I just seem to shift back and forth between phases of music that I have. And sometimes I have wicked flashbacks too. One or two songs in particular make me immediately feel like I’m driving my old VW campervan!

  12. This post is down right trippy. I have many many MANY songs that take me back to memories of days gone by.
    I have to say that if my music tastes are set during the ages of 18-25 then it is a wildly varied, eclectic mix of music. Half of which I don’t listen to much anymore. Maybe I don’t because when I do I get taken back to that time of my life. When I hear songs I used to dance to I can still remember the routines in my mind. I wonder if that will still happen when I’m 50+. Now that will be weird!

  13. I’ve had that problem and no toxic substances have entered my body.
    What is worse is not being able to remember a good portion of my teenage years.

  14. I’m wondering what you’ve been ingesting. Must be some pretty good stuff.

  15. I’ve had that happen before – but it is always a really good song that has been ruined by a bad memory of some horrid boyfriend I had.

  16. I vote it was from substance abuse.

    And I agree with Karmyn, don’t you hate it when a great song is marred by a dickhead!

  17. Who cares if the memories get all mixed up…long as the party was good!!!

  18. Wow, who needs the drugs when you have a mind like that?

    When I hear songs from high school, especially 1987 and 1988, it’s amazing how I’m instantly transported back in time, to the point where I can hardly breathe and feel like I’m having a heart attack. “He” is there, I can see him, like he was then. I wonder if “He” thinks of me when he hears those songs. Shit, there goes my mood for the night… 😉

  19. I love it when good memories come at you out of nowhere. I know driving along isn’t the best time for that to happen, but it’s still good.

  20. Groovy, man …

    They made fantastic cars back then. There are loads of ancient, beautiful cars here. I want a little morris minor some day!

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