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…


I Love Friday

I love Fridays. Easily my favorite day of the week. I think its always been at the top of my Days of the Week Rankings. There’s been some shuffling beneath Friday but nobody has been able to knock Friday off. Sometimes Saturday has made a run and in college Thursday ran pretty strong. Friday is the Pittsburgh Steelers of days. Traditionally and consistently good. Saturday is like the Cowboys. Traditionally good but never quite the same as Friday. Thursday is like the Patriots. A quick burst of awesomeness but now just another day.

loverboyAnyway, today was another good Friday. I’m going to lunch, turn on the radio, and what do I hear barking out of the speakers? Loverboy. Working for the Weekend. This is not only a great Friday song, it’s probably Loverboy’s best song if you were to rank them. And I have.

1-Working for the Weekend
2-The Kid is Hot Tonight
3-Queen of the Broken Hearts

Then Pat Benetar comes on – Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Great song. Awesome rocker chick. My favorite rocker chick of all time? Not sure. Joan Jett and Lita Ford have some pretty strong arguments.

I get my sandwich and get back in the car and head back to work. First song I hear? Trixter – Give it to me Good. This is a really classic example of why hair metal died. So is Firehouse. It’s a good song but hearing it a good 18 years after it was cool just exposes why its not. Its okay. Its like Steven Segal. Those movies were cool. But if you watch Hard to Kill now, you’re sort of confused as to why it was cool. And why Steven Segal was such a bad dude.

This is not to say that I wasn’t singing along to Trixter. I was. Or to Thunder’s Dirty Love which came on next. Guilty. Dirty Love is the prototype for perfect hair metal video song. Bad Medicine followed. First person who says they don’t know the words 21 years after it was cool is lying.

Didya catch a vintage back in the day Pam Anderson in that video?

All of this just proves that my ranking of Friday as the top day of the week is accurate. Hair metal makes everything better. But that’s not the best part of this weekend. We’re taking two of the girls to the Iowa State-Baylor game Saturday. Night game. Going to be cold for the boys from Waco. For Bailey, it’s her first Cyclone game. I’m very excited. Although this could easily change depending on the score and her behavior.

bill_mazeroskiBut this week has special meaning to me. Why? On October 13th, 49 years ago, Bill Mazeroski hit a homer in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 to win the 1960 World Series. My Dad walked from his job at Gimbels department store in Pittsburgh to the Hilton Hotel to meet some friends afterwards and join in the celebration in downtown Pittsburgh. He met my Mom upon joining up with his friends.

Seventeen years later, almost to the day on Oct. 15th, 1977, my folks took me to my first college football game. Pitt vs. Navy. Pitt won 34-17. Randy Holloway blocked a field goal. Iowa State also happened to beat Nebraska the same day. Hmmm…weird.

Pitt Stadium

Anyway, I’m excited about taking the girls to the game. Especially since Riley and Kinsey have been sick most of the week. Some Indonesian junk been going ‘round. Took about half the week but everybody is better. Didn’t even need the government to help.

I’m already ruling out candy during the game however. They can eat as many hot dogs as they want. All that will do is make them lethargic and queasy. Giving candy to Bails and then asking her to sit down is dumber than casting Keanu Reeves as a super genius scientist in Chain Reaction. Give her a bag of M&M’s and she freaks out faster than the media when Rush Limbaugh tries to buy a football team.

No concerns about Riley. She sat with me last Sunday and watched football. She’s starting to grasp the fundamentals and what’s happening on the field. Which, of course, is freaking excellent. Now if I could get the stadium guys to show Phineas and Ferb on the jumbo-tron during the game we’d be all set.