I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times in my life. Music is integral to our daily lives. It’s a building block of our memories. There are so many songs that transport me back to a time and place long in my past. Music is interwoven to my memories more than my other senses it seems.
It’s this connection between music and memories that the WTF-worthy headlines Blink-182 have been generating the last few days (catch yourself up here) have instilled almost a nostalgia in me. I’ve found myself listening to the band more than a few days now while contemplating just how much the band has meant to me throughout the years. How many Blink-182 memories I do have that are more than just seeing them perform live.
There’s many bands that have grown with me over the years, see my Fall Out Boy post from last week as an example, but Blink-182 is amongst the handful that have not only grown with me, they profoundly impacted many of the most powerful memories in my life. Blink-182 was the sound of my teenage years and growing up.
The strongest memories of childhood summers with my best friend have music embedded in them. There’s one that stands out though, the year we discovered Blink-182 much to our mothers’ dismay. Each afternoon we spent time watching the band rise on the charts for TRL, dancing away in the living room. We imitated their music video antics and giggled at the nudity and adult jokes over our head. (Somehow even as a pre-teen I managed to have a penchant for crude humor.) Everytime “What’s My Age Again?” and “All the Small Things” played it made our day and we enjoyed all we could from it.
Blink-182 helped me not feel quite so alone. I had the misfortune of moving away from all my childhood friends a few weeks before high school was to begin. I was shy and unsure of myself and determined I wasn’t going to make a single friend in this new town. My second period was theater and after I walked in with my head down I quietly took a seat next to another quiet girl. She noticed my Blink-182 wristband I was wearing and commented that I must be alright. I didn’t feel like such an outcast and my hatred of my new school slowly started to fade after a long discussion about “Aliens Exist” being her favorite song.
Of course teenage angst was inevitable (sorry about that mom) and somehow Blink-182 became a backbone to the playlist that suited my moods. When I was pissed off at everything and being an over dramatic fourteen year old I would blast “Adam’s Song” and “Stay Together for the Kids” when I retreated to my room. My rebellious streaks were accompanied to “Reckless Abandon” and I thought I was so cool. Spoiler: I wasn’t.
Entering the dating world I perfected my still intact ability to joke about everything when I was nervous about it. Before my first double date with my best friend we joked that we should act exactly like Blink-182 did in their song “First Date” because the guys wouldn’t be able to resist our “charm” – Somehow we ended up daring each other to actually do that and we scared the guys away with our idiocy, but boy did we laugh about that night for years to come.
When my uncle died I found solace in the music of Blink-182. I lived and breathed their self-titled album. It didn’t exactly connect to what I was going through, but there was just an overwhelming comfort in the band that had grown up with me.
There’s one thing I haven’t acknowledged yet and it’s probably the most powerful reason Blink-182 stayed with me through the years. They’re the soundtrack to my first love. I may not freely admit that often, but Blink-182 and my first love are one and the same. Being fifteen and dealing with these complex emotions I didn’t fully understand and couldn’t quite handle. It was “I Miss You” and the haunting first few notes that were consistently played over the phone as endearment from my wannabe rocker interest. It’s been a long time since those phone calls and an even longer distance to where we are both happy in our separate lives now, but I still can’t help but think of him when I listen to Blink-182 from time to time. It’s a fond memory that makes me smile at the ridiculousness of it all.
I can turn on Blink-182 and feel these ages all over again. It takes me back to these places I have long left in my rear view mirror. I’ve remembered things I hadn’t thought of in ages when I’ve listened to Blink-182. Random spurts of memories recalled. If they were curating a soundtrack to my life, Blink-182 would be a guaranteed addition somewhere amongst the track list. Maybe it’s the mindset of music I was raised with, but I can’t think of anything quite as powerful as the connection between music and memory. Except maybe words, but music has that power in lyrics too.
None of the memories listed above are special or unique to my life, they’re experiences many of us go through. What makes them different are the details. Mine just happen to be wrapped up in music.
All of these memories have came back to me in the past few days as I’ve listened to Blink-182 again. It’s with an odd fascination to review your life. I’m saddened that Blink-182 is self imploding in front of my eyes. While I knew bands couldn’t play forever (especially one that’s already experienced rough spots) this isn’t the way I’d wish them to end. But maybe that’s just the nature of the music game. It’s alright, I’ll still be loving them long after this feud is over.
Do you have any bands or songs that take you back to a certain memory?
P.S. – One of the other most powerful artists in my life was Nirvana, I wrote ode to Kurt Cobain on the 20th anniversary of his death.
Stay tuned later this week as I have my behind the scenes GRAMMYs posts ready to go! 🙂
Until next time,