So it’s May 1, May Day, and I took a look at the archives to see if anything significant had ever happened musically on this date. And yeah, I found something. I told the tale back in 2008:
I’m on my second vinyl copy of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, but I recall clearly when I got my first copy in May 1975. My folks were heading to the Twin Cities for the day, and Mom asked if there were any records I wanted. I jotted down two titles and headed off to the college. When I got home that evening, there was a bag from Musicland with Pink Floyd’s masterpiece and Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey inside. I thanked her, and she pointed at the Pink Floyd with an odd look on her face.
“Is there something bad about that record, something shady?” she asked. “What kind of music is it?”
I shrugged, remembering her reaction a few years earlier to the Beatles’ “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” and I said, “I suppose it’s called progressive rock. It’s different, but nothing awful. Why?”
“When I took it to the counter,” said my mom, at the time a matron in her mid-fifties, “the man there looked at it, and then at me, and he said, ‘Ma’am, are you sure you want this record?’”
I laughed, then said, “There’s nothing wrong. It’s just that not a lot of folks your age would listen to it.”
She nodded. “Okay,” she said.
I tossed off that 2008 post in a hurry, I guess, because in just this small excerpt there were two errors that I’ve corrected. I said I was on my third vinyl copy of Dark Side of the Moon, but it was only two; I suppose I could have been thinking “three” because of the CD copy I have. I dunno. More disturbingly, according to my LP log (which, for some reason, I obviously did not consult), Mom got me those two albums on May 1, not in October. And that means my memory is not quite as keen as I’d like to think, which dismays me at least a little bit.
Why did I think October? Probably because the autumn of 1975 looms so hugely and sweetly in my memory that I mis-remember many of the good things that happened during that year as having taken place during the autumn.
I almost wrote “any of the good things” instead of “many of the good things” there, but I changed it because, as I wrote, I recalled the fine summer of 1975, and I recalled as well one evening in April that included music, a few drinks and some sweet moments shared with a lovely young lady named Anne . . .
I also remember the lovely Anne leaving a note on my car a couple of weeks later – forty years ago today – wishing me a happy May Day and hoping we could get together again soon. We did; there was a picnic in a county park not too far in the future, and we saw each other on and off the rest of that spring and summer.
It’s a little mind-boggling that the May Day when Anne left the note on my car was forty years ago. Wherever Anne is (and the last I ever heard was St. Louis), she is – like I am – well into middle age. Instead of musing about the relentlessness of time, however, or even wondering as I sometimes do about roads not taken, I’ll just offer some music.
Here’s a tune from one of those albums my mom brought home for me on that long-ago day, one that offers sentiments I might have shared as I read Anne’s May Day note and headed home to new music: “When That Evening Sun Goes Down” from Van Morrison’s 1973 album Tupelo Honey.