Love Letter To A Record: Born Ruffians’ Luke Lalonde On David Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.

Luke Lalonde, Born Ruffians: David Bowie – Hunky Dory

My dearest Hunky Dory, you tactful cactus.

Although it has been a while since I wandered through the prairie of your room, you must know that I think of you often. I wonder if you know how much you mean to me…

Remember driving around in dad’s pickup truck for the first time together? You were in the CD player. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. You were turned up. You were turned up so loud, and oh! You were a pretty thing…

When the chorus hit, you put your head between your paws and I FREAKED OUT. I thought the hairs on my arms were going to fly away they stood up so fast. I fell in love with you in that moment. I am forever turning that green Ford truck into the Tim-Hortons-Boston-Pizza-Walmart plaza (they had opened shops down the west side). I remember it with smacked-in-the-face clarity. The dusty air vents. Grey seats soaked in cigarette smoke (he had not yet been given the news that would help him quit for good). The feeling of the worn yielding rubber wheel, squishy and dry. The smell of spring petrichor in the air and the sound of tires rolling over damp pavement – though we could not hear it for we were so loud – gotta make way for the Homo Superior!

I have experienced other moments like this in my life. Moments where an intangible greatness feels close. Moments where power surrounds, and pure positive feeling is mainlined into the centre of the forehead. Where does this power of yours come from? I am forever looking for it down a million dead-end streets. I wish I could live somewhere with you, where we could yield this power when it pleased us. I am content to visit now and then, to look in from the periphery when it is convenient. But I am sinking in the quicksand of my thoughts… where was I? Oh yes… the purpose of this letter.

Well, I suppose it’s to say thank you, and I love you. Where would I be without you? Part of me thinks I have been trying to relive some of our moments together every time I meet a new song. You are somewhat indifferent, and that’s okay. It’s in your nature. You are the coolest of cools (but the warmest of warms too) and I hope you never change. But, Jesus Christ, who am I to ask that of you! Go on changing if you must! Turn and face the strange changes! Anyways… I always know where to look for you. We can meet there, in the warm impermanence of the sun that pins the branches to the sky.


Luke Lalonde

Born Ruffians’ 5th album, ‘Uncle, Duke & The Chief’, is out now. Grab it here.


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