#851: Freestylin’ 8 – Back to the Future

GETTING MORE TALE #851: Freestylin’ 8 – Back to the Future

“May you have interesting times.”  Have you heard that saying before?  They call it the “Chinese curse” but there’s no evidence it originated in China.  There is little doubt that today we are living in interesting times.  Historic times, too.  The days we are living through now are the days that your children and grandchildren will be studying in school.  Remember asking your grandparents what World War II was like?  Kids one day will be asking you about the great pandemic of 2020-2021.

In recent days we’ve seen some worthwhile attempts to get “back to normal”, specifically with entertainment.  Concerts are a thing again, albeit most of them are different from the ones we remember.  Drive-in concerts could help get us through this period.  Live-streamed concerts have also started.  Bands have used the downtime to jam, write, and record.  It is reported that the Scorpions and the Cult are back in the studio working on new albums.

The landscape has also been devastated.  Venues are closing at a blurry pace, with Rhapsody Barrel Bar being the latest local casualty in a dizzying series.  When this is all over, I believe we will see demand for sports events, movies and concerts as if Covid never happened.  In the meantime, people have to put food on their tables.  There are no easy answers.

I’ll tell you one thing, though:  I’m glad for once that I’m not a parent.  I have enough to deal with.  Talking to my folks the other night, my mom said “I don’t think I would have sent you back to school if this pandemic happened when you were kids.”  I don’t think I would have wanted to go back.  Right now all I can do is cross my fingers, say a prayer and hope that the kids going back now will be safe.  In Canada, we just don’t know yet.  We’ll be finding out soon enough.

It’s true that I have a lot on my plate.  I don’t need to get into the work details — you all have problems, too.  But here we are in late August and I haven’t missed a day (except for scheduled vacations of course).  There were many times I didn’t think I could finish a whole day, but I did it.  But the hard times are relentless.  On August 14, Jen lost her grandfather, a proud Air Force veteran with the wisdom of a sage.  Yet another loss for poor Jen, who nevertheless keeps on getting up and going at it every single day.  This in the same year I lost my Uncle Don.  It’s been hard on our family.  My grandmother turned 96 and is just aching to get out of the house.  She still lives in her own home but can’t go anywhere except out onto the driveway, due to the dangers of Covid when combined with her age.

I’ve talked about this a number of times already, but my 2020 was stressful well before Covid hit our shores and I decided to get some help.  According to my records my first counselling session was February 7.  I’m very lucky that I had good support already setup when lockdown began a little over a month later!  All of this coincided with deep desire to delve back into childhood memories, and music.  I’ve been focused on music I used to enjoy in my teens.  Kiss has dominated.  Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Europe, Frehley’s Comet.  Stuff from happy summers of the past.

It’s incredible how, in the correct mindset, these albums have created aural time travel for me.  I don’t even have to close my eyes, but all the feelings and images and words from that time come back to me like pictures on a screen.  When I listen to The Final Countdown, all I can think of is spring, 1987.  With Frehley’s Comet, suddenly it’s July.  The last time I played Frehley’s Comet, I was at the cottage.  I yelled over to my sister (she’s two lots over to the left), “Hey!  I’m playing the album you gave me for my birthday in 1987.  What is it?”  Without hesitation she yelled back, “Frehley’s Comet!”  She remembered!  That’s pretty cool.

You know what?  These have been interesting times.  I’ve been on my own personal journey, and it probably wouldn’t have taken the same path if it wasn’t for Covid.  As shitty as 2020 has been (and make no mistake, this has been a shit show of a year) I cannot deny that it came with some personal good.  The only thing better than discovering new music for the first time is rediscovering it with fresh eyes, ears and soul.  Take it in anew.  Relive the experience and rejuvenate.


  1. This whole thing is a big pain and it has changed the landscape of the world dramatically. You seem to be coping well in spite of it, keep it up. I’m kind of glad my kids are all grown up although I see what it’s doing to the education of my step grandchildren.


  2. Glad to hear your batteries are recharged and nothing wrong talking to a third party person about stuff. Good to get it off the chest so to speak.
    Music is a great healer in many ways like you said bringing back memories and what not. I have been enjoying doing those Summertime Spins. This Sundays pick is the last one! Summer has flown by we still got the Rock Mike!
    Great Comet story. Cool your sis remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like that perspective in the closing paragraph, Mike.
    I think it’s important to acknowledge (and not diminish) the awfulness of the year – but also to notice the silver linings as well


  4. Out of the ashes, the phoenix rises. And despite all the shit, we get up, dust our selves off and move ahead day by day. Music has always been what gets me through the dark times and obviously it works for you as well. I always remind myself that no matter how bad things get, someone has it worse than me so I keep going.
    And yes, the kids part is a little stressful. They are back in school 1 day a week and the rest virtual and when they are in class, it is only 25% of the class so only 4-8 kids probably in each class. They feel safe and that is what is important, if they didn’t they would be 100% virtual. But it was a little nervous sending them back. I hate they are missing out on Friday night football, homecoming dance, proms, all the typical high school and middle school fun, but they don’t seem phased…it is what it is they tell me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been doing the same this summer! Except it has been ’90s metal/hard rock. I wrote about a couple of albums and I want to do more. But, you know, time and all of that stuff. I wonder if in 20 years those songs will now bring up memories of back then and today…


  6. It might depend on how old your kids are. Living with mine they actually help feeling/living the normal life cos they are kids and to them things just are the way they are. My oldest keeps telling me to relax and not to worry all the time. And then goes off to goof around. The best thing about these times have been that there have been tons of family time. And with kids there probably isn’t such a thing as nothing to do so locked in times haven’t been so stressful.


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