The music we listen to as children plants seeds in our brains. I grew up on music from the seventies. My dad's old vinyl collection was always playing in the house and bursting from the car stereo. Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Bee Gees, The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac and other legends. The music was electric, political, dark, optimistic, esoteric, poetic and brave.
I imbibed all that energy, those ideas and lyrics before I knew how to read or write. The grown-ups were amused to discover I knew all the words to "Delta Dawn" and "Leaving On a Jet Plane" when I was just 4 years-old. Big, strange ideas for a young mind.
Our musical childhoods not only shape our taste in genres, they inject us with ideas about sex, gender, love and even geography. Geography was the wildcard in my musical education. Since much of my favourite childhood music had been written and recorded in California, I unwittingly developed an affinity for a land I'd never even seen. Growing up 5000 km. away in a small, cold Canadian town, I was intrigued at why this coast was the muse of endless songs: California Soul, California Girls, California Dreamin', California Earthquake, California Nights, California Man, LA Woman, California Sunset & of course Hotel California.
Now I find myself here in California, driving down streets and boulevards plucked from those songs, walking on beaches immortalized in ballads, and watching sunsets with strangers I've known my whole life.
Nothing is random.