One of the many things that I love about music is that it connects people to one another. When people share their favorite artists, songs, and albums, they really are providing a more personal glimpse into who they are, and in doing so, sometimes, a common bond is formed with others. The Kinks double album, One for the Road Live, personifies this concept.
I attended a very small Catholic grade school, and my class numbered around 20 in size each year. There were slightly more boys than girls, and most of us had attended school together since the ages of 5 or 6. One of my classmates and I actually had known each other since the day I was born, as our families were friends and lived in the same townhouse complex. We were a tight-knit crew, and a good number of us still keep in touch with one another.
I cannot remember which of the 7th grade boys introduced me to The Kinks, but I have vivid memories of listening and singing along to One for the Road Live with several of the boys. From the cheeky Low Budget, Lola, and (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman to the hard rocking Catch Me Now I’m Falling, Where Have All the Good Times Gone, and You Really Got Me, we loved each and every song. The live versions of the 21 tracks included on the album had a dizzying effect on me.
While I was not one to rebel, at least not to the point of being too detrimental, I was drawn in by the London rockers who possessed a punk attitude in their delivery of brilliant lyrics and guitar riffs. They were cool and full of swagger, and I could not get enough of them.
I saved up my babysitting money to buy my own copy of One for the Road Live, so, I could listen to it at home. I went to Ayr Way and handed over $17.97 for the album, and as soon as I got home, I peeled off the cellophane and marveled at it. Even though I had seen the album at my friend’s house, this was my copy. The scent of vinyl and the smooth feel of the vibrant album cover made me giddy with excitement, but I made sure to carefully, very carefully, place the record needle on the opening track, with precision worthy of a surgeon. Music filled my bedroom, as my face erupted in a smile.
The next day at school, I proudly told my listening companions about my purchase, and one of them proclaimed me to be the coolest girl he knew. That declaration still makes me laugh, as I was most definitely not cool. I was simply an awkward adolescent girl who shared their love of music. After this album, we introduced one another to more music during our 7th and 8th grade years, such as AC/DC’s Back in Black, Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti, Rush’s Moving Pictures, and Foreigner’s 4. So many great albums that evoke happy memories.
One for the Road Live remains a sentimental favorite. While I no longer own a turntable and do not listen to The Kinks as often as I did back then, I still smile at the memories of sitting in a basement with my friends and rocking out to this outstanding album. I still wish I could fly like superman, too.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story