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.