So I recorded this "DirecTV Exclusive" concert thingie, featuring Heart performing their 1976 album Dreamboat Annie in its entirety -- all of us thirty years older now, of course. Oh my, my, my. As it turns out, I still do have pretty much every note of this album memorized. This music was magic for me when it first came out, when I was fifteen... I don't know what it was about it. There was something about the blend of acoustic and electric guitars, the delicate plucked melodies pushing up against the muscular, driving bass and drums -- and of course the voices of two women singing in harmony, something you didn't hear a whole lot of on the radio back then. For that matter, you didn't hear a whole lot of women singing rock back then, either -- there were folkies, and there were disco divas, but women really rocking? That was something new and awfully exciting. It took me exactly where I wanted to go. Where I needed to go. In a way, I think it helped me figure out how to write, gave me permission to find the power in my own voice.
I loved all of Heart's albums from the mid-seventies through the early eighties: Little Queen, Magazine, Dog & Butterfly, Bebe Le Strange. But Dreamboat Annie was always home for me, in a way. It sounds kind of funny now; I think the music that we love when we're fifteen or sixteen, I think we love it in a different way than the way we love music as adults. There's more at stake, somehow. I don't know.
There were other albums I loved in those years. Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (as well as the duo album Stevie Nicks & Lindsay Buckingham made before they joined Fleetwood Mac, called Buckingham Nicks). Patti Smith's Easter. Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town. Jackson Browne's The Pretender. Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles. I'd hole up in my room all evening burning incense and listening to records (you know, vinyl...) and writing poems. I wrote so many bad poems inspired by all that music! Well, some things never change, heh. :)
It's funny. Listening to this music now, the girl I was then seems so far away from who I am now -- and yet not so far away at all. How I live now, who I am, isn't so very different from who I wanted to be and who I kind of expected to be, whether I admitted it to myself or not. Working in a library, living alone in a little old house with two overly affectionate cats and far too many books, writing poems, making little pilgrimages to the ocean whenever I can? Yeah, fifteen-year-old Anne would have been just fine with that.
Forty-five-year-old Anne is fine with that, too.
What have you revisited? An album, a book, a poem, an old friend? Tell me about it. I'd love to hear.