The other day I was driving back from picking my son up from the airport when A Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins started playing on the radio. That song has an iconic intro that has been forever linked to a TV show that I use to watch. No sooner than I heard the words "The world is a vampire" did my mind start filling with memories of that show, including the hilarious South Park parody of it.
That got me to thinking about other memories that are attached to music and how something so simple as a song playing in the background can be so permanently etched into your mind and connected so strongly to a specific event or activity. And I'm not talking about songs that were created specifically for a show, movie, or video game, although Scottie Doesn't Know from the movie Eurotrip is pretty memorable, especially when you realized the guy singing it is Matt Damon. But no, I'm just talking about random connections between music and memories.
Centerfold by the J. Geils Band will have strong ties to my childhood because that song played a lot on my radio while I sat in my room in front of my TV playing my Atari and NES games. Old-school Metallica reminds me of days riding the roads of my hometown as a teenager with my friends. Certain songs remind me of friends from way back in the day because those songs were important to them or were somehow linked to one of our adventures.
But this is a blog about my writing, not about my childhood or my eclectic taste in music. And while music may be linked to a number of other memories, I do have memories about writing associated with music. Much of my writing for The Ascension Legacy took place in hotels while I listened to Imagine Dragons. to this day I still hear songs from the Radioactive album without thinking back to my nights in the hotel pounding away at the keyboard as I worked on the first drafts for each of the 6 books in the series. Sure, sometimes I wrote to other music or no music at all but the majority was done while listening to that band so those books will forever be tied to that music in my mind.
And while I have completed a few other books and started many more since then, I can't say that any of other books are as connected to a single song or band as The Ascension Legacy books. These days I tend to put my music on random and just listen to whatever plays next. Maybe in the back of my mind I'm looking for the next song, album, or band that will inspire me in whatever book I'm writing at the time and that will be the one thing I connect with it for future memories but so far I haven't found it.