30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 6

Day 6 - A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere

Generations of Canadians can't hear Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2" without thinking of a hockey arena. The Muppet Movie's "Rainbow Connection"? You probably think back to seeing the movie for the first time; in my case, a long-since torn down drive-in outside of Ottawa. Today's the second post of songs that conjure up memories.

A song that reminds me of somewhere is "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads.

When I was growing up in Ottawa, my first two years of high school were a disaster. In grades five through eight, I went to a school out of my area for their enrichment program — the class for the smart kids. Four years of 30 kids moving through in the same class together; as a result, we were pretty separated from the rest of the school. Additionally, during my grade eight year, my industrial arts (i.e., shop class) teacher father ended up teaching at my school. You can only imagine what that did for my popularity. Yeah… 

For high school, most of my class went to the strong academic school downtown, and I wanted to go to one of the two schools with a strong arts program, where a few of my friends already were. Instead, at my dad's insistence, I ended up at the high school in the same area as my elementary school. You'd think it could be fun ending up at a school named Ridgemont High at the exact same time as the movie was out, but you'd be wrong. Most of the rest of the kids from my elementary school, who I didn't really know and who had some transference issues with their dislike for my dad, ended up there too. Frankly, my times at Ridgemont High couldn't go fast enough.

It took me the better part of the next two years to talk my dad into letting me transfer, and so I was able to start grade 11 at the school I'd wanted to attend in the first place. Everything changed. I mean, don't get me wrong — I was still a misfit, especially since everyone else had a two-year head start on forming into their cliques. It's just that I found a community of other misfits; theatre geeks, punks, and the school's gay community (in some cases, the intersection set of that particular Venn diagram), all of whom seemed to get along with each other ridiculously well.

It may not actually have been every weekend — it's long enough now that it's hard to remember — but it sure seems like every weekend that we were at The Towne Cinema, the rep cinema in New Edinburgh, to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Before every showing, they ran the trailer for the other movie they seemed to show almost as frequently, the classic Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. David Byrne in the giant suit, with the weird arm movements… the whole nine yards.

To this day, I can't hear a Talking Heads song — especially "Once in a Lifetime" — without thinking of high school, a great group of friends who I was so fortunate to meet, and especially The Towne Cinema. Same as it ever was.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love
  15. A Song That Describes You
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year