45RPM: Mr. Brownstone

Where I match a song to a specific memory.

My parents bought me a car to drive about a year after I got my driver’s license.  It wasn’t fancy, a Mustang II with an AM radio and a penchant for leaking oil and breaking down.  When my brother got his license, my parents upgraded us to a green ’79 Mustang with tires too big for the wheel wells.  They would scrape every time we went over a big bump or a dip.  For a period of time, it had no radio.  This was more maddening than only being restricted to the AM band, but some good came out of it.  Before everyone had their licenses, we all piled in the cars of the few who could drive in order to get from here to there.  We were smashed together, chattering all the way, laughing and gossiping.  In other cars, music was the background or the foreground of our ride, but in my car we filled the silence ourselves.  Driving a dark road to somewhere one night we fell silent until Eric burst into the opening notes of Gun’s and Roses Mr. Brownstone.  We were all GnR fans, and knew every word, so we rode into the night, our drug-free bodies singing with great gusto about addition and touring and a life that nearly all of us would never lead.

2 thoughts on “45RPM: Mr. Brownstone”

  1. Ah GnR! I was enough of a fan to know the songs that had radio play, but not enough to own an actual album. I do associate their music with our HS years and singing loudly and obnoxiously in cars!

  2. And Eric had an awesome Axl Rose voice! (And Layne Staley from Alice in Chains!) it was great to be able to sing whatever we wanted without being limited by what was on the radio at the time… Of course, now I listen to talk radio on am radio… I remember driving around the mountains with Jenn and she had a dual tape player that fit perfectly on the console between the driver and the passenger… I must say, I eventually kept that tape deck/boom box when I moved from Idaho so Jody and I could listen to something other than 8track tapes that were for the stereo in Charity's car!

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