I was extremely fortunate to be able to visit London, England back in 1989. I was a member of the high school drama club and our teacher had some contacts in England. The idea was that we would create a home-made play that described how Canadian teenage life was like, and then perform for British audiences (schools, church groups, etc).
We came up with our play and raised enough money to have about a dozen of us fly over to London for two weeks. It was truly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. One of the things I remember most about it was the music that I purchased while over there.
Y’see, cassettes were cheaper (even with the currency conversion) and cd singles were a “thing”. I remember that I purchased two cd singles (“Don’t be cruel” by Bobby Brown and “Straight up” by Paula Abdul) and two cassettes (“Vivid” by Living Colour and “Loc’ed After Dark” by Tone Loc).
Out of those purchases, though, it’s Tone Loc that stands out for me. “Wild thing” had initially been released as a single and wasn’t quite a big hit in Canada when I left. I bought the cassette (off a street vendor, if I remember correctly) and listened to it incessantly. When I returned home, I came to realize that the version of the cassette I had was slightly different from the one sold in Canada.
The cover of each cassette was completely different.
At the end of the day, there were only two good songs on the album to begin with (the other being “Funky Cold Medina”) so it’s not like I had something extremely unique or valuable in any way. But any time I hear “Wild Thing”, I think back to those two weeks in London…walking through Piccadilly Circus, visiting Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the London Dungeon, going on a double-decker bus tour of the city, traveling by train to Bath, and so many other memories.
It’s funny how one song can bring back so much.