An example of this happened just the other day. I've been doing the 30 Day Alternative Song Challenge where you post songs on certain topics they suggest eg. first album you ever bought; song you listen to when you're sad; song you have to listen to loud etc. The topic the other day was to post a song you can't believe you used to like. Being a child of the 80s there is lots of cringe-worthy music from my past. I chose a Nik Kershaw song (groan). But lots of people responded saying not to diss the bad 80s music and that they still loved it.
After I picked myself off the floor from shock, it got me thinking. How is it some people look back fondly and some people wish for those trashy times back, while others (like myself) try to pretend it never happened? I had wondered if there is some association with who we were during those years. Some people loved their teenage years, and loved high school. But I think it would be simply awful if they were the best days of your life! When I think back to being 14 (the year the Nik Kershaw song came out), I had braces, a truly terrible perm, crippling shyness and not a lot of confidence. Is it any wonder I don't look back in a nostalgic haze?
I've always joked that I am 90s girl, through and through. Maybe it's because that's when music and life became more intertwined. I have always thought that a soundtrack has run throughout my life. Songs are always associated with people, places and events. But maybe the 90s was when I began to really find myself, and so much of my life was based around music and seeing bands. We went to local pubs every single weekend to see bands we loved. A group of like-minded souls found each other stuck to the carpets of many of Melbourne's pubs. It was a great time. But I also think that the music meant more to me. Perhaps it's the cynical Gen X in me, but I can't stand a cliche and especially not in music. It's got to touch me in some way.
I remember how my musical ear changed some time around 15 and 16. I hung out with my first boyfriend and his friends (all much older than me) who introduced me to The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks & The Rolling Stones. All the great 'The' bands. But also bands like The Smiths, The Housemartins, The Cult, The Saints, The Sex Pistols, The Jesus and Mary Chain (more 'The' bands), Echo and The Bunnymen and music was alive. Suddenly the songs I used to like seemed a little silly and like they had nothing to say. It all turned into elevator music.
Perhaps it's a little chicken and egg. Did the music change me, or did I begin listening to different things because I was changing? I can't quite put my finger on it. I was speaking to my friend Denise the other day and she is similar to Peter. The past is a nice place to visit, but they wouldn't want to live there. They remember the past, but spend their time looking forward, always believing that the best days are still to come. And I must say if I had a choice, I too would hope that the journey of life is leading me constantly in a more rewarding and happier direction.
Peter recites this Leslie Poles Hartley quote often. 'The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there'. When I look back at the person I was at different ages, this quote rings true. I would much rather be 40 than 14. I look forward to who it is I will develop into as life influences and changes me. I will never be someone who is afraid of change. And I believe you cannot move forward if you spend your time looking backwards. So perhaps a trip to JB Hifi is on the cards, to find the next song for the soundtrack of my life.