Iron Maiden

Proust, with guitar accompaniment

A musical Proustian moment yesterday, as I stumbled (electronically) across someone who looms large in my past, now known (musically) as This Morning Call.  I listened to the track Clockworks (pretty good, like mellow ’90s indie-pop, though that could just be me hearing known influences) and as soon as the vocals kicked in, I was a teenager again, sitting in a music rehearsal room, fluffing my basslines – an almost frightening intensity of memory. I became roadie/mascot not long after and that was the end of my musical career; I was already writing stories, mainly for my own entertainment and at that time it never occurred to me that other people ‘out there’ might like my stories and some day be prepared (occasionally) to pay me for them. Though that would probably have been poor consolation, Chrissie Hynde being way cooler than Douglas Adams in my teenage opinion.

But I digress (I know, so unusual around here). The ability of music, even just a snippet or an opening chord, to transport someone through time and space is amazing (there must be a story in there somewhere). There are Iron Maiden tracks that… Actually I think I have Maiden songs for almost every occasion, they’ve been such a constant soundtrack, but there is one (Invaders) that still takes me straight back to being 13, stretched out on my bed one Sunday with my headphones on, listening to the tape I’d just bought from a car boot sale in Workington; if I’m not doing much else as I listen, I can feel the breeze from the open window (it being the final weekend of the summer holidays I think) and see the slightly dimmed light from the curtain drawn across the glare of unfortunately-positioned sun.

Thankfully for you, I’m not about to write a ridiculously long and rambling (if wonderfully immersive and enjoyable) tale stemming from hearing a snatch of Maiden at an inopportune moment, but it serves to remind me how important music is. The Librarian has in fact just reviewed a book about that very thing (Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks). And I continue in my quest to write while listening, not just to the constant music in my head.

Teenage fanclub

Iron Maiden are apparently releasing a new album, and despite having been disappointed by the last two, I know I’ll end up buying it. I do this in the same way as I continue to read each new book by Robert Rankin or Terry Pratchett (and to a lesser and slower extent Stephen King, though I think I’ve missed a couple of his out now). I can’t decide whether it stems from some kind of loyalty, or perhaps even gratitude, to those that sustained me through my teenage years (Iron Maiden and Terry Pratchett having been constants in my life for at least 18 years now, Stephen King for 16 and Robert Rankin for 12), or a hope that each of them (though wavering a little now, at least in my opinion) will hit the mark again and delight me as they once did. It could be nostalgia for lost youth. Or just that I’m always frightened I’m missing something (as my mum’s so fond of pointing out), and I don’t want the album or novel that I don’t buy to be the best they’ve done in years.