The sad news that the legendary Tom Petty passed away has really touched me. It whisked me back to my childhood in an instant and conjured all manner of emotions that had long since been buried. It’s such a tragedy that he’s passed away at a relatively young age with so much more yet to give. His passing brought back so many happy memories and at the same time made me long for a time I can never return to.
As a young child, all of our holidays were spent in the UK. We weren’t short of money at all, in fact my Dad had a well paid job and my Mum worked full time too, it was just that my parents were very careful with their cash. As well as that though, it wasn’t as common for people to jump on a plane and fly off to sunnier destinations for their holiday. Cornwall was the norm back then rather than Gran Canaria!
As both myself and my brother reached our teenage years, we started to go on more exotic holidays, namely eurocamp in France! We would always drive to France via the ferry. It was an incredibly long journey, particularly when we went to Biarritz. The car would be jam packed full of clothes, bedding, towels and everything else we needed for our camping jaunt.
My Dad was a huge music fan (still is actually), and there would always be music blaring out in the car. One of our favourite singers was the fantastic Tom Petty, particularly with the Heartbreakers. We’d have him blasting out on cassette in the car, all of us singing along at the tops of our voices (except Mum who’d just roll her eyes at us).
It really was the memories of a happy childhood. Long journeys meant music.
What is it about music that brings back memories?
There are so many reasons for this. I have a whole host of songs stored somewher in the depths of my brain that as soon as I hear them I’m catapulted back to a particular time in my life. Some are really happy memories and some are incredibly sad.
Music moves us. The lyrics can touch our emotions, the melodies can capture our mood. It’s really that simple.
Tom Petty reminds me of holidays in France, the excitement and anticipation as we drive through the unknown. There is also a song that reminds me of my Mum being diagnosed with cancer, weirdly it’s Fifth Harmony ‘Always on the Night Shift’. The song isn’t related at all to what was going on but it was on the radio LOTS when I was travelling the 90 mile round trip each day to the hospital. There’s also a song by Evanescence that was played at a funeral I went to, as soon as I hear that I’m right back there.
There are so many musical legends and it’s such a personal thing that someone who I feel is legendary may not get the same response from you. There are big names who’ve passed away recently, David Bowie to name one, who it can’t be disputed they’ve had a massive impact on music. But it’s those people who’ve had a direct impact on your life and your memories that’ll always touch you deepest.