My iPod=My Time Machine. Where Does Your Music Take You?


The other day we finally got a real taste of spring weather; the kind that makes you feel invincible and like the whole world is buzzing with possibility. Energized, I figured I'd finally get to the multiple errands I had to run, so with windows down, iPod volume way up, I headed out.  Or, rather I should say, I headed the 70's 80's and 90's.

My kids are horrified by the music selection on my iPod.  Every time we are in my car, they roll their eyes, make guttural sounds of disgust and try to impress upon me the importance of listening to today's music.  I explain to them that music has the power to take you places and that I put songs on there that make me happy or remind me of certain times in my life.  I try to explain to them that my iPod is like a scrapbook of my life.

I also try to impress upon them what it was like to not have your favorite songs at your fingertips.  I tell them horror stories of the past; when I would keep my radio on next to my bed waiting for hours on end to hear my favorite song.  If you missed it because you had to sleep, eat, pee or go to school? Complete nightmare. They can't comprehend such a thing. The idea that I could put my favorite songs all on this tiny little device and carry it with me anywhere is like a miracle from God.  They have no idea.

My iPod is incredibly powerful; it's my time machine.  Within a few notes of any song, the memories, faces and feelings come rushing back.  When I hear "Magic" by Pilot, I am at Community Pool in West Caldwell in 1975 tasting the pizza from the snack bar, smelling the chlorine in my hair from my early morning swimming lessons, and feeling the knots in my stomach from sheer terror at the thought of jumping from the high dive for the first time.  I also remember a certain 6th grade crush and all the agony and angst that came with it.  "Magic" makes me smile. And who could forget "Peter Frampton Comes Alive."  I mean, seriously; I know you're smiling now.

All of the arena rock bands are well represented, with Journey, Styx, Boston, Aerosmith, Queen and Van Halen headlining.  I credit Journey's "Open Arms" as the reason I left school after my freshman year of college to study at home to be closer to my then boyfriend.  Thank God, I married him. Boston's "Rock-n-roll Band" takes me back to Giants Stadium where I watched friends vomit "red crap," a vodka and Kool-Aid combo that I wasn't particularly fond of that they had consumed pre-concert in the parking lot. Ah...the 80's.  (Pls. note, we were legally drinking then.  Not intelligently, but legally).

When I hear Led Zeppelin's "All of My Love" I am on a golf course on the Friday after Thanksgiving with a cousin (who shall remain nameless) hanging out and flirting (really that was all) with some cute guys.  The same cousins will forever be linked to Aerosmith's "Walk This Way, " and Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Knock Three Times."  Interesting bunch we were...  Ah the fun we had those Thanksgiving weekends.

Then, (drum roll pls.) Bruce's "Jungleland" comes on.  Oh anthem for the ages.  We knew every word because we were from Jersey, and Bruce was IT...Never can I remember being so proud of where I came from. It's a summer night in the parking lot at Foodtown and our cars are lined up, packed with kids just hanging out with their tape decks blasting "Jungleland."

And who could forget Fribble and Fry night at Friendlys?  Every Friday night during football season, we would head to our local Friendlys.  "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire, is vibrating from the backseat speakers mounted 1/4 inch from my head. How fabulous were Fribble and Fry Fridays at Friendlys!

The entire soundtrack from "Grease" puts me on the boardwalk in Seaside with both of my grandparents spinning the wheels and riding the rides.  My mom was so in love with John Travolta I think she took us to see it three times that summer, even once from the front row of the theater. "Summer Lovin"....had me a blast!


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