No Post Day | First Tune

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When we escaped from my father, we moved into a small two-bedroom apartment over a gas station. My memory on this is a little sketchy, but one of the things we ended up with was a cabinet record player: it was about six-feet long, the top tilted upwards, and inside was the record player.

And we did have records. I never really give her credit for this, but my mom does have good taste in music. Back in 1980, in our little apartment, she had “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac, a Joan Armatrading album, and a Steely Dan. And one of the albums she owned was “Band On The Run” by ‘Paul McCartney & Wings’.

Which I discovered when I was nine, and I’d play it when I got home from school. I can remember playing the title track over and over and over again. I don’t think, for the first year I listened to the album, I ever got past “Jet”, the second track.

There were a lot of reasons why I fell in love with the song. It’s a great song, first, but it feels like three songs in one… from that great opening riff to the muscular guitar starting the second stanza, then the chorus changes the song completely again with the orchestra and acoustic guitar.

After listening to it about fifty times, I can remember listening — hearing — the lyrics, and feeling how they, for the first time, applied to me. I was a few months and 400 miles removed from my extended family, in a weird new place where I knew no one, then hearing these words coming from the cabinet stereo:

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Stuck inside these four walls
Sent inside forever
Never seeing no one nice again
Like you, mama, you, mama, you

If I ever get out of here
Thought of giving it all away
To a registered charity
All I’d need is a pint a day
If I ever get out of here
If we ever get out of here

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I would turn the stereo up and sing along. And when I got to those lyrics:

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If I ever get out of here
If we ever get out of here

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I’d cry. I’d choke up, and keep singing along as best as I could. But every single time it was those two lines that just broke me.

I found a YouTube, purely by accident, of “Band On The Run” a few nights ago… and I played it back to back to back. And those two lines still choked me up.

…then the memory washed over me of Little Me standing in a dark room, using the lyric sheet on the album to sing along at the top of my lungs, not knowing about Paul McCartney, or anything, just knowing I wanted to get the fuck out of there.

Anyway… it occurred to me, since it was on YouTube it would make sense for it to be on btjunkie.org, and it was. So I downloaded it, and now I’ve got the whole album.

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So my questions for this sacred No Post Day are:

1. What song makes you totally lose it… for various reasons “O Mary Don’t You Weep” and “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen, and “The Storm” by Big Country also do it for me. “Farewell to Nova Scotia”, a traditional folk song, also makes me pretty freaking emotional…

2. What albums do you remember your parents owning?

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...thanks.

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, crazy people with no pants, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, No Post Day. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to No Post Day | First Tune

  1. Soire says:

    My dad had Queen: Live Magic, and a Janis Joplin record.

    Amazing Grace on Bagpipes never fails to make me weep, and neither does a “missing man” jet formation/
    Me & Bobby Mcgee makes me sad too.

  2. thordora says:

    Carry Me by Sophie B Hawkins. Every time I turn into a blubbering mess, the lyrics remind me so much of my mother…Bad Wisdom by Suzanne Vega-relating to abuse as a child, and the feelings I had, Andromeda Suite Legendary Pink Dots-has that feeling about love that you can never quite catch, sad and pretty all at once.

    My parents had a lot of classical and jazz, a lot of stuff that was popular in the 70’s Abba, Tony Orlando…my mother like Liberache, Pavoratti, And Anne Murray of all things. Can’t listen to Anne Murray either…

  3. Gabriel... says:

    I’m with you two on some of those. Amazing Grace for sure. Gotta be honest, right now I’d probably feel like breaking down if I heard “1996” by Marilyn Manson… fucking weird this life of mine. Fucking weird.

  4. Yo is Me says:

    classical music. ballets. operas. my dad’s guitar.

    they were older when they had us… 38 and 41. an old fashioned couple. the first time i knew what headphones sounded like i was in 5th grade on a field trip on a bus. a friend asked if i wanted to listen to bon jovi. it was so amazing that that sound could fill my head while no one else could hear a thing.

  5. Yo is Me says:

    i miss my mom when i hear Bizet and Tchaikovsky. i miss my dad when i hear my uncle and cousin play classical guitar.

  6. My favourite two albums my parents had were Yellow Submarine and Very Together, two Beatles albums.

    I, to this day, will weep if I hear Rise Again by the Rankin Family.

  7. markps2 says:

    RE:”What albums do you remember your parents owning?”
    One that sticks out in memory on a 45rpm , a song, Jim Lowe – The Green Door.

  8. Sooz Incognito says:

    Re: What song makes you totally lose it?

    Jackson Browne’s “Sky Blue and Black.” Every single time.

    Love your blog, by the way. My first time here. Found my way via Susan’s (Wellness Writer).

    Will be back. Much more exploring to do.

    Why does that damn green door look so familiar?

    ~Sooz

  9. amusieren says:

    Hiya… I remember my parents owning pretty much any 60/70’s rock stuff.. from Pink Floyd to Cat Stevens to Jimi Hendrix to The Beatles. Which ones make me lose it? I’d have to say there is a Scorpions song that makes me think of mom when I miss her.. and pretty much any old Beatles song reminds me of dad. I played those records over and over while I sang too lol. I do though, remember most of all, sooo much Cat Stevens and Bread being played 🙂 and some Harry Nielson on occassion as well. Harry Nielson would probably make me lose it too thinking of my Dad. Now I wanna go youtube a bunch of songs. Woohoo! Have a good one! Nice blog 🙂

  10. exactscience says:

    I totally should’ve responded to this sooner.

    I never had any of my own music until I was nine and only started really liking stuff when I was in my teens.

    I cannot listen to Amnesiac by Radiohead because it is the record I listened to way too much when I was depressed and alone.

    I am most prone to blubbing at I Found a Reason by Cat Power. Sunday Morning depending on my mood can get me too.

    I was brought up on a diet of Dire Straits and Roxy Music. When I was fifteen I discovered my dad’s old vinyl collection. I listened to Ziggy Stardust and Sgt. Pepper’s and my teenage mind was blown.

    I recently came across the horrible minidisc recording of Sgt. Pepper’s I made. It is quiet and hissy and crackly and I loved it. I dropped everything for however wrong both sides of the record last and lay on my bedroom floor. Wonderful stuff.

  11. dittohead says:

    my mother loved the eagles. Bleck.

    The Nirvana songs I fird heard when I was nine do it for me. Especially In Utero, sounds like a lot of pain.

  12. Gabriel... says:

    Hello, and welcome, Sooz Incognito and amusieren…

    Well, on No Post Days there are no losers, only winners… but this time Mark wins because he left a link.

    I share a lot of the same trigger-songs as a lot of you. Definitely Dire Straits, from Brothers In Arms, because I used to listen to it with someone specific. Pretty much anything from Cat Stevens’ “Tea For The Tillerman”, and “Rise Again” by The Rankins definitely makes my eyes full… even Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake makes me stop and ponder.

    Nirvana… I don’t have ‘In Utero’, I don’t know why not. I’ll have to get a copy. Weird.

    I did think of one other song… “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley. Sing it out loud, and get a hanky:

  13. thordora says:

    Recent blubbering song The Avett Brothers I and Love and You

  14. Fuzzpedals says:

    My dad loved folk music, for the sound and the politics. We made sure we listened and sang to that music while he was leaving his physical body. A few months later I saw Pete Seeger in Central Park and stood and wept in the sunshine. “Guantanamera” takes me, immediately, there.

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