When I look in the mirror I automatically Photoshop myself. My brain adjusts for age related imperfections and creates an image of 25 years ago. The same happens when I look at my mother, she is 74 now but I still see her as a 50-year old, literally. I don’t see her true age, my brain actively ignores part of her aging process. She is frozen in time, my perception is frozen in time. I only see my wrinkles, the tiredness in my eyes and the general looseness of my skin when I take a picture of myself and view the result. I need a secondary image to see what’s real.
I think the same applies to music, at least for most people. My father stopped loving new music around 1970, when he was 30. Of course, he didn’t stop buying music, and browsing through his collection I notice a wide diversity of styles and periods, but his true love and adoration stopped around 1970. It’s no surprise he is a Beatles man and it completely makes sense that the first record I bought was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Beatles, 1967), and that I bought it with him. It was like handing over the torch.
True, limitless, all-engulfing love has an expiry date. Our romantic self dies somewhere down the line. It’s an act of growing up I guess. We fixate, stabilise and create our own point of reference; a before and after point. I fixated myself around 1983. Definitely after Joy Division became New Order (1980). Definitely before I saw ‘Road to Nowhere‘ (Talking Heads, 1985), ‘Kiss’ (Prince, 1986) or ‘With or without you‘ (U2, 1987) on MTV (1981). Probably after Mick Jones and Topper Headon were kicked out of The Clash (1982/1983). Closer to Michael Jackon’s Thriller (1982) than Bad (1987) and definitely before Madonna’s ‘Like a virgin (1984). Circa ‘Let’s Dance’ (Bowie, 1983), and the movie ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence’ (1983). I read the other day that Dexy’s Midnight Runners reached Nr.1 in April 1983 with ‘Come on Eileen’. Maybe that was the moment for me. One of the last times we were just dancing to the music, not thinking about the future.