Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Promise of Poison

Something about the music of our youth will always be different than music for the rest of our lives, I think. It doesn't really matter who you are, when you grew up, or what was popular at the time. Being of the age I am, though, means that the golden age of butt rock (hair metal, whatever you want to call it) occurred right smack in the middle of my middle school years, and I think this has particular resonance.

What is it about a song like Poison's "Nuthin' But a Good Time"? What part of that song, exactly, made the beginning of a fairly unremarkable junior high summer evening feel so full of...promise? And promise of what?? I can't really even put my finger on what I might have been hoping for. Hoping a girl? Meet a girl that...liked me? Have an adventure? This was probably the junior high/middle school version of what Poison might have been trying to convey...I wasn't going to have reckless, casual sex, or consume inordinate amounts of alcohol or some other substance. I mean, I didn't even do those things in high school or college. But something about the feel-good, party anthems of the 80's really could make the most boring, ordinary evening, even those spent within the confines of a buddy's house for a sleepover, seem incredibly full of possibility.

The moments, a couple of years later, where an evening occurred that DID involve meeting a girl, or meeting a girl that liked me, or having an adventure (sneaking out of the house where the sleepover occurred being the most common one...this ended in a number of interesting ways over the course of a couple of years), were extremely delicious...delicious in the way that something you feel like you've been waiting for forever can only be. Perhaps the soundtrack to those evenings was more along the lines of the Beatles, Zeppelin or the Who, or even later on, perhaps R.E.M., They Might Be Giants or The Cure. But the echoes of Def Leppard and Great White reverberated through my mind, I think. No, I didn't meet a girl that night at my brother's baseball game in eighth grade, roaming the grounds of the baseball complex with the homies, but I did, two years later, on an adventurous evening with my friend Greg in the D.C. area. Maybe her love was like "Bad Medicine". Or not (more likely). I just knew that I was finally entering a realm of experience I had longed for throughout my adolescence.

Soundtrack for the composition of this blog entry:
DR. FEELGOOD-MOTLEY CRUE (this song actually hadn't even come out during my middle school years, but somebody on Twitter requested Motley Crue as I was blipping all this stuff, and this is my favorite Crue tune.)

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