An Awesome Time Machine

Time travel is cool.  And thanks to the magic of Youtube it is possible.

I can’t be the only person who has sat down and watch an episode or two of Magnum, P.I. and Riptide on Youtube.  I mean c’mon, Nick and Cody lived on a freaking boat in L.A.! Nor can I be the only one who has watched the Monday Night Football game from October 20, 1980 between the Raiders and the Steelers when we all realized the dynasty was over.  And there’s no way I’m alone watching old MTV videos.  Now, don’t get me wrong, if given the choice I’m watching old NFL Films highlights all day.  And maybe a couple of the Riptide episodes when the all-female crew of the Barefoot Contessa were featured.  But if you really want to go back in time, go watch the videos.

Like this doesn’t take you right back to the May of ’83?

How about May of ’85?

May of ’87?

But here’s the thing, it is still just a video.  You’re not there.  Granted, you’re experiencing nostalgia at awesome levels.  Actual time travel, while elusive, is possible.  You can get there.

Again, if you went to high school or college with me in the 80’s and early 90’s, this might make some sense…especially after watching that Poison video.  Mom and I went to Def Leppard, Poison and Tesla a few weeks ago.  Five years ago we went to a similar version of this concert when we saw Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford.  The common factor – I mean besides the fact that Phil Collen is like 57 years old and still doesn’t wear a damn shirt – is going to these concerts is like experiencing an awesome time machine.  Its like you’re in one big giant DeLorean.  I love going.  Because just for a few hours, you’re back! Which, at our ages, is really all we can handle at this point anyway.

You get into the arena and you immediately do two things that you didn’t do in high school or your first couple years of college.  You go buy a couple of these:


That’s $18 worth of Miller Lite right there.  You need a salary and health insurance to afford these.  You don’t have that in high school or college.

Then you buy a $36 concert t-shirt because its freaking worth it. Here’s mine:


After you get your second 25 oz Miller Lite you head to your seats.  The first beer is a walking beer.  Meaning its the beer you drink while walking to get your sweet new concert tee.  Once in your seats I always take a look around at the folks sitting in my immediate area.  I like to know who will be rocking it old school with me, flashing the horns and belting out every single freaking lyric.  Who are my co-pilots on this awesome journey back to the late 80’s and early 90’s?  Also its good to get a feel for those who won’t be doing that so you have an idea who you are going to be annoying for next 3 hours or so.

Tesla is first.  I wanted to hear 4 songs – Getting Better, Little Suzi, Signs and What You Give.  Ending up hitting .500 as they left the stage without singing Getting Better and What You Give.  And I gotta be honest, it felt a little empty without hearing Getting Better. But…Little Suzi, well she’s on the up.  It was awesome.  And the only person who probably liked it better than me was the woman in the row below us and off to the right who was absolutely rocking.  She was belting out those lyrics so loud she was shaming the rest of us.  We became immediate friends.

When they hit the first few chords of Signs there was an impressive roar from the Gen X dominated crowd.  And we clearly – CLEARLY – preferred the unedited version as we sang, “So I made up my f*#&ing sign!”

Poison was next.  And Bret Michaels obviously understands who his audience is.  No messing around with their new stuff.  Listen, it was a good thing they can dial it back a bit with Every Rose Has Its Thorn and Something to Believe In because I probably would have needed to take a knee just to regroup.  Ride the Wind, Fallen Angel and then Nothing But A Good Time…I was exhausted.  I mean that’s A LOT of air guitar.  My fingers were cramping up.  Plus Nothing But A Good Time is synonymous with the summer of ’88…along with my sweet ’81 diesel Volkswagen Rabbit, Stroh Light and the Lakers going back to back.

Then Def Leppard.

DefLeppardSugarDef Leppard dominated my senior year of high school. Dominated.  Like Markie Post’s hotness dominated the set of Night Court.  Sure Micheal Jackson got in there with Man in the Mirror and David Lee Roth kicked our asses with Just Like Paradise and Arnold Schwarzenegger was in every freaking movie. Anybody else think they should remake The Running Man?  No?  Just me then. Anyway, point being Def Leppard was awesome in the ’87-’88 school year and they are still awesome. Armaggedon It is a like flamethrower showering us with late 80’s nostalgia.  Plus it melts your face off. Pour Some Sugar On Me hits you like city bus filled with all your high school memories.  Like the time my buddy Pete almost blew his finger off in the front seat of my car as he lit a bottle rocket that recorded a total travel distance of his side of the dashboard to mine and then exploded. Or The Longest Day (Feb. 27, 1988) when my buddies and I, allegedly, used fake IDs to load up at EJ’s Liquors to keep us hydrated throughout an entire Saturday.

It all hits you.  You feel it.  And for a few fleeting instances, you’re there.  You’re really there. And then you realize you’ve spent $54 dollars on a six pack of 25 oz Miller Lites and you have to be up early to make sure your 7th grader has a ride to school.

But it was still awesome…


Time Travel as a Parenting Strategy

Lita Ford, Poison, Def Leppard. It’s not often that you really can go back in time. But we did a few weeks ago when one of my best friends from high school and his wife came out to visit and go to this concert with us.

I was hoarse for three days. I also couldn’t hear normally for nearly 24 hours after the concert. Which of course means a couple things, the concert was freaking awesome and I’m old. But awesomeness, trauma to the larynx and hearing loss are evidently the side effects of hair metal induced time travel.

Belting out “Ride the Wind” with Bret Michaels clearly provides the 1.21 jigowatts of power necessary for time travel to be possible.

But it also got me thinking…man, the girls are going to be doing this in a few years. Riley is already going to the local high school football games every Friday night with her friends. Last Friday Mom and I went too. We brought Bailey, Kinsey and one of Kinsey’s friends along. We did a little bit of walking around to see if we could accidentally run into Rye. Which we did almost immediately. She did her best to ignore us. This is something of which I am becoming accustomed. But the recon also allowed me to get a feel for what is going on at the games.

I’ll summarize my observations.

Lots of kids aimlessly walking around not paying attention to the game. They all look and dress alike. Did I do this in 7th grade? High school kids appear to be more interested in the game than the junior high and middle school kids. I assume this is because the game is one of the very few opportunities the kids between 11-13 get to roam relatively unsupervised in an environment overrun with their the friends. They also look at you like you are an alien with weird alien mannerisms when they mistakenly notice an adult is present. It is also deadly accurate to say I am watching as many time travel movies as possible in an attempt to stop the march of time and save Mom and I the ordeal of three girls going through high school.

Mom keeps telling me that there is all these physical and hormonal changes going with Rye. As far as I can tell, all that is happening is that her brain ceases operations at random intervals and inopportune times. This is a girl who has been organized her entire life. She was categorizing her Disney princess dolls by color and dress length when she was 2. Now she can’t remember what she did with her lunch card despite the fact that it is almost always in the same pocket of her backpack everyday. Mom says her hormones are wreaking havoc with all kinds of stuff. In fact at an orientation session before school began, the principal and vice-principal let all the parents know that the children you have known their whole lives will cease to exist for a few years as they are going through some changes.

Hmmm…I tend to believe it is an elaborate conspiracy dreamt up by some 13 year-old tech genius who issues commands through his iPhone 15s or whatever the hell version its on. Purpose? To piss me off. Well not me personally but Dads across this great nation of ours. As if four more years of Biden being America’s inappropriate drunk uncle and Obama insisting that we didn’t build that isn’t infuriating enough.