Tamara Star admits she fell in love with Wolfman Jack in grade 6 on the floor of her bedroom.
His voice was booming over the radio as I laid next to a cassette recorder singing along to his next song up as soulfully as my 11 year old vocal cords would allow. That’s when my first love affair began. The power of music and a few well written lyrics released feelings deep within my prepubescent heart that I didn’t quite understand, but not unlike love itself, I wasn’t supposed to.
Music for me was, is, and always will be, my kryptonite. I’ll never forget standing in a yellow tube top lace dress at the 8th grade graduation dance watching REO Speed Wagon play live as I leaned against the stage breathing in the cloud of manufactured misty fog listening open mouthed to the words riding the storm out, waiting for the thaw out echoing through my newly pierced ears.
Between the thumping of the base in my chest and the ringing of my ears, I felt as though I had experienced my first burst of real passion. Like sex, there was nothing to cognitively understand, I only knew I was pulsing from head to toe.
Little did I care that this newly formed band would one day make it big… in that moment, I knew the music had done something big to my innocence in those three- brief minute deflowering moments.
From that point forward, barbies and dollhouses weren’t of interest to me, instead Tiger Beat magazine and The Columbia House cassette of the month club were my new found vices. All I wanted for Christmas that year was my own stereo, something my parents could never have imagined would occupy so much of my time. Every night after dinner I would escape to my bedroom with headphones attached to a 5 foot cord of dancing freedom. My door shut tight with a do not disturb sign signaled I was not to be disturbed as I let the familiar and the new have their way with me dancing upon my twin sized island of freedom.
It’s really quite unfair as I think back on the many well intended homemade cassette tapes made for me by random boys….later showing up as CDs and You Tube videos emailed and texted throughout the night – I had a weakness that only increased as the years went by, and those boys, those men, were feeding my addiction.
My weakness is music, and I’ve willingly thrown good judgement to the wind when it carried me off with its sexy pulsing rapture.
More than once I’ve fallen for the wrong man after receiving the right song. Sadly, I’ve also grown cold as a frosty winter’s night after discovering a man’s musical taste left me feeling scratched and violated.
As with most relationship advice, I’ve turned a deaf ear to the opinions of others when it comes to my music. Judging someone’s taste in music is to me like judging the color of their eyes- we have no control over the beat that carries us. For me, every beat finds its way beneath my skin and cuts through my soul leaving me open and receptive, hungry for more.
My history? I learned to dance while standing on my father’s feet as he led me around the living room patiently coaxing me to stop leading, stop leading, as the sounds of Frank Sinatra hung upon my shoulders. My first real kiss arrived in a red hot rod Camaro on a summer night as Air Supply spilled out from speakers. My first young love sang Dan Fogelberg songs into my ears, and my virginal deflowering was backed by what I’m sure was a carefully orchestrated cassette tape. To this day when I hear certain songs on the radio I’m transported back to summer nights parked outside midwestern cornfields, beads of sweat dampening the hair on the back of my neck as I squeezed legs tight against a bottle of cold beer in efforts to preserve my young virginity.
Music has indeed gotten me into trouble with heart entanglements that were never meant to be, yet music has also delivered me over and over again into the lap of freedom. A John Denver song heard for the first time sent me packing and waving goodbye to my midwestern family as I loaded the car and drove west 23 years ago- young, hopeful and with 700$ in my pocket as I crossed the Colorado border. Years later, a song I can’t remember entranced me inside a mountain cabin as I heard the strange sound of my own voice saying yes to the ring my ex husband presented. In my head I knew I was making a major mistake, but in my heart, those song lyrics were oh so right.
Music is the one love that has lasted a lifetime. It has never failed to deliver and like an expert lover, always knows whether to excite, to entice, to soothe or to ravish.
As the years passed by, my tastes broadened. Opera, classical, world beat, you name it- I’d let the music have its way with me. While never sexually promiscuous, I was a slut when it came to a well placed beat on a musical stanza.
I’ll never forget my first experience at a live classical music concert in Chicago. I innocently closed my eyes for a moment and was swept away by colors swirling behind my eyelids. I could see the music, I could see the music, I could see the music! Images of snake like energy made their way throughout my body overcoming my awareness, only realizing later that I had experienced an out of body ecstatic event in tune with the rhythms of the orchestra.
Yes music for me is a lover that delivers each and every time.
Like love, music hasn’t always been smooth. My first opera left me breathless, heart broken and sobbing from the balcony like a woman scorned by love – chest heaving and fists clinched in protest. And then… there have been the musicians themselves. Ah but then again, this post is about my first love. Those stories are sequels of their own.