Music fascinates me with its ability to somehow enter our subconscious and stay there, slippery and undetected. One minute, you experience a Wiggles video and two days later, you find yourself humming “Hot Potato” without motivation. It’s as if, out of no forcible intent, the four colorful Australian singers have taken hostage your frontal lobe.
Thankfully, experiences like the Wiggles tend to recede.
Some music stays.
With it, images return. Maybe this works like little tattoos on our brains…the rhythm and tone stimulating the senses obviously, and triggering a sensory memory that blooms, springlike and fecund, allowing us to experience the past, again and again.
I was seven years old the first time I heard Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree.” It was a June Montana morning, and my grandfather has risen early to light the Monarch stove and relieve the nightly chill that set in the family cabin. My grandmother, grandfather and I sat at the smallish rectangular dining table eating pancakes. Gramps had cooked them on the stove. The small, slim radio sitting in the window was on, most likely tuned to Anaconda’s Copper 94.
Wherever I am, whatever the setting, when I hear Mason repeat “There ain’t no good guys. There ain’t no bad guys. There’s only you and me and we just disagree….” I am again seven years old, and the center of the universe is a plate of golden hotcakes served by a man in a blue flannel shirt.