For this issue, make sure you strap on your rocker boots because it’s all about the rock ‘n’ roll. As their first themed issue, the editors say that this month they have “turned Hippocampus Magazine into a mixtape of creative nonfiction.” In essays and memoirs about rock ‘n’ roll experiences, the contributors write about personal influences of Pink Floyd (“A Piece for Assorted Lunatics” by Anne); concerts of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (“Long Time Gone: September 27, 2010” by Shelia Grace Stuewe); and obsessions with Steve Tyler (“Stone Cold Fox” by Melanie Malinowski). But no matter which rock artist the writer gushes about, one thread seems to bind them all together—the power music has to invoke memory.
Risa Nye’s piece “Driving Home” demonstrates how a long car drive with rocking tunes can conjure memories of childhood and growing up, making her ask herself a series of what-ifs.
First up on the play list: “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.
My hands grip the steering wheel at 10 and 2, my eyes focus on the road, but my mind reels back through the years to seventh grade when holding hands was a big deal.
And in “Rocking My Baby,” Nancy Davis Kho deals with having a child and the ways in which it has pulled her away from her love for music and concerts. She tries to compromise by finding music that her child will enjoy but that won’t drive her crazy: “by the time the 21st century rolled around, there was money to be made by legitimate rockers with a brand new audience, an audience that struggled to roll from stomach to back and could be reliably counted on to issue broccoli farts in inconvenient settings.” Ultimately, she decides that rock ‘n’ roll must remain what it is, separate from her life with her children, something she must enjoy without them.
MT Cozzola, in “Grey Seal,” describes the feeling of the whole issue perfectly with the line, “Last night I met up with an old song. It had been years, but we recognized each other on sight.” Like the songs, these stories will allow readers to recall their own memories and remind them of the soundtracks of their own lives.