First, there was my mother playing the piano. And then piano lessons for me. (Okay, I admit I was bribed by the promise of a chocolate éclair from the French bakery after each lesson. But I did love the piano.)
Then there was the music of my four older siblings, which ran the gamut from Georges Moustaki (my oldest sister went to the Sorbonne) to Carole King, Pink Floyd and Peter Frampton. You know, all that great music from the 70’s.
My first earned money (made from babysitting) I spent acquiring hundreds of bootleg cassette tapes from Al Khobar, a town near the ARAMCO compound I grew up in, in Saudi Arabia. I still remember some of them – I think I may have a few in the garage – and even then I had very eclectic tastes: Olivia Newton-John, Joey Travolta (yes, John had a singing brother), The Commodores, ABBA, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Cars, Black Sabbath and The Pretenders. I listened to them on my little tape deck in my room, or on my Sony Walkman when I wasn’t at home.
I spent hours recording mixed tapes to compile a playlist of my favorite songs. Some of the last ones I made were in college, in the apartment I shared with my boyfriend, both of us sitting cross-legged on the living room floor in front of the stereo, stopping and starting each song at just the right moment to make the perfect cassette.
So, when I received a package in the mail from him 24 years later, and found five home-made CDs inside, well….. he pretty much had me.
If you want to read a great love story, based on our reunion after those 24 years, please pick up a copy of The Long Engagement on Amazon.
And if you want to hear a great playlist, the songs that he recorded on the first CD are listed below. I wasn’t allowed to listen to any of the CDs until I got in my car to drive to Savannah, for our reunion weekend. I put the first one in when I pulled out of my driveway on Woodlawn Pike, in Knoxville. The last song was playing as I arrived at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to pick him up.
By that time, I had fallen completely, head-over-heels, in love with him again.
(You Want To) Make a Memory -Live … Bon Jovi “The Lost Highway”
Georgia On My Mind … Ray Charles & Count Basie Orchestra “Ray Sings, Basie Swings”
Loving You Always … Los Lonely Boys “Forgiven”
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant … Billy Joel “12 Gardens Live”
Staying With Me … Los Lonely Boys (Single)
Wherever You Will Go … The Calling “Camino Palmero”
I Could Not Ask For More … Edwin McCain “Messenger”
The Guide … Borne (Single)
So Deep in Love … Joel Auge (Discovery Download)
I’m Like a Bird … Nelly Furtado “Loose” The Concert Live
One Last Breath … Creed “Creed Greatest Hits”
Something Good … Juan Luis Guerra “La Llave de Mi Corazon”
Heaven … Los Lonely Boys (Single)
Beyond the Sea … Bobby Darin “The Ultimate Bobby Darin”
Romeo and Juliet … Emmy Lou Harris & Mark Knopfler “Real Life Roadrunning”
If Everyone Cared … Nickelback “All the Right Reasons”
Last Request … Paolo Nutini