So, I’m watching the first season of Inspector Morse (for absolutely no reason), and during one of the episodes, they show a poster for Last Tango in Paris. That movie was (ehh, slightly) before my time, but it of course called to mind the song Last Night in Paris. That was of my time, and it dislodged a few memories…
… Back in my Pittsburgh days, Brother Ra and I used to do everything together. (Too many things, some might say. Five or six in particular, in fact, but those are stories I’m not telling.)
Besides Super Mario Brothers, Queensryche, and thermonuclear Mac and Cheese, one of the things we used to do was drive the circumference of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s freeway system is one of those where you can orbit the city center like a roundabout, without ever taking a freeway exit.
For the price of 20 – 30 minutes and half a gallon of gas, you could circumnavigate the Three Rivers, take in the sights of Pittsburgh, and – if you happened to be in your early twenties – get your angst and frustrations out via a nice fast car ride to a background of very loud music. Ra knows his cars, driving, and music, and he was a very … therapeutic … driver.
When I left Pittsburgh to drive out to Cali, he saw me off with one of his mix-CDs: “Pittsburgh Through the Windshield”. It was a cross-section of the tracks we used to blast during our drives. It was a tribute to our Tin Lizzy Therapy. It was a reminder that we’d always have a way to deal with the bullshit life threw at us. Most of all, it was one of only three CDs that kept me company on the cross-country drive.
These are the memories that define us. Build some for those you love.
Here, I’ll help get you started:
Whatever I Fear
Story of a Girl
Crazy On You
Last Time in Paris
Livin’ on a Prayer
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
The Idiot Kings
Break It Down Again
One Thing Leads To Another
Heart of Glass
What You Need
(the ones in bold are the ones I particularly recommend checking out.)