It's often said that our sense of smell is the strongest of the senses, but I find music can be an extremely potent stimulus to memory. Do you ever find yourself driving past a particular spot and suddenly remember what you were listening to on a previous occasion?
In 1972 I had just moved up to this part of the world from London and travelled around in my first vehicle which was a Ford Anglia Van (I'd heard it flooded up here!). It was pretty much state-of-the-art as I had fitted a Halfords windscreen washer kit and a cassette player with a big old Radio speaker in the back. As I drove through Thetford Forest the other day I recalled driving past the same spot 36 years previously in the Ford Anglia playing "Harvest" Album from Neil Young and suddenly the thumping bass rift intro to "Heart of Gold" flooded back into my consciousness.
I remember it was a pretty miserable time as I had no friends up here and would often just drive around pretty aimlessly at the weekend listening to Mr Young singing "Just a lonely boy, out on the weekend". Another of the tracks which was constantly buzzing in my mind was "Old Man" with the line "twenty four and there's so much more" having particular resonance for me at the time.
Well there certainly was a lot more, but suddenly I'm looking back from the perspective of the "Old Man". It must feel a bit odd for Neil Young to be still banging out the tune, and the same thought occurred to me the other day when I watched Cat "Yussuf" Stevens singing "Father & Son" from a very different vantage point.
As for myself I've actually found that Heart of Gold, but I'm still driving around Thetford Forest in a bloody van!