“If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt. If you never get hurt you always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.”
Most people think of home as a physical place of formative years, or simply wherever friends and family reside. Most people can think of warmth and comfort in a town and feel the inexplicable sense of knowing they’re home. I have to be honest, I have never felt truly home in my life. The day has yet to come that I feel like I physically belong somewhere. Only one place makes sense to me in this world, and I know who I am when I’m with MY friends and family: the members of my album collection.
The quote at the beginning of this essay is from my favorite movie in the history of cinema entitled, “Almost Famous.” What is expressed in “Band-Aid” Penny Lane’s poetic speaking is precisely how I feel about my music. Knowing that, hypothetically, you have social problems and don’t understand how to communicate with peers, perhaps the word “rejection” has become more prevalent in your life than the question, “room for cream?”, or a close friend and boyfriend whom you love so deeply decides to disable your heart one soul-rape at a time: do you know who’s there for you? Robert Plant. Bob Dylan. Al Green. Jimmy Page. Bono (Joshua Tree album era, please). Robert Plant wants to caress you in his “between the legs throbbing,” soul-wrenching wails, Bob Dylan wants you to not “think twice, it’s alright.” Don’t get me started on Al Green, that man knows pain. For a shy little girl with borderline-Asperger social issues, receiving a Sony compact disc player and finding the Eagles Greatest Hits album in her father’s collection at age seven was literally a life-saving experience.
If my truest friends hadn’t been by my side to both induce and dry my tears, I might have jumped over the balcony in the Louisiana State University student union long ago. So when people express being homesick and missing a place one can point to on a map, I am comforted by the fact that my home and my closest friends are just one rolled cigarette and a play button away.