Dedicated to Music
Music is one of those things that has been running in the background of life. My most treasured memories have music playing in the background, some of my worst memories have music playing in the background and some of them I might not even have if it weren’t for music.
Like, I have this one memory of sitting in the front seat of my mom’s baby blue Chrysler 2-door .. i’ll have to use the term boat since i can’t remember the model .. we’re just driving down the block, windows open and B-96 up full blast – the song playing “American Woman” by oh god, I don’t know .. but it’s the one that Lenny Kravitz redid . I mean what’s the point of that memory and do I really need the trauma of remembering the light green bellbottoms I was wearing and the light blue bell bottoms my mom was wearing at that moment? Is it perhapst to remind me that mom WAS cool? Maybe I need it to balance the memory of her telling me to turn the Lenny Kravitz version down because the song was “so stupid” or the memory of her telling me “this is so stupid” when I was listening to Suicidal Tendencies and my mocking her with .. “but Mom .. all he wanted was a Pepsi”. Still, she’s always been okay with Music – it was usually just “oh Samaha .. turn it down, it’s giving me a headache”
I remember my uncle comming to our house with a bag larger than the usual paper lunch bag filled with candies that he usually brought us. The larger bag went to me and inside the bag was the Album “The Wall” by Pink Flloyd and a tan “The Wall” t-shirt. “We Don’t Need No Education” became words my mother hated hearing but I’ll never forget the wow’s of all the other envious classmates – I was the first one to have the album and t-shirt. Quickly my best friend and I set up the record player on our regular Friday driveway rollerskating night. We did the rollerskating on Friday nights because the rowdy neighbors behind me used to have a party every Friday night – the music level seemed as loud as a concert and Led Zepplin seemed to be the lead act every Friday. And so .. we cranked up my record player and rollerskated to .. Led Zepplin or whatever the neighbors were playing .. my record player was way too weak.
Then there’s this one memory of bike riding with a cousin that was carrying a boom box. He turned the corner and was headed straight into a car. He was more concerned about saving his boom box than himself – so he ended up on the hood of the car and the boom box on the grass. Crazy! Ohhh – he was okay.
By the time I was in highschool a few classmates from junior high had gone on to form bands and while we no longer attended the same school I would reunite with a few while hanging out at a place called McGreevy’s, in the punk room. At McGreevy’s you could be in the “house room” or the “punk room” and we were hanging in “the punk room” being physically abused by security – nothing like watching a scrawny 15 year old girl being kicked repeatedly by a six foot, overweight, off duty policeman. It was a bit difficult to tell if she was crying or if this was just the way she did her make-up but there was nothing any of us could do – there was a gun on that dude. Background music – Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Cities in Dust” – geez!
Anyway, I could go on and on about music and memories but I won’t.
My musical taste has always been diverse from nasheeds to goth to metal to classic rock to hardcore to alternative to metal to hiphop to, well, just about everything. Even while I was in the “punk room” I could easilly have been in the “house room”, although – I definately fit in better in the “punk room” – heck an Abaya would have been cool there – niqab probably even better – and the head scarf that I wore for a short period of time turned into a fashion rage among non-Muslims for a while. So, it was never the music but rather the freedom and acceptance amongst my friends to be whoever I was.
Music is a story, an art, expression. It’s something that is at times beautiful, at times vulgar, at times deep, at times shallow. Whichever it may be, it can be an influence, it can inspire thought .. political .. feminist .. spiritual etc.. but it’s how you let it influence you – not that it will directly influence you. It’s something I appreciate and it may have made some of my memories, even the senseless ones, and has played in the background of my life but it didn’t make me who I am.
The Cure – “A Forest” playing in the background….