“It was also when a shy music geek named Rob Sheffield met a hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl named Renee, who was way too cool for him but fell in love with him anyway. He was tall. She was short. He was shy. She was a social butterfly. She was the only one who laughed at his jokes when they were so bad, and they were always bad. They had nothing in common except that they both loved music. Music brought them together and kept them together. And it was music that would help Rob through a sudden, unfathomable loss.In Love Is a Mix Tape, Rob, now a writer for Rolling Stone, uses the songs on fifteen mix tapes to tell the story of his brief time with Renee.”
Today I made a mix tape for my husband. Granted, it wasn’t on a cheap, plastic cassette tape like I used to use. And I didn’t sit by the radio waiting to record that one perfect song on the Top 40 countdown. I used a CD this time (although it does make me feel really old to admit that the first mix I ever made for Darrell was on cassette. And yes, it included “I Wanna Sex You Up.” ARGH! The shame!!). I leaned towards the country tunes this time, since they seemed to really have the message I was searching to say. I call it the “Love Isn’t Always Easy” mix.
I’m notorious for making mixes for random occassions. Most recently I compiled the “Mraz Road Trip Mix”. I put together a mix for our wedding last summer to play while the guests were arriving… and nothing will ever erase the memory of “Lucky” by Jason Mraz playing in the background as my Dad fixed my veil before we walked down the aisle. A mixtape has that uncanny ability to always take you right back to where you were when you made it and who you were when you made it. That is the power of music. And in this case, the power of a book as well.
“It’s always that one song that gets to you. You can hide, but the song comes to find you.” — Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)