I spent my childhood making increasingly technical noises in head and then with throat, piano & keys, tuba & baritone, drums, blah yah and so on. Then, when I was at college training to be an opera singer, the noises suddenly stopped. For ten years.
The silence was broken on a rural state highway in Northern Georgia in the winter of 2011. It was about 5:45 am, with a thick mist dwelling like a belief across the fields, the broken highway a long brittle theory. And the Bangles. I have no idea why that song, it is not a particularly stellar or outstanding or tremendous song and it still makes me laugh to think about it but it is a very, very vulnerable song, partly (I have heard) because Susanna Hoffs sang naked in the recording studio to nail exactly that vulnerability, and I guess that is what I needed to hear, then, the nakedness of the nursery song chords and little chimes–everything that brought up the old nausea and, if you allow it, sadness, the same kind of experience some people have looking at their own baby pictures:
Close your eyes, give me your hand…
But for the love of God, what was it with the 1980s and fading out? Had people forgotten how to end songs, or what?
Anyway. Not long ago I got a guitar. I refuse to learn it, will only touch it. I don’t want to forget what it is, which is a piece of tree that sings.