While we were in Miami Beach last week, some random tune jumped into my head, and I started whistling it without realizing what I was doing. It just so happened that it was the opening bars of “Through a Truck/Airport Chase” from Stu Phillips’ Knight Rider score. My dad looks at me and goes, “Knight Rider?” I was a bit startled, though, because I wasn’t even consciously aware of what I had been whistling until that very moment.
That little incident got me thinking about how my head acts like a random jukebox pretty much 24/7. There’s always music playing up there. Sometimes it’s something really obscure, other times something mainstream. Invariably, the last song I heard on the radio when I parked the car in the garage follows me into the house, and I find myself whistling/humming it for the next ten minutes. Yes, even when the song sucks, which, I assure you, is very annoying.
What’s most ridiculous, though, is that some of the music that still floats through my head to this day hasn’t graced my ears since the eighties, or at least a very a long time. These are the tunes that I don’t even need to be reminded of before I start randomly hearing them. Stuff like:
- Stu Phillips’ Knight Rider theme (this will follow me to my grave)
- The intro music from Test Drive, which I probably last played in 1988 on our old IBM XT
- The car selection screen music, also from Test Drive (what’s really silly about this Test Drive stuff is that the only way to get music out of an XT was through the PC speaker!)
- The theme from Seinfeld
- Peter Howell’s Yamaha CS80 “electronica” remix of the Doctor Who theme from 1980
- My favorite polysynth tune from the widely-panned 1994 PC game Corridor 7
- The main title theme from another PC game, The Legacy: Realm of Terror (more polysynth)
Great, now some of that stuff is probably stuck in your head, too. Have a nice day.
On a related note, like many people, I associate particular songs — or sometimes entire albums — with certain time periods of my life. But I also associate certain music with the cars I was driving when I listened to it most often. For example, when I hear any of the soundtracks from Magic Knight Rayearth, ZZ Top’s Eliminator or Genesis’ Invisible Touch, I think of my first car, my old Grand Prix. Ringo Starr’s Vertical Man, Metallica’s black album and the Shin Kimagure Orange Road Image Album make me think of my Trans Am, and for the GTO, it’s Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor or anything by China Dolls (I’m still writing the catalog on that one).
Anyway, I’m off. Think I’ll go listen to some of these tunes and drive myself crazy.