June 21, 2008


As much as I've moved around in my life and as much stuff as I've acquired and subsequently gotten rid of over the years, there are a very few things I would never consider disposing of. This is one of them:

Talking Heads Speaking In Tongues Tour Shirt
I bought this at the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, New York in 1983 when Talking Heads played there in support of their album, Speaking in Tongues. I was a freshman in college for the first time and had just begun dating a woman named Emma. The show, in fact, was our very first date, if I recall correctly. It's been awhile. I do have one other reminder of Emma, though — a deformed left collarbone that resulted from its having been broken when I rolled off the hood of her car at 30 mph. We'd had a fight, I didn't want her to leave angry, I was young and rash, and I thought that if I sat on the hood of her car that she wouldn't drive away with me on it. I was very, very wrong.

I had already seen Talking Heads several times before this tour, but nothing I'd seen previously of them was comparable to the amazing production of that concert.

I have worn this shirt all of a half dozen times in the 25 years I've owned it. It has traveled with me from New York to Pennsylvania to California to Florida to Massachusetts. I'm sure it doesn't fit anymore; the 17-year old who bought it is now a 42-year old and, to put it kindly, my body has been through a few changes since I shelled out the $10 to buy this. It's so old and the fabric so thin and cheaply made that I wouldn't even venture to try wearing it now. I'd be too concerned that it would disintegrate and I could never replace it.

Unless that happens, I'll be holding onto this souvenir until I myself disintegrate.

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