Today’s album is a good one, but for me, this record, and in particular, two songs on it, represent friendship to me. Music has always been of the two main interests that bonded with me with my friends, with the other being our shared love of all things in sports. When I hear either the second or third song on the third album from Dire Straits, “Making Movies”, I’m immediately reconnected with two of my oldest and best friends. The album itself is seven great songs, and beyond the two noted below, I particularly love “Tunnel of Love (Intro: The Carousel Waltz)”, “Expresso Love”, and “Les Boys”.
I’ve known Jim since 7th grade, and Mike for even longer, and throughout junior high, high school, college, and beyond, we have always been there for each other. I remember I was undecided on where to go to college, but once I knew these two were headed to Northern Colorado, I took a tour of the campus with both of them and I was sold, mainly because I knew we would have a blast. We lived together, attended dozens of concerts together, spent countless long nights listening to hours of music, and laughed and cried together through some of the craziest and seemingly unreal years of our lives. Even after we “grew up” and assumed the burdens of responsibility, we always found our way back to each other. I can’t think of how many times Mike and I would surprise Jim downtown, and the laughter picked right back up as if we had been together every day for 30 years.
The second song on the album is “Romeo and Juliet”. Always a favorite of ours, Mike moved it into the permanent archive when he latched on to a cover version by The Killers. One of the things I love most about Mike is his devoted passion for his favorite songs. I know him well enough to know many of his all-time hits, and this one is definitely on his list. I will never not think of him instantly when I hear this song, no matter which version comes on.
Immediately following is “Skateaway”. Even in our earliest days of friendship, Jim was always taking the conversation to new and undiscovered music, and his affection for this album (cassette tape to be precise), especially this song, is the kind of memory that never disappears. I remember many nights staying over at his house and listening to all kinds of music down in his room, and I know this one was a regular in the rotation.
Among the many things I love about this friendship is how the roles have somewhat reversed over time. In many occasions, it is traditional Mike who is putting new and unheard music in my ear, and more often than not, it is sentimental Jim who helps me to look back on many of the best memories that might have slipped a bit too far into the recesses of my aging mind. New music or old, new experiences or old memories, I’m so grateful to have had these two beautiful people by my side the last 40+ years, and I can’t wait for what comes next.