I’m going to tell you a short story that I am all but sure is wrong. Memories are like that a lot. But perhaps it’s the feelings more than the facts that make them important.
When I was a kid I had an uncle who was the quintessential cool uncle. He was single, wealthy, at least by the standards of a kid and relative to my parents, and as such had all the newest and best shit. He was the first person I knew to have a VCR, an Atari video game system, and a compact disc player. As you can imagine, even as a young kid, I was envious as hell of him. Thank god he didn’t have any kids of his own or I would have loathed those cousins fervently!
As luck would have it, because he didn’t have kids of his own, for a couple years he would invite me and my sister (at separate times) to spend a night or a weekend at his place. These nights/weekends were very special ones and eagerly anticipated by myself and my sister. Playing video games, staying up late, and later noticing the topless girls on the posters in his den all made for a memorable escape from home.
The other memory I have, the one I’m sure I have wrong, is from the night I stayed at my uncle’s place after he’d first obtained his CD player. I remember distinctly being awoken from my sleep in the morning to the terrifyingly loud yet crisply clear vocals of a song bellowing through the entire house.
I think this is the song that woke me so startlingly. Or maybe it was “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benetar. Or maybe it was a completely different song. I honestly can’t remember with any conviction though I am absolutely positive it was a woman and I am categorically positive I will never experience anything so aurally shocking again in my life. The sound of a CD on a high end stereo circa sometime in the very early eighties was something to behold, especially for a kid who’d only ever heard music on AM radio or a 1960s vintage console record player.
So let me wish you all the very best for the year 2017 with the song that may or may not have jolted me awake like no other morning in my life since. Here’s to cool uncles! “When Will I Be Loved” from the 1974 album Heart Like A Wheel by Linda Ronstadt.