Rehash of an old post from my first blog attempt, a few years back. Because I am bone-tired and can’t write anything new until this round of overtime at work is done with.
FIVE SONGS WITH THE TARDIS EFFECT
Thursdays and Fridays are busy. They are my crazy-ass, pedal to the metal, can’t spare a minute, finishing-off-cakes days for my little cake biz, and it’s almost certain they are the days THINGS happen. You know, someone pops in for an unannounced chat and coffee, the phone rings sixteen times, the battery in the kitchen scale dies and requires a trip to town to replace it or you have to make a 90 minute round trip to pick up some silk flowers because, dangnabbit, you forgot to do it earlier.
So it was yesterday, silk flowers calling from afar. I dropped the kids at school, grabbed a coffee and headed north. It was a clear blue sky day, a few clouds scattered around the horizon and the jacarandas were out in full force. I live in a rural area so it was pretty much country driving all the way, ag land, most of it, with our region’s rich red soil on show. Hmmm, kind of nice.
I didn’t think to grab music for the ride, so I turned on the radio and BAM! A song was playing that immediately took me back to Silk’s nightclub in Bris-Vegas (then just plain old Brissy) on a night I took Canadian visitors out with some mates.
I remember who was there, what I wore (white 3/4 pants, boat neck crop top, red flats, perm), my friend’s amazing green shoes, and dancing like a Solid Gold trouper to Euroglider’s Heaven (Must Be There). We slammed tequilas on a small round table. We went back to our house and swam in the pool.
It was the TARDIS effect at work. Music taking me to another time and relative dimension in space. How does music have this power? Most of the time I don’t remember what I ate for dinner two nights ago, let alone what I wore several light years ago! So for the rest of the mini road trip, as I sang along (badly, I might add, how cruel that one who knows all the words to so very many songs can’t hold a tune to save herself) and memories bopped along with me, I thought about the songs that brought back the strongest memories.
Tricky really, you do actually need to hear them in order for the TARDIS effect to take hold, but I think I can manage five. In no particular order, they are:
Driving Wheels (Cold Chisel): A whiff of the opening notes is all that’s needed to place me firmly in the back of an open truck fitted out with bench seats, bumping over a dusty track en route from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha on a backpacker safari. Sparse landscape and heat, stopping at a collection of huts to allow the locals to sell us trinkets and soapstone, a lone pink flamingo on the track. My walkman was playing a compilation of Australian music sent to me by my sister while I was OS. Might even have been a cassette. (Yeah – and dinosaurs walked the earth, I know!)
True Colours (Cyndi Lauper): So boring to say that a song takes you back to a concert, isnt it? But I can see it and hear it and feel the goosebumps rippling along my arms. Hammersmith Odeon in a pin-drop moment with just a spotlight holding the performer to the stage floor while she sings solo, unplugged, sans accompaniment of any kind. (shiver) Perfect. Black pants, red boots.
Paradise by the Dashboard Light (Meatloaf): Sitting in a line on the lounge, while the album played, my friends and I – late teens- sharing the album sleeve containing the lyrics – learning them off by heart and replaying the record over and over and over again. Lots of laughing. This went on for hours. I think we did actually learn every word to the album that day.
He’ll Never Be (An Ol’ Man River) (TISM): For a time, when the kids were small, we lived in a tiny town on the edge of the Simpson Desert. One of our little rituals in a place where entertainment was pretty much completely self-managed was the Friday night, post-dinner dance in the lounge room. For twenty minutes or so – or until we fell exhausted in a heap on the floor – hubby and I each partnered a child for a wild, whoop-up dance-a-thon to crazy music like this one by TISM. Child on hip, right hands clasped and arms extended, we bounced, swooped, turned, twirled, sang and laughed. Unrestrained, bubbling out, delight – that amazing child’s laughter. To this somewhat inappropriate musical satire. Zoot Suit Riot was another popular choice for this activity. Daughter wore orange and black Tigger pyjamas, son’s were cowboys and indians print.
Burn Baby Burn (Disco Inferno) (The Trammps): Mamies nightclub. Fortitude Valley. Long before it was coolsville. Four country girls out for a night of dancing. Which we did ALL night! Rehearsed dance steps that everyone knew, running to the dance floor the minute the opening bars of the song rang out in that dark cave of a place. Wearing a dark green skirt with huge tulips on it, with a funny raised peplum waistband, and an apricot v-neck top. Heels that I could barely walk in let alone dance in – clear plastic with black trim. Must have been fun to watch.
And there are others, of course, they’re popping up in my mind as I type. Those diverse moments in musical history that form part of my own. A quick browse of my CD collection and itunes library brings a few more to mind, but some of those must remain forever cemented in the past – both song and memory! If we’re going to have a musical TARDIS, let it stick to the less cringeworthy, shall we, and leave Wet Wet Wet and Disco Duck to their own parallel dimensions.