My mother questioned why I knew the lyrics to all the songs played on the radio in my teens or those I choose to endlessly spin on my turntable, yet I couldn’t remember the times tables or find the square root of a number consistently enough to get decent grades in math class.
As an adult I listen to music every day, but have yet to find use for memorized rote recitation of the twelve times table or a practical application of an algebraic equation.
A snippet of a song is enough for me to visually recreate location or conversation of when I first heard it. A few notes will playback full memory. Emotions pause, rewind.
The definitive moments of my life are intrinsically linked to a tune.
Music speaks to me, regardless of the volume setting.
It started on the playground, those senior students were the ones to watch, every kid knew that.
The talk around the hopscotch squares was all about the Beatles, the lads from across the pond.
I didn’t know what pond they were referring to, but I knew for certain it wasn’t the one I skated on in the winter.
I braved up and asked dad for a book on the Beatles, “jeez all the kids are talking about them daddy please”. A few days later at dinner, my father proudly presented me with a gift, as I eagerly reached into the bag my grin became a pout as I pulled out “The How and Why book of Butterflies and Moths”. Major disappointment as clearly my father didn’t know, the Beatles I was pining for were not insects!
Babysitting is a common first job for many teenagers; teaching us to be responsible for other small humans, and if you don’t blow the cash on candy at the general store, an opportunity to learn basic money management skills.
For me, babysitting was my introduction to David Marsden and FM radio.
Our house had a full stereophonic system, however turning the dial to my radio station of choice was non optional. On the nights that I babysat, once the kidlets were in bed, I would cuddle up to the receiver, do my best impression of a safe cracker, and tune the FM dial to find the dulcet tones of radio personality David Marsden.
I was a sponge, the later the night the better, not for earning more cash, I wanted to hear more music, as the night deepened, the sounds became more esoteric.
This was not the music of my parents, this was a community.
It still is.