Memories light the corners of my ears

17 Jun

Yesterday while I was playing taxi driver, shuttling my kids to and fro with their various “enrichment” activities, a few songs came on the radio that brought back some fun memories and took me places I haven’t been in a long time.

First was Peter Murphy’s Cuts You Up.  I actually don’t have a specific memory of this particular song, though I’ve always enjoyed it—how can you not enjoy Peter Murphy with that voice?  But hearing Peter sing “You know the way it twists and turns changing colors spinning yarns—You know the way it leaves you dry it cuts you up it takes you high” reminded me of that other awesome Peter ditty Indigo Eyes and Indigo Eyes reminded me of one of my best friends from high school, Jason, who really liked Indigo Eyes even if it was my “white people music” and thinking of Jason reminded me of how I used to pick up his little catch phrases like “what’ve you been smokin’?” and “get off the crack pipe” and how my mom used to pick up these little catch phrases from me and then use them in front of my friends and Jason just thought that was the most hilarious thing in the world and that my mom was pretty cool and he was right because she was.

And then thinking of Jason reminded me of the time I memorized Rob Base’s It Takes Two in its entirety just to show him that I could.  It took me a little while.  It’s kind of a long rap and I had to keep rewinding my tape for the phrases I kept missing.  I would write them down then scratch them out when I thought they were wrong.  When I finally had it “memorized” I performed it for him then he proceeded to laugh at all my misheard lyrics but in a nice way because we were homeys.  I think his exact words were, as he was laughing his buttock off, “You’re just so cute.”  I tried to see if I still remembered the words.  Here is what I could do:

Intro:  Right about now you’re about to be possessed by the sounds of MC Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock

Oh, and there’s a bunch of Woo-yeahs repeating over and over.

I wanna rock right now
I’m Rob Base and I came to get down
I’m not internationally known
But I’m known to rock a microphone
‘cause I get stupid I mean outrageous
Stay away from me if you’re contagious
‘cause I’m a winner, no not a loser
To be an mc is what I choose a
Ladies love me, girls adore me
I mean even the ones who never saw me
Like the way that I rhyme at a show
The reason why man I don’t know
So let’s go ‘cause

It takes to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it out of sight

(forgot most of the next verse until here)
So let’s start, it shouldn’t be too hard
I’m not a sucka so I don’t need a bodyguard
Won’t fess wear a bullet proof vest
Don’t smoke
Buddha I can’t stand
Sex yes

And then here are the actual lyrics, from what I could find off the internets anyway:

It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight
Hit it!

I wanna rock right now
I’m Rob Base and I came to get down
I’m not internationally known
But I’m known to rock the microphone
Because I get stoopid, I mean outrageous
Stay away from me if you’re contagious
‘Cause I’m the winner, no, I’m not the loser
To be an M.C. is what I choose ‘a
Ladies love me, girls adore me
I mean even the ones who never saw me
Like the way that I rhyme at a show
The reason why, man, I don’t know
So let’s go, ’cause

It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight
Hit it!

My name is Rob, I gotta real funky concept
Listen up, ’cause I’m gonna keep you in step
I got an idea
That I wanna share
You don’t like it? So what, I don’t care
I’m number one, the uno, I like comp
Bring all the suckers ’cause all them I’ll stomp
Bold and black but I won’t protect
All of my followers ’cause all I want is respect
I’m not a doctor, put them in rapture
A slick brother that can easy outfox ya
Cause I’m Rob, the last name Base, yeah
And on the mike, I’m known to be the freshest
So let’s start, it shouldn’t be too hard
I’m not a sucker so I don’t need a bodyguard
I won’t fess, wear a bulletproof vest
Don’t smoke buddha, can’t stand sess, yes

It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight
Hit it!

The situation that the Base is in
I’m kinda stingy that’s why I don’t wanna lend
A funky rhyme to a foe or a good friend
But listen up ’cause I want you to comprehend
‘Cause I’m the leader, the man superior
I take care of ya and then ya get wearier
So just sit, my rhymes arenot counterfeit
The record sells which makes this one a hit
It won’t hurt to listen to Red Alert
Take off your shirt
Make sure it don’t hit the dirt
I like the kids–the guys, the girls
I want the ducats ’cause this is Rob Base’s world
I’m on a mission, ya better just listen
To my rhymes ’cause I’m all about dissin’
‘Cause

It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight
Hit it!

I stand alone, don’t need anyone
‘Cause I’m Rob, just came ot have fun
Don’t need friends that act like foes
‘Cause I’m Rob Base, the one who knows
About things that make ya get weary
Don’t cheer me, just hear me
Out ’cause I got the clout–shout (Ho!)
Before I turn the party out
I won’t stutter– Project my voice, speak clearly
So you can be my choice
On stage or on record
Go to the Wiz and select it
Take it off the rack, if it’s wack put it back
I like the Whopper, f*** the Big Mac
If you want static, so let’s go
So, throw upyour hands
Go for what you know
Bro’, I got an ego
Yo, talkin’ to me? No
Oh
‘Cause Rob is in the front, EZ Rock is on the Back up
We’re not soft, so you better just slack up
‘Cause I’m cool, calm just like a breeze
Rock the mike with the help of EZ
Rock on the set, the music plays
Only cuts the records that I say

It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight
Hit it!

All right, now, EZ Rock
now, when I count to three
I want you to get busy
You ready now?
One, two, three, get loose now!

It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight
Hit it!

See, now I remember originally thinking that it was “don’t smoke Buddha, can’t stand sex, yes”, but that just didn’t make any sense to me. Who smokes Buddha? How would it be possible that he couldn’t stand sex and then what was up with the stray yes? But apparently, buddha is a form of marijuana (marijuana mixed with opium or marijuana mixed with crack or just extra potent marijuana depending on what source you go to) and sess (not sex) is also marijuana. That makes so much more sense.

Then right after Cuts You Up, Midnight Oil’s Dead Heart came on which reminded me of the year I gave one of my friends Diesel and Dust for her birthday, which includes Dead Heart, and how I opened up the casette (this was before CDs were standard—yes, I’m that old) and made a copy of it before I gave it to her.  I know, illegal and lame.  And also lame.  But for some reason I was always inclined to give this particular friend lame and/or joke gifts.  One year I gave her a 10×13 framed picture of myself.  It was good for a laugh and yes, I did ask for it back at the end of the night.  Maybe that was the same year I gave her the “used” casette tape.  And then another year I gave her a pack of underoos or actually, I think I had tried to find her underoos but to no avail so I just gave her a pack of lame character underwear like Strawberry Shortcake or something.  Maybe it was just payback for the year she made a big deal about combining my birthday and Christmas present (which many people are wont to do—oh the woes of a December birthday) and then giving me a casette single of Erasure’s A Little Respect.  A casette single?  Those things cost like $2!  I want my two dollars!

(By the way, did anyone else ever have underoos?  I had Supergirl and Madhousewife had Batgirl—hers were much cooler.  We used to wear them without clothing and then jump off the top of our bunkbed, pretending we could fly.  Nevermind that Batgirl couldn’t actually fly.  Actually, maybe we weren’t pretending that Batgirl could fly—maybe she was just leaping or using her Bat bat-shaped grappling hook or something.  Sorry to out you, Mad.)

Where was I?  Oh, and after Dead Heart was Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill.  Well, technically it wasn’t right after, but the song right after was lame and not at all memory-evoking and I can’t even remember what it was now.  But Solsbury Hill is all kinds of awesome.  For some reason I’ve always pictured it spelled “Salisbury Hill” like Salisbury steak, which totally reminds me of Better Off Dead when Lane’s mom wraps up a bunch of frozen tv dinners for his Christmas presents—awesome.  But the thing about Solsbury Hill is that it’s so fun to sing along to—My heart going boom boom boom. 

And really, that’s true of the first two songs too.  Who doesn’t love singing “It takes you in and spits you out”?  Or “Do do do do do do do do. Do do do do do do do do”?  And Peter Murphy and Peter Garrett also both have the kind of voices that are really fun to imitate in an overly exaggerated fashion.

Where was I even going with this?

I guess that’s one of the things I love most about music—the ability it has to flood your mind with all kinds of memories and send you on a kind of stream of consciousness journey with all manner of twists and turns until you’re so far gone to far away distant places that you can’t even remember how you got there.

What song-sparked memory trips have you gone on lately?

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7 Responses to “Memories light the corners of my ears”

  1. Susan M June 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    Well, there’s all those vinyl records I’ve gotten…Donny & Marie! I so want the Donny & Marie show on DVD now.

    One song I seem to hear a lot in Daniel’s truck (because he listens to a retro radio station) is “Silly Little Love Songs” by the Wings, and it always takes me right back to being a kid.

    “Solsbury Hill” is an awesome song.

  2. Jumbo Shrimp June 17, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    I love when music does that. Hmmm….I’m having a hard time thinking because all that is playing in my head is “With your friends the Backyardigans…” Please help me. LOL

  3. Alison Wonderland June 17, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    I once watched a behind the music that was not on a band but on the year 1992 -I think it was 92, might have been 93- anyway, it was the year that Nirvana’s “Nevermind” came out as did Metallca’s black album and Pearl jam “Ten” and … And it was like I was having flashbacks (with out that pesky acid to make me feel guilty) suddenly I was sitting on the bed in Scott Ford’s bedroom playing Streetfighter.
    A lot of those songs I can hear now with out immediately being back there (having heard them many MANY times since then) but all of them together was just too much.

  4. cheryl June 18, 2008 at 7:25 am #

    Everytime I hear “The Freshman” by The Verve Pipe, it immediately makes me sad (a given, it’s a sad song) and it takes me back to the summer after high school (1997). I remember hearing it in the old grey mini-van, all my friends piled in, heading towards the sand dunes outside of Rexburg on the 4th of July.

    Alphaville’s “Forever Young” makes me think of every high school dance, sporting event, and assembly I ever had in high school.

    Then, of course, anytime NKOTB or Milli Vanilli comes on (never comes on, though, but rarely), images of my childhood pop in in droves, and then I drift to thinking about Kirk Cameron, snap bracelets, Tiffany, pop rocks, and Debbie Gibson. Oh, yeah. Those were the days, my friend! Trendy days, but still good. 🙂

  5. jumbo shrimp June 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    Cheryl, Forever Young reminds me of my first New Years Eve Stake Dance when I was 14. I danced with this kid who I totally had a crush on and he even asked me twice! He said some really goofy, sappy thing during that song that I won’t repeat, but oh the memories!

  6. Jody June 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    I love Solsbury Hill.

    I think I may be a little older than you….but one for me is Athena, by The Who. It came out when I was in high school. It always makes me think of fall, so strong I can smell it. I remember hanging out with my friend Tricia at the plaza where we took guitar lessons and sometimes my secret boyfriend would come by and we’d hang out. He had this certain, very nice, smell to him and I remember it mingling with the smell of autumn, and hearing Athena. “I felt like a pickled priest who was being flambed.”

  7. bythelbs June 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    Ooh, Jody, that’s a good one.

    Thanks for sharing everyone—it’s been fun walking down memory lane with y’all.

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