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With Turpentine Kisses and Mistaken Blows

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 3, 2019 23:04

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For many people, music becomes an integral piece of their identity. I am no different. But one particular album has provided the soundtrack for two-thirds of my life.

The first copy of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness I ever owned was purchased for me by the first girl I ever loved. I was immediately obsessed with the record, listening to it over and over again, to the chagrin of my family. I exhausted the replay capabilities of those discs, ultimately rendering them near-unplayable.

Thus, two years after she bought me my first copy, I went out and bought another, then slowly beat it into the ground as well. Since then, I've bought it on CD twice more, downloaded it on both Spotify and Apple Music, and thanks to my amazing wife, I own the remaster on vinyl.

I haven't been without Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness readily available for my auditory senses in over twenty years.

My love affair with this record is a defining piece of my life, an influencer on my personality. It's not unlike Linus' blanket; being without it really isn't an option. No assembly of music, to me, so perfectly encapsulates life experiences both in the past and present. Its songs aren't merely pieces of music crafted by a remarkably talented narcissist, they're snippets into every moment of my life from age eleven onward.

Growing up, I never stayed in one place long. Six months here. A year there. Two years in this place because, hey, I got lucky. But I didn't build many interpersonal relationships during those years. I had a few, but not many, and ultimately, I left them behind.

It wasn't until I was eleven that permanence seemed a reality. I started junior high school alongside many of the same people with whom I ended elementary school. I started a small gang of wise guys who often backed up their irresponsible banter with even more irresponsible action. I fell in love, and she bought me a two-disc album with strange artwork by a band called The Smashing Pumpkins.

Over the years, Mellon Collie's songs have provided the soundtrack for love, heartache, betrayal, jubilance, accomplishment, addiction, education, and every shenanigan. It saw me through the best of times and the worst, through the greatest years of my young life, through the death of my grandfather and a streak of self-destruction, through building a future with my wife and embarking on my adventure into fatherhood.

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness represents a point in my life where I finally felt free enough to build relationships with people that wouldn't be dissolved by a rainy day and moving truck. Even though I did move once more, my gang fell apart, and I ultimately lost contact with that girl who bought me a CD that would define my life from then on, the album still exists as a relic of a time when I began coming into my own, a period of juvenescence where standoffishness stepped aside for sociableness, where Robert was born from the ashes of Robbie.

Nothing else I've ever owned has been as important.

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 3, 2019 23:04

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Source: People

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