or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Past
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
All these new facebook friends from my high school days in Seguin, Texas dredge up a lot of old great memories. So I decided to take a drive to Lake McQueeney, where I lived from 5th grade through high school, and check out my old haunts. As I'm driving, I'm listening to my Billy Joel "Glass Houses" CD. This was THE album (or cassette tape at the time) for me my last couple of years there. I was not a music guy in school, wasn't really up on the latest rock, pop, whatever. I was a film and TV geek (when geeks were not fashionable but were outcasts and estranged) so my musical memories veered more toward the soundtrack varieties.
I practically memorized the lp's and cassette soundtracks from Altman's "Popeye" (Harry Nillson), "Somewhere In Time", "Grease", the rousing John Williams scores from "1941". With SNL and Animal House being THE huge thing, Bill Murray's "Meatballs" soundtrack (with "Makin' It") and of course ALL albums by "The Blues Brothers" were devoured. And the comedy of Steve Martin.
I was always ashamed to admit my love of the "Xanadu" soundtrack (ELO) with its disco awfulness until I recently found out a Broadway musical is on the boards based on it. Was I ahead of my time seeing as how all these are now fondly remembered as unsung classics? Yea, sure, maybe.
But NO music from the time rocked as much as "Rocky Horror Picture Show". I see a lot about it this Halloween season with the "Glee" takeoff and all. Rocky was around for five or so years before I saw it. It was in '80 I think. But the midnight screenings were still pretty fresh. One of my friends had a dad who had a vhs copy of it. I didn't hang around to watch it because I had no idea what it was. Then one night I was invited by the drama gang to go to San Antonio on a "field trip" to a midnight screening a la "Fame". At the classic, now demolished, Central Park Fox. How my parents let me go to this day I will not know. We get in somebody's car...a Pinto or a Mazda of some sort, I can't remember...and head to the big city of SA. The Fox theater was a classic seventies theater with the two screens and the long middle aisle cutting through the audience. This was perfect for the performance I was about to see. The audience was actually dressed as these strange characters, parading down the aisle, and singing the songs WITH THE FILM, in the area in front of the screen. WTF? I remember feeling very estranged that evening...out of place. I had no idea what the plot was of what I was watching. I just remember the images and the feeling and the music within those theater walls lined with small stones.
But that was the first time I ever did anything where I felt like I was part of an "in" thing. So of course I bought the soundtrack. And listened to it, over and over. So much so that today, I can still remember the words to the songs even though I can't remember what I ate yesterday. And as I plop that CD in, driving to my past today, I sang loud and ROCKED! Anyone who knows me knows I don't do that often. And I proclaim it to be GREAT rock n roll and I verify that with my friends who know music much better than I.
I went to a few more "event screenings" in college, but probably never attended more than five in my life. But it stayed with me.
Today, there is something quaint and innocent about that transvestite and all his cannibalistic tendencies. At least there were no emo vampire teens.