20 years later…

I recently got out an old bag of cassette tapes and selected U2’s The Joshua Tree as my travelling companion (I was on my way up to watch Deanna in a triathalon) and doused myself in 1987. I spent that summer washing dishes at my childhood YMCA camp and indulging in the freedoms of being 15 (and turning 16) and not living at home. I had more or less abandoned modern music a few years earlier and was on a race to own all the Who and Pink Floyd records but found myself steeped in alt-rock (REM, U2, The dB’s, The Jesus and Mary Chain) after a summer of working side by side with college kids. Seeing as I hadn’t actually sat through The Joshua Tree in about 10 years, playing it on the road to Devil’s Lake was quite a blast from the past. I, of course, was in love with this record but got quite tired of it after a year or so. My favorite U2 record is still The Unforgettable Fire which has a much moodier feel and was a key piece of my road soundtrack for many years. Later in 1987 my life changed all over again when my brother brought home XTC’s Skylarking which I also trotted out recently for a good smile. I absorbed all this new music while still endlessly spinning my beloved The Who Sell Out at the same time. The Who record was 20 years old at the time (and out of print in its original form) and now in looking at The Joshua Tree I notice that it is suddenly (almost) 20 years old. After spending most of my life obsessed with records older than I am, it is a bit odd to realize that I was around to witness an era of music that some younger than me might view with the same awe I have for music of the 60’s.

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