“OK, we’re gonna give you an EKG now.”

With that my doctor and his med student got up and left the room. I sat there with my wacky slightly kimono-esque gown on, one that tied in the front while I waited. A nurse came in with a machine on a cart and began to affix these sticky little conductors to my chest. She informed me that if we didn’t get a good reading I may need to be shaved. I made no joke. I looked down as she put the first chest electrode on my right hand pectoral “muscle.” As she finished I noticed a gray chest hair and laughed as the remaining four chest nodes were stuck to me. I had four or five on my chest, one on each arm and one on each leg. I laid back, looked at the ceiling and waited. And while I waited I thought about music. These are the songs I thought about while waiting.

“Heart” by Rockpile. At its core a song about romance. The intro to the song stuck with me and frankly, remove the parts about the lady and you have a song about a condition!

“Queen of Hearts” by Dave Edmunds. Made famous round our shoes by JUICE NEWTON this is a song in the similar spiritual vein as the Rockpile song. Of course Dave Edmunds WAS in Rockpile. Super catchy and just really super great.

“Heart Attack and Vine” by Tom Waits. A great track from this bloozy period of Waits’ artistic life.

“Heartbeat” by Wire. Fantastic track and the version that always sticks with me is from a German (they’re everywhere!) TV show Rockpalast from the late 70s. Wonderfully shot, wonderfully recorded and just so subtle. Sublime to quote the song. The beat of the drums and the bass are cardiac and it strengthens the song in every way.

“Elektrokardiogram” by Kraftwerk. This track, a real gem in my eyes, can be found on the very strong Tour De France Soundtracks LP from 2003. Again the pulse and sounds are from our own motor, our own engine, our heart. Not only an organ to be broken by love it is an organ that we can break on our own.

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