Reminding songs

Continuing on with the 30-entry song challenge (you will note that I have given up on calling it the “30 Day Song Challenge”, #5 “challenges” me with this number:

A song that reminds you of someone

This could be a bit too easy. There are lots of easy associations that don’t make for good stories, or real memories connected with someone else. But this is supposed to be a challenge. So instead, I will hunt for a memory that is strongly associated with both a song and a person.


This is pleasantly difficult. Let me browse through my music collection and … no. Too big. Too much stuff.

Do I start with a person, and try to associate them with a song? A memory? Do I start with the music itself?

Well, it’s supposed to be a song challenge. So I guess I’m starting with the music. Let’s put on some magic random playlist, and see what comes up. “One Random Track from each Artist with more than 4 Stars”. Sounds plausible.

Up first, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. Saw Gnarls Barkley live once, in Hyde Park. but this reminds me of nobody.
Bobcaygeon by the Tragically Hip. Nope.
Mad World by Gary Jules reminds me of Donnie Darko. That’s not a real person.
Freedom 90 by George Michael reminds me of the music video filled with supermodels. Supermodels ARE real people.

Still guessing it doesn’t count.

Possession by Sarah McLachlan?
Fast Car by Tracy Chapman?
In My Life by Johnny Cash?

This approach is not meeting with much success thus far.

I go on and on, down and down the list, until I get to this:

Loser, of course, was first released with only 500 copies in 2003. It picked up steam — getting played on radio across the United States — and was re-released by a major label in 2004.

As a teenager in Canada, I had absolutely no exposure to Beck until after that 2004 re-release brought Loser across the border. But sometime before that, Sara, my high-school-girlfriend-who-lived-in-America (I really had one of those! I wasn’t just pretending!) was visiting.

You wouldn’t have thought — or at least, I never thought — that Akron, Ohio would be a place more in tune with coming musical trends than Kingston, Ontario. But it seems that it was (at least in this case). Sara had obviously heard Beck before her visit, and at one point we were trying to find it on CD. Or tape. It might have been audio cassettes we were looking for.

But I had never heard of Beck. And neither had any of the people at the record store, who tried to direct her towards Jeff Beck, who is clearly not the same dude.

A few months later, you couldn’t unplug your ears without hearing Loser on the radio. And even though I heard the music no earlier than anybody else in Kingston, I had a little hipster moment when I went back to the record store, and presented a copy of Mellow Gold to the cashier.

And now Beck and Sara are forever linked in my mind.

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