Sometimes when I was a boy, my father would hear a song on the radio and go all crazy on me. “I remember this song,” he’d say. “I used to love it.” When the movie Stand By Me came out in 1985, the soundtrack threw him into a nostalgic reverie. It never really made much sense to me.

As I’ve grown older, it’s made more sense, of course. I understand now what might have made him misty over the songs of his youth. But until today I never fully understood.

Just now “Age of Consent” by New Order came on XM44. This is a song that I used to love when I was in high school. But it may actually have been 20 years since I heard it. Listening to it (it’s still playing) gives me a visceral reaction — it feels like 1985 again, and I can feel the emotions I felt then. Mentally, I’ve been transported in time. I can feel myself working out in the box factory, sulking, listening to this song. (I had two New Order LPs that I would play over and over again while making boxes.)

I wonder if that’s what happened to Dad. Remember: back in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, music was not so ubiquitous. It wasn’t as easy to hear the songs you used to love. I’ve spent my adult life with Tears for Fears and U2 and Duran Duran. But my father didn’t have that luxury. When the radio stopped playing the Del Vikings and the Chordettes, he was forced to move on.

Me? I can go to YouTube and watch “Age of Consent” over and over and over again. (No official video exists that I can find.)

Bonus trivia: I’m the same age now, listening to “Age of Consent”, as my father was in 1985 when he heard the Stand by Me soundtrack.

2 Replies to “Age of Consent”

  1. Tiffany says:

    I was in 8th grade when ‘Stand By Me’ came out. Two of my girlfriends and I loved the movie and watched it multiple times a week. We could recite the movie, word for word. Although I was not around when the songs were out the first time, I find that any of those soundtrack songs transport me back to 8th grade, living in Hawaii, with a crush on River Phoenix (like every girl my age) but a bigger crush on Mike Aldous.

  2. pril says:

    That particular song is one of my favorites, too. I was a Freshman in high school when it hit LA’s KROQ. It puts me square in the middle of ditching school at lunch time and sitting on the bluffs overlooking the ocean. I figured that guitar line out on a friend’s guitar (10 years before I started playing) and can still play it. Sometimes, someone will hear me goofing on it and say “What is THAT SONG!? Omigawd I totally LOVED that song!” Reminds me of homemade guacamole on toasted bagels at a friend’s house in El Segundo.. so many things…

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