#MusicMemories: Time Travel Day 24

Tattoos, Nicknames, Bikes

Some days somehow seem to end up seared into your mind, resulting in scar tissue that forever haunts you in ways that are either good or bad. Music is so often the trigger that brings those memories to the surface, and I’m very fortunate that the majority of these music memories result in warm, fuzzy, and happy thoughts.

My tiny challenge this month is nearing an end, and I’m scrabbling to determine which songs and artists have created these lasting memories for me over the last **inaudible grumble** years.

Oddly, most of them have been centered around my parents. Not something I expected, since we spend the majority of our lives, once childhood comes to a close, fighting against all they enjoy, and denying that they have good taste in anything at all. Is it really the music that I even like that they introduced me to early on? Or is it those memories from childhood — before the world introduced me to itself and what it really was — and the association with those tunes that I’m actually craving and choosing to immerse myself in? Am I trying to recreate those feelings as often as possible, via the music that’s been released since?

I lost both my parents when I was way too young to lose them. Because we are never too old to need our parents, or their influences in our lives. I have their photographs, my mom’s pearls, some of my dad’s ball caps, etc. I have their stories and their memories and my kids have inherited some of their physical traits.

And, I have these songs.

My dad’s name for me was always “Sweetheart”. I confess, I find myself using this term a lot for my own kids. It just tends to leave my mouth so easily. I don’t even think about it much unless I hear this song, to tell the truth.

When Guns N’ Roses first hit the scene, my dad stood out amongst the other dads in our little conservative town because he had long hair, a beard, a Harley Davidson, and tattoos. This was not popular in youth culture at the time — as it is now — and certainly not very acceptable with other dads that age.

I know there was a good reason for dressing as he did, but mostly he just did what he wanted to, and didn’t concern himself too much with what people thought. He was a good man who believed firmly in that you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you, etc. I never in my life saw him be unkind to anyone.

The first time we saw and heard “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was at his parent’s house on MTV. He was transfixed. He loved their look. He loved the music. After years of hearing, in his opinion, nothing but crap in popular music, he felt like he was hearing real rock n’ roll again.

He bought the album, and we listened to it constantly on all our road trips.

He still always called me “Sweetheart”. But occasionally, he’d slip in the coveted “Sweet Child O’ Mine” instead.

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