Musical Memories

LP in Exile has been a tad serious of late. You’d think there is an election going on.

Wait, you mean there is? For how long? Really. And there actually is an end in sight?

Anyway, time for something a little lighter. As many of you will have experienced, music has the ability to stir up strong memories. The boffins have actually been at work on this and is an interesting phenomena of the mind.

Science aside, it provides a good idea for some fun. In the comments, relate to your  LP fellows and fellowettes the songs, that for whatever reasons, invoke strong memories. They could be good, sad, bad or mad. It doesn’t matter.

God knows well all need a break from this eternal election campaign.

My songs are over the fold.

PS No politics or snark allowed. This is all about frivolity.


Not for the obvious reasons. I distinctly remember being in me Mum’s car at the intersection of Prince and Fitzroy streets in Grafton sometime around ’75. TNT came on the radio and I had my first experience of a mondegreen. I though the song was TMG and referred to the Ted Mulry Gang.

US3Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)

If you were a gaijin who lived in Kokura, Japan during the mid 90s, chances were that you would end up at the small but funky Paradise Lost (it was underground so Miltonites got at least one level of hell if they were prudish and wowsers) a few times a week. This was the last port of call for many a night on the town (the infamous Lucky Moon was the regular starting venue for such
libidinous adventures back in the day).

The reason for this song is a Japanese lass from that time who won my heart and we danced many a night away to this song.

Nick CaveInto My Arms

And now, firmly ensconced in OZ, The Beloved now keeps my heart forever. For our wedding, I brought out my guitar and a good friend on bass and vocals to play this song. It was a surprise but the first two lines of the song were so perfect for us.

Actually the whole damn song is perfect and befits a relationship that started bonding over PJ and Nick (without the angst). The came The Angels and AC/DC. Match made in heaven.

Posted in culture, life
30 comments on “Musical Memories
  1. aidan says:

    Cyndi LauperTime after time

    Keep this a secret eh? But it was saturation coverage for this song on the radio when we were on a family summer holiday at Riversdale Beach. I was also deeply into a book at the time and IIRC poor Frodo was being molested by a large spider when this song was being played .. not by me you understand. My apologies for all those people who will now have “time after time …. time after time …. time after time” in their heads.

  2. Katz says:

    A Day in the Life — The Beatles

    It was 1967. I was 15. The occasion was a cast party for a play. There were lots of grown-ups in the cast and as technical support. Someone had just returned from England with Sgt. Pepper’s.

    The record player was state-of-the-art, 1967 vintage.

    As far as I knew it had never been played on Australian AM mono radio. I was therefore hearing the whole album for the first time. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the last track was “A Day in the Life”.

    I never knew before that music could sound like that or say those things.

  3. shishkin says:

    Seeing the Suzi Quatro film clip for “48 crash” back in 1973 on the Sherry Wheeler, Danny O’Dribble and Baron’s Saturday morning Brisbane kiddies TV on a B&W (good ol’) Pye all tube tele – electric!!

  4. Shaun says:


    There was an Aussie band (not sure who but Glen Shorrock was there pre LRB) at the time who were performing the entire album at gigs. This was also before the official Aussie release.

  5. Katz says:

    Yeah, Shaun. The Twilights.

    They were an Adelaide band that went to England and had some connection with Abbey Road.

    They were in Melbourne in 1967 and had some connection with Tim Burstall, movie maker husband of Betty Burstall, founder of La Mama.

    Looking back, someone at the party I mentioned above may have been closely connected with one or more of the people mentioned.

    Weird, after all those years.

    Thanks for the connections.

  6. phil says:

    The Twilights were recording at Abbey Road at the same time as the Beatles. Glen Shorrock tells the story on the liner notes for his latest acoustic CD (I think – do you reckon I can find a particular CD when I want to?).

    My memory – sort of – is hearing Wish you were here for the first time, utterly off my face. Where on earth do people get the idea that Pink Floyd were a drug band?

    Incidentally, I bought the David Gilmour Albert Hall concert DVD yesterday. Phil Manzanera on 12 string and Gilmour together doing Wish you were here? Where’s that vegetable matter? Tell you what though, it’s brilliant.

  7. Adam says:

    Hearing pop tunes that were playing on the radio when I was in primary school often take me back the 9 or so years it’s been since I was in primary school – “Slide” by the Goo goo dolls, and “Crush” by some woman whose name I can’t remember. Years ago I acquired the MP3s of the first three Silverchair albums off some friends. The link these songs provided to the past was so fascinating I now consider them my favourite band 😀

  8. rf says:

    Ah, so many musical memories: listening to the Smiths on the John Peel Show through the formative years of adolescence; Aztec Cameras High Land Hard Rain album through uni; Grant Lee Buffalo and “Fuzzy” on JJJ back when we rented a house in Mt Hawthorn, Dave Graney’s Rock n roll is where I hide,pre kids and living in an apartment overlooking the Swan River in Claremont; Outkast Hey Ya, just arrived in broome and watching the top 50 on Rage with the kids because it was too hot and humid for us to venture outside.
    Mind you, just about all me records/CDs remind me of time and place.

  9. Andyc says:

    1986. August, I think. Crystal Palace, South London. A small posse of us festival-going studenty types went to the Anti-Heroin Campaign all-dayer, at the open-air stage with an anti-moshing pond in front of it. The two security men in little rowing boats and yellow sou’-westers were rumoured to be none other than Richard Branson and Simon Le Bon, who had recently sunk a hot air balloon in the North Atlantic.

    March Violets, Doctor and the Medics, etc came and went. Final two bands were Hawkwind, preceeded by The Enid. The Enid pretty much classified as modern classical with strong Debussy/Berlioz influences overlain by dada sensibilities, and consisted of a restrained drummer (Chris), skinny guitarist with unrestrained long black ringlets (Steve), and Robert John Godfrey: large, bald, beardy MC/vocalist/keyboardist, and utterly unrestrained. Hawkwind were as hairy and spaced-out as ever. And at the heavy end of their spectrum. I’ve got a faint memory that Lemmy might have rejoined them as bassist, for this one-off.

    Then, at the end of the day, there was a grand finale with members of several of the bands getting together on stage for a final singalong. And one of the organisers apparently thought that if you were going to book The Enid, you might as well…

    invite Dame Vera Lynn. So we had The Hairy Hawkwind Chorus, and The Enid and others, singing “We’ll Meet Again” and “The White Cliffs Of Dover” together with Dame Vera. The Enid did not need lyric sheets.

    Those songs will *never* be the same again.

  10. joe2 says:

    I landed in England, for the very first time, when this little tune was playing in every pub. Fond memories/bad memories all come together when I hear it…..Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel.

    Exactly what it is about, I do not know, but will include a video link to a much later performance, on bike, that is a definite hoot and a bit of a personal piss take by P.G, of himself. Cheers LP’s and may next weekend be of the great memory variety.

  11. Paul Burns says:

    1. Somewhere from West Side Story.
    It was a favourite song for me and one of my first loves in Kings Cross in the mid 60s. My girl-ftiend used to get really teary about it.
    The whole relationship is cloured by the strange evening lights of King’s Cross all around us when we used to kiss passionately in the street.
    2.Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands by Bob Dylan. One of the most beautiful songs ever written. Me and a mate wrote a film script based on it, and used to wander round Sydney, Eastern Creek and various other places looking for locations. It took up a good 6 monthsd of my life. Once, sitting at home, listening to this song, my eyes losed, I felt I was floating. And I had not been drinking, nor had I ingested any mind-altering substances.
    3.Macarthur Park. Used to sit with my then girlfriend, probably the great love of my life, listening to this song over and over again in the Aristocrat Coffee shop in King’s Cross.
    4.Almost the entire collection of records on the Picollo Bar juke box in Kings Cross, where I spent many a pleasurable hour of conversation with many of my Kings Cross friends.
    5.Edith Piaf’s Je ne regrette rien. Piaf is one of my favourite artists, whom I still listen to regularly. A friend of mine, who sang under the performance name of Francoise, who had a beautiful voice, used to sing it in the Ball Pants Coffee shop in Kings Cross regularly.
    That’ll do.

  12. anthony says:

    Blink 182’s Dammit
    So anyway I’m driving down to Hakone and Izu Peninsular from Tokyo in a rented Mazda MX5 and making my way through town traffic and light, through an underpass and then the entry ramp for the coastal freeway that leads to 50km of beautiful winding mountain roads. The ramp is a single lane with a sharp right handed bend that feels like a pinball chute and while I’m knocking the gears down to work them up again Blink 182’s Dammit’s opening riffs comes on, I floor it and wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaggggghhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee with the engine bouncing off the rev limiter and the rear tyres straining sideways and I can’t stand Blink 182 but every now and then a song just latches on to exactly how you’re feeling and that’s why we love them.

  13. Su says:

    “She Loves You” was on the radio before school on my first day of high school It became the earworm associated with anxiety, alienation, dread and horrendous high humidity summers. It permanently soured my appreciation of The Beatles.

    One christmas the salvation army band came down our street at about 9pm playing christmas carols. It was an unseasonably cool night and I was alone in the house while my mother worked night shift; disparate sensations somehow collided to make one of those strange moments when you feel like you have left your body and ascended to who knows where?

  14. jules says:

    Too much music, but here’s a start.

    These all bring back memories of driving arund Australia, from somewhere to somewhere else, usually for 10 to 20 hours at a stretch.

    Stuck in Melbourne, Overnight jones/warner bros, and Dan Warner and Al mcInnes. Memories of being stuck there and not being stuck there.

    I Mother Earth, Canadian band from the 90s. For sme reason every time I hear them part of me is sitting in a car between Gunnedah and Coonabarabran. Driving west into a beautiful sunset.

    The Triffids, obviously.

    Old Tom Waits, for some reason that tape always ended up playing on long drives.

    There is (or was, peak oil and greenhouse gases have cut into my long long drives,) something awesome about the open road and your soul stretched out like a rubber band over the last 500 miles. There are times when the sky and the ground mix and you can’t tell whether you are driving along the road or through the clouds.

    “disparate sensations somehow collided to make one of those strange moments when you feel like you have left your body and ascended to who knows where?”

    Yeah, i remember that feeling, lying in bed early one December morning andd hearing my next door neighbours radio through the walls. Playing the fairytale of New York, by the Pogues. I still get that feeling every time I hear that song.

  15. Liam Hogan says:

    That’s an excellent story, anthony. I know the feeling.
    The Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication was the only cassette my mate had in his car when he was teaching me how to drive, and any song from that album instantly makes me feel like I’m seventeen years old, mad excited to be in charge of a borrowed dodgy white Volkswagen hooning around the inner west of Sydney.
    In the first couple of bars of Sure Shot I can almost hear the lovely dakka-dakka-dakka-dakka and smell the petrol-and-vinyl.

  16. via collins says:

    Both initial memories in the car with mum:

    “Michelle” by The Beatles was the first transfixing pop moment, the first time I recall identifying something “other” in a song I heard on the radio.

    “Pretty Vacant” by Sex Pistols. While waiting for mum to come back to the car outside Nunawading Railway Station. I was 15, owned a whole mess of Queen albums, and the sound of the Pistols on MMM – and it was part of a story about the wonder of this thing called “punk”, not regular programming at all – was the sound of the walls collapsing inwards. Etched on my mind forever.

    “Mingus Ah Um” by Charles Mingus. I’d been working in a record shop for many years as an early adult, and never ceased to be amazed at how much jazz we sold – what, I wondered, on earth was it all about? I’d played LPs for customers, hated every second of it. One night, a I asked a venerable co-staffer ‘What’s it all about?”. He sighed gently to himself, gave me a copy of “Ah Um”, said, “It’s all about this. Take it home, Listen” I did. And when I really listened, another world opened up – and in the space of one wonderful night, I got it.

  17. Su says:

    “Playing the fairytale of New York, by the Pogues. I still get that feeling every time I hear that song.”

    Contains my favourite christmas lyric; “Happy Christmas, my arse, I pray god it’s our last”. 🙂

  18. Gaz says:

    “Its good news week” Hedgehoppers Anonymous 1966.

    Cruisin in the F.C. Holden trying to get into the nickers of my wife forty years ago,and still trying, only these days with a little less enthusiasm.

  19. Su says:

    O what the heck if anyone deserves a youtube link it’s the Pogues;
    That’s my memory of missing their farewell concert in Brissie. Seems a little early to be linking to Fairytale of NY; save it for closer to Chrissie?

  20. Pavlov's Cat says:

    It took me 20 years to learn how to dissociate music from lerve, but in the meantime, in chronological order: — the Small Faces singing ‘Itchycoo Park’ in 1967 (fourteen, first-ever boyfriend, a wicked black-and-gold Greek boy who broke my heart), Jimmy Webb singing ‘P. F. Sloan’ in 1970 (singing along), Handel’s Water Music in 1971 (which floated to us across the lawn from a lighted window on a night full of stars), Judy Collins singing Jacques Brel’s ‘La chanson des vieux amants’ also in 1971 (learning to sing it word by word and chord by chord), Dylan singing ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’ in 1975 (heatwave), Bruce Springsteen singing ‘New York City Serenade’ in 1976 (another heatwave), Bob Marley singing ‘No Woman No Cry’ in 1978 (dancing in a pale pink satin dress with my squeeze of the moment on an old tiled veranda in the dark behind the oleanders — oh my), Robert Palmer singing ‘Johnny and Mary’ in 1980 (while I waited for the sound of his car), late Beethoven string quartets in 1988 (hysterical weeping and lots of Laphroaig) and Tracy Chapman singing ‘Fast Car’ in 1989 (speeding on the freeway) are all associated with some boy/man or other.

    Or, as my favourite novelist Dorothy Dunnett would say, ‘Music: the knife without a hilt.’

  21. Angharad says:

    In 1983 I packed a Redgum cassette into my backpack and headed off to Europe to find myself. For 3 years I listened to the tape in my homesick moments. Now I discover I missed most of what happened in Australian music in the mid 80s because I thought it was wall to wall Redgum and “I was only 19.” Apparently it wasn’t but that was one of my few attachments to Australia at the time. I’m over Redgum now though and I occasionally I see John Schumann and I feel old. Now I’m really over the song because I liked the hip-hop version but not when it got hijacked by the patriots.

  22. Andyc says:

    Angharad “I liked the hip-hop version but not when it got hijacked by the patriots.”

    Does “patriot” mean “warmonger” or “racist” or some such?

    Let’s take the word back!

    But back OT, and following on from Dr Cat: yes, it can be difficult to disentangle music from loeurve, but where would we be without those frissons, decades later?

    But the associations of a given piece can vary so much. I associate Handel’s Water Music so much more with being 8, and having to catch up on rehearsals of the school recorder group after being off for a week with a nasty eye infection 😦

  23. j_p_z says:

    Andyc: “…to disentangle music from loeurve…”

    Wow, that is one beautiful pun. Much doffing of caps to you, sir.

    via collins — yeah, better git it in yo’ soul! ‘Mingus Ah Um’ was one of my first jazz records, too. (My very first was an obscure, live Thelonious Monk record w/ Charlie Rouse on sax… Monk was a wonderful writer of both great numbers and also great musical jokes.) That long, loping, swaggering passage that makes up the sort of B-theme of Mingus’s “Better Get It” is probably the best-ever introduction to “yeah, this is how jazz works.”

    Actually my most visceral physical memory of music is early-70s AM radio hits like “You’re So Vain” and “Band on the Run” which always remind me of throwing up and feeling sick to my stomach, because whenever I stayed home sick from school I would lie in bed and listen to AM radio all day (“WABC – HA-RREE… HARRISON!”) in between bouts of vomiting. So to this day, even though I love songs like “Jet” and “I Feel the Earth Move,” they sort of remind me of vomiting.

    Schumann, on the other hand, reminds me of teenage making out. I learned to play most of “Kinderscenen” while in high school (have since mostly forgotten how), which impressed cute high-school girls in a sort of nerdy way, and so it is to Robert Schumann that I owe most of my utterly naive teenage romantic life. Thanks, Bob! You were a pal!

  24. mick says:

    I don’t even know where to begin.

    Like Liam I have fond memories of the Beastie Boys “Ill Communication” album. It came out when I was about 16 or 17 and it supplied the musical backdrop to many parties in my final years of high school and my early years of uni. I especially remember “Get it together”, because it’s just such a funny song to sing with friends.

    “Henry’s dream” was my first Nick Cave album. When I was an angst-ridden 14 year old it satisfied, at least for a while, my angsty needs. Whenever I head any of the songs from that album I find I’m transported back in time 15 years and am once again a pimply 14 year old sitting in my bedroom wondering wtf is wrong with the world.

    “Clash city rockers” reminds me of my first year at uni. Don’t know why, maybe because it was the first song on some Clash compilation that I was listening to a lot in those days.

    “Journey to the end of East Bay” by Rancid takes me back to my final year of high school. I got hooked on Rancid when I saw them play at the “Summersault” festival in the summer of ’95/’96. A couple of mates of mine from high school were also big Rancid and Operation Ivy fans and I think that song always reminds me of those guys and the fun we used to have together.

    I could go on forever with this game. I think songs remind me of memories better than anything else. Once upon a time I used to think that if my house was on fire then the first thing that I would try to save would be my music collection because if it was destroyed then all those memories would be gone.

    I don’t think like that so much anymore, maybe because my iPod is always with me anyway…

  25. David Rubie says:

    I find smells far more evocative than music for some reason. Not sure why.

    ABBA always takes me back to the lounge room in Canberra in the seventies, with the family crowded around Countdown on Sunday evening.

    Lloyd Cole – Perfect Skin that late high-school period when I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to be a writer or earn money being a nerd.

    All of that awful late eighties/early nineties house music (black box etc) when we were young, fancy free and wasted many nights in Canberra night clubs before moving to Sydney. Nirvana for me will always be associated with the ANU refectory.

  26. Nabakov says:

    I remember losing my virginity to the sound of Britney’s’ “Baby One More Time.”

    Opps – wrong song, wrong decade…and wrong virgin.

    Actually I lost my virginity (finally reached third base, woo-hoo!) with “Miss You” by the Stones playing several rooms away. Always had a…um…soft spot for that song ever since. Within the same few months, also engaged with illegal drugs for the first time – with the Buzzcocks providing the soundtrack. “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”.

    Other musically-enhanced memories.

    Sitting on a classic cast-iron and genteelly collapsing Fitzroy balcony, getting pissed on cask white wine while breaking up with the only woman I’d ever consider proposing to, watching the great 1983 Melbourne dust storm roll in while listening to The Return of the Durutti Column. God was so right in 24 Hour Party People. It’s time for a Vini Reilly revival.

    Carefully preparing my Walkman cassettes for my first visit to the US, then completely losing track of what track was where as the United Airlines 747 throttled right back over Catalina Island and then, through pure serendipity, hearing Simple Minds’ “Themes For Great Cities” as we majestically descended into LAX during magic hour . A transcendental arrival at a great city with the perfect soundtrack.

    After a very checkered night on the town sometime in the mid-eighties, I found myself in a strange large house somewhere in South Yarra full of upmarket queens, squealing debs and their dim but affable escorts, all keen to party hearty even more. I was drunk, coked and stoned out of my tiny little mind and just flaked out on a large couch. The host, who I vaguely recall as very big and very camp, instead of taking advantage of my condition, tucked a blanket around me and put a record on before heading upstairs to join the others in what I suspect were perverse acts of nature. I was left there on my own, gently spinning out to the sound of Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending” as the window light gradually moved from black to mauve to blue and the real birds joined in. And it’s still a sublime piece of music even today despite such circumstances not being easily repilcated.

    Driving down the Great Ocean Road for a dirty weekend in Port Fairy with one of the few other women in my life I’d contemplate sharing my life with, on the final stretch from Warnambool. It’d been raining but now golden shafts of sunlights were coming through the baggy gray clouds to twinkle off the damp purple heather while bottle green waves prowled about on the other side of the road. Right then, as we were cruising through this rugged and suddenly chromatic and prismatic landscape, Ed Kuepper’s “All Of These Things” kicked in on the radio. Beyond perfect. In fact, I think Ed writes some of the best driving around Australia music ever. “Still Winding Windows As I Go”.

    “This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads also brings on a surge of sense memory whenever I hear it now. No one particular reason. Rather it was a mutually acceptable song for three communal households next door to eachother in Fitzroy in the summer of ’84. Two bars in of that track and I’m savouring memories of mohair V-neck jumpers, magic mushroom nights, waiting outside Fitzroy Library while the ‘Carsons Law’ crew lugged out, hash cookie experiments (“Hey, wanna try some hash toast?”), Premier John Cain without any security or minions ambling into the Black Cat for a Lime Spider, Sparkletts NO2 cartridges, Countdown, discovering cats won’t eat stale cornflakes either, that the smell of spilled bongwater is for ever until you rip the crusty carpet up and discover 30 year old newspapers underneath, W-Class Trams and being slim.

  27. jinmaro says:

    Some music that’s made the hair stand up on the back of my neck:

    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, WOMAD, Adelaide, 1995 at 1am beneath the spreading canopy of figs and oaks, in light rain, on a warm, humid night.

    This year’s Australian Chamber Music Festival, Townsville. Venue: the ATSI Cultural Centre. Performers: William Barton on didgeridoo, his mother Delmae singing and a string quartet performing William’s own classical compositions.

    Astral Weeks, Van Morrison, anytime, anyplace.

    My first live opera. Sydney Opera House: Australian Opera production of Wagner’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’; a five-hour concert and Marilyn Richardson as Isolde.

    My first 3-day Aboriginal Dance Festival camp at Laura, Cape York.

    Family anthems: Danny Boy, Scotland the Brave, and The Skye Boat Song played on pipes. The last played by a lone piper in honour of the Flint People and my mother at her funeral as we gathered outside the church before the service on a cold gun-metal gray winter’s morn.

  28. Nabakov says:

    “Lloyd Cole – Perfect Skin”

    Oh that takes me back too, it does. A perfect pop song for its time.

    Hey, just downloaded it from iTunes. Still holds up very well. Kinda like “Another Girl, Another Planet” but without the speed rush. Which in turn borrowed from Cockney Rebel’s “Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me) which in turn Nick Cave ripped off rotten for “Nature Boy”. Talk about a tightening gyre of sensitive bloke energy.

  29. Angharad says:

    Well I can’t better Britney, Nabakov, even if you DID make it up. But the rest of your post made me remember several nights, in various venues being a bit of a Hunters and Collectors groupie. It all came to a head in their second last gig ever at Parramatta Leagues Club, tears rolling down my face to “throw your arms around me” and recalling passion and abandon on different earlier occasions with different people – no fidelity there.

  30. Dylwah says:

    Thanks David Rubie, ahhthe anu ref, it will always be The Gadflys and Jake the nose (?) late on any night that they played, and that one night durring a blue moon in Feb, with the groovy delegates from the world congress of Churches when a bloke dressed only in a bow tie and a burning roll of newspaper did a lap around the pool tables.

Comments are closed.

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: