Let The Music Play

I was born in 1963. According to http://www.joshhosler.biz/numberoneinhistory/03/0307.htm, the #1 song on the Billboard chart for my birthday was The Four Seasons’ “Walk Like A Man.” If I had been born a year later, I would have gotten The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

I can remember singing to “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” I can remember a small white portable radio in our Brooklyn flat. I can remember my mother softly singing “Yesterday” along with the radio.

I remember reading a newspaper story about a girl in Jamaica, Queens, who had been murdered. Someone had climbed into her first floor bedroom window and stabbed her. She had been my lunch monitor when I was in first grade. My mom had a house in Hollis at the time I read this in the paper. The song on the oldies station was “Red Rubber Ball.” My folks had long since separated and divorced by then. I visited my mom on weekends when she would have me.

The seventies were a time of change. I remember really, really bad movies —  there was an entire genre of families-lost-in-the-wilderness films. I remember really, really good movies: “Jaws.” “Star Wars.” A re-release of “West Side Story.” Music was changing from Diana Ross and Olivia Newton-John to Andy Gibb to Blondie. My high school years straddled the seventies into the eighties. We learned all of the lyrics to “American Pie” in silkscreen class. I learned the lyrics to most of the Beatles’ catalog and found the Emerson, Lake and Palmer version of “Fanfare for the Common Man” via Paul Beatty in our high school’s annual talent show; it was like the cosmos bloomed before me.

I listened to the Cars, Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen, Martha and the Muffins, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Nick Lowe, Squeeze, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, George Thorogood and the Destroyers. I went cross country by bus and took Katrina and the Waves with me. I fell in love with Brahms’ Third Symphony. I knew “It Must Have Been Love” when Roxette sang it.

Like an idiot, when I separated from my exhusband, I left behind my vinyl, thinking that I was making a clean break. It’s the one thing I regret.

The other thing I regret is that I will never have coffee with Chris Difford.

There. I said it out loud. Once a teen crush, always a teen crush.


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