So how many of you did this at a point in life- had that special tape that you played endlessly on a road trip…okay, allow me to modernize…a cd….wait…a set of tunes on your mp3? I admit to the mp3, but there is something really special about sifting through a box of old crap and find that special tape that you played so much you know EXACTLY the point it is going to drag or skip.
I love music. Road trip songs were an important part of my youth and a tradition I carry on today. When my family moved from Arizona to Texas in 1979 I listened to Bobby Vee the whole way. It was my Mom’s favorite…… 8-track. Yes, I even know where the songs break in between tracks 3 and 4. For my Dad it was Roger Whitiker, Neil Diamond, and Alabama. Dad and I are allot alike in that we have a variety of taste.
In 1994, I uprooted from Abilene, Texas and transferred as an instructor to the Air Base Ground Defense School at Ft Dix, New Jersey. Before Mapquest, Google Maps, and GPS it was just me and the Gin Blossoms finding our way both topographically and emotionally. I had just come out of an “interesting” four years that had been soured with a broken marriage, a breaking relationship, and a need to begin being the person I was meant to be and not what others expected me to be. 1500 plus miles of “New Miserable Experience” not only spoke to the present but reached back into my past. (Gin Blossoms also hail from Tempe.)
Poison’s “Flesh and Blood” or Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feel Good” would pump me up while flying nap of the earth during operations in Southwest Asia. I would blast it through my headphones as we skirted the sand in CH-53’s.
Rush always has and always will speak to me in different phases of life. Practically everything from the “Roll the Bones” reflects my life post Desert Storm and the humanitarian missions I would be involved in during both my military and post military career. When I was working through many of the distant thoughts I would carry with me, I would lay down some distance on the road with both Albums on CD. I guess I should add the Counting Crow’s “August and Everything After” when I was deployed to Korea- right after Melissa and I met. Each word spoke volumes to me and I would fall asleep eachnight thinking of her and listening to that tape.
Currently I am threading a compilation of tunes from Creed, Tonic, Roger Clyne, The Refreshments, Foo Fighters, and Goo-Goo Dolls fill my ears. All these are on my iPod. Somehow it’s not the same as the old cassette tapes. Nothing gets stretched, worn, and it never skips. Only so much can be said for audio perfection…
Finding those old tapes and CDs brings back so many memories. Lost love, forgotten friends, goals I have strived for that mean nothing now. Words that touched my life then, and bring back the smiles and the scars of a man I used to be and who I have grown into today.