So. There’s this Todd Rundgren song. In fact, it’s THIS Todd Rundgren song:
But I didn’t always know the title, or that it was even Todd Rundgren. I knew there was this song that at some point said “in my mind” or “in your eyes” or “in my eyes” or something that sounded like that. The song would float around in pieces in my head, but I couldn’t for the life of me identify it. So I would go on YouTube and just type in the few lyrics I kind of knew to try to pinpoint it, but the lyrics were too common, and I couldn’t find it that way.
Then about two weeks ago, Rundgren appeared on Letterman and was playing throughout the show–every time they’d go to commercial, he’d start another song of his. Well on one of these cuts to commercial, I heard the chords of this song. So I got on YouTube, and typed “in your eyes” AND “Todd Rundgren” and bingo. I found the song. And then I downloaded it. And now it’s in my iPod, and goes wherever I go.
I didn’t say it was an interesting story.
But I do have a point in telling it. And that’s to illustrate the difference between nailing down a song’s title like that now and twenty-some odd years ago. When I found this song, I immediately flashed back to a time when my Dad and I were trying to figure out…that song. You know…that song? It was like… “into the night, into the night” or “into the light, into the light” and there was piano and this bassline and we just loved it. We had to figure out what it was. So we would sing it for other people, to see if they knew it. They didn’t. Or we sang poorly. When that didn’t work we’d listen to the radio in the hopes of catching it at some point. Eventually we did. Then we waited for the DJ to identify it. He calls it “Stepping Out” by Joe Jackson, so we called the radio station to request the song the next night. When it was finally played, I taped it off the radio by holding my tape player over the radio, trying to edit out the DJ’s intro and outro by timing “record” and “pause” just right. Then I put that tape filled with songs acquired in a similar fashion in my walkman, so it could come with me wherever I went.
The ways I’ve hunted a song I couldn’t place have changed. And I could say that part of me laments the passing of the days when it was all about taping off the radio–which I do miss. But not all of me grieves for this change. Because the satisfaction once I catch it, and the need to have it in my little music device so that it never slips out of my memory again has remained exactly the same. And that’s really the most important thing.
Well, that and that I never again have to worry about some overly chatty DJ ruining my “recording session.” Because that really did suck.
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