This is weird. You know how they say scent is the key to memory?

Sometimes I think song is the key to memory.

Presented for your consideration…

I swear I don’t even understand why this song was ever a hit. In fact Guess Who only had one song I still consider worth listening to, and this wasn’t it. But it happens that this song’s ubiquity on the radio coincided with an event in my life that stuck in my memory. Almost the one thing when I was growing up that wasn’t a hand-me-down, as irony would have it.

When this song was a hit, I was happily crushing my scuba certification classes. And it was no picnic arranging for transport and tank recharges, I can tell you. I was just a 16-year-old redneck kid in love with breathing underwater.

You ever try to get over that? That sensation of taking your first deep breath after the water has long since closed over your head? Sweartagod you’ll remember the song that was last on the radio at the time…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to This is weird. You know how they say scent is the key to memory?

  1. Dean says:

    I too am “in love” with breathing underwater. The Marine Corps sent me too all kinds of exotic scuba paradises while I was in and I never got certified. About four years ago I rectified that and have been trying to revisit my past ever since.

  2. Mike says:

    When I hear a Guess Who song, the only memory that comes back is the night Burton Cummings was playing at the Ontario Place Forum, the night I came close to punching his wife in the mouth for being a bitch.

    I was doing security at OP that evening and was tasked with securing an access point to the back stage area from all the groupies after the show. This bimbo shoves her way past the teenyboppers, comes up to the gate where I’m standing and gives me a shove in the chest away from the gate. Next she opens the gate and strides by me.

    I recovered and, after shoving a few people out who had entered behind the bimbo, I went to find said bimbo. I confronted her and informed her that she wasn’t to be here and asked her to leave. Her response was to flick back her mink coat (it was July) gunfighter style and say “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Mrs. Cummings and I’m going to have you fired for talking to me this way. How dear you?” I apologized then went back to my post.

    Sure enough just before the shift ended the operations manager and Cummings manager asked to see me. Long story short, after reminding these two that I had been assaulted when she shoved me and that the ID badge was hidden, I asked what they thought the media would say if I laid a charge of assault against Mrs. Cummings? Needles to say, nothing more happened except that whenever Cummings played the Forum, I was given the night off with pay.

  3. jed says:

    I’m just in love with breathing, in general. Never tried it underwater.

    If I had to guess, it’d be that that one song is American Woman. For my tastes, there’s at least 4 Guess Who songs I can enjoy, and a few others I won’t turn off if they come on the radio. BTW, Lenny Kravitz does a great cover of American Woman.

  4. Joel says:

    Even at the time when I kind of liked Guess Who, I never got American Woman. It sounds like it was written by a 10-year-old.

    I’ve still got No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature on my playlist, though.

  5. There’s a neat story behind how “American Women” got written. Google it sometime.

    I got my PADI cert with The Middle Son as a father/son bonding deal before he took off for the Army, then went with the other two sons the next year. All Midwestern “green water” bubble blowing in abandoned rock quarries, etc. until I went to Jamaica a few years ago and got to do a dive with more than 15 feet of visibility. What a blast. I’ll have to play some Bob MArley and see if it brings back memories!

  6. Waepnedmann says:

    SCUBA opened up “a whole new world” literally and in radically altered my mindset.
    It changed me so much that I became NAUI 5929.
    This led to a lot of memories to reflect back upon now that I am old and gimped up.

    It was intersting that the civilian world did not recognize military SCUBA training as adequate for certification. It is the same with medics or corpsman that their training does not qualify them to be EMTs in the civilian world. It is strange, because the former military people have training and experience greatly exceeding civilian requirements for licensing or certification.

    I actually subscribe to SIRIUS just so I can listen to 60s rock and Blues when driving alone.
    The music from the 70s has some negative connotations attatched that I revisit, on occasion, but, a steady diet of it is a downer as the kids used to say and Disco …please never again.

To the stake with the heretic!