Ruined Songs (published on ABBAMAIL Nov 2004)

I try not to let bad things ruin good songs. One way to do this, is to continue to play them, so they lose their association with a particular time. For example, Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' album came out in 1979 and I loved it and played it to death. But I continued to play it, and to this day continue to play it (the recent 2 cd remastered set has downright awesome sound). So now to me it's just a classic album without relation to time or space.

Other things from the same time, I might hear and be instantly back in 1979 (Lipps Inc, Chic, Martha & The Muffins, Patrick Hernandez) because I haven't played them constantly.

That being said, there are two examples of bad days ruining perfectly good songs (or albums).

One was the first real love of my life - you know, married, living together, house in the good part of the suburbs, joint bank account, the whole deal. Jeff, Vancouver, 1989. I loved him more than God. But he did me wrong. (Long story, for another time, perhaps). And to this day, I cannot listen to much of the music from that specific time, such as Lisa Stansfield's first album, Madonna's "Open Your Heart" (how ironic), and in particular, the 'Use it Up Wear it Out' cover that was a huge club hit at the time, and corresponds to a particularly devastating night at the Celebrities club on Davie St. Bad night. Really bad night.


The second instance, in 1993; I'm in LA, working for Sony Music. We have a new Pink Floyd album, the Division Bell, which is actually really good, and I listened to it a lot. I did a lot of work on the promotion of that album, and when they played here on that tour, I went with my boyfriend Kurt (we lived together in Redondo Beach, raising his 10 year old kid). But the day (week) of the concert, Kurt was in a bad mood, and we were fighting (aka he giving me the silent treatment all day and all night).

We were on the 110 freeway to Dodger Stadium and the traffic was just horrendous. It was a parking lot, and everyone, on their way to a Pink Floyd concert, was already stoned. Which was not helping. That freeway is not set up for thousands of people going to a Pink Floyd concert all at the same time. So that made things even worse. When we finally got to the stadium (at one point we just got out and walked), it was total chaos, people were sitting wherever they wanted, and it took us more than twenty minutes to get through the walking tunnel into the actual seating area. No one was moving. Sitting in a haze of pot smoke, beside him at the concert was horrible and I couldn't wait to leave. We eventually broke up that day, although we did get back together. And then broke up again.

But ever since that day, I can't bear to hear even the first few chords of that album.

Rod Reynolds
Los Angeles CA USA

Rod Reynolds ©2004 The Art Dept Los Angeles

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