Back in the Day, I’m Not a Kid Anymore
Pearl Jam 1993
The 80’s punk band Husker Du has a song called “Nostalgia”. This should be my theme song in life. Not that the loud guitars blaring at the speed of light, nor Bob Mould and Grant Hart’s incoherent yelling remind those who know me, of me. It’s just that I am a sucker about nostalgia.
Back in the day, Pearl Jam could not be touched as a band, by any band. Jesus and his 12 disciples could have all played instruments at the local pub as “JC and The Boys”, and I would have said, in my squeaky voice, “Dude, Pearl Jam is way more talented” with much conviction. I just believed they were that good, and I jumped on any chance to listen to or read about them. I have recently begun listening to Pearl Jam again, and realized that yes, music does define a generation, as well as sports among other more important things. Now, I am not saying Ozzy Osbourne is responsible for those who bite heads off various living, breathing animals. Those who did had way more issues than hearing “Blizzard of OZ” one too many times. However, in listening to Pearl Jam recently, I am reminded of the various social issues surrounding the world, as well as what was happening to me personally, and those around me. I begin to wonder how I was as a person, and realize I am growing older, and adapting to the changes as our society changes continuously. I find myself having a hard time coming to terms with this fact. Then, I listen to Led Zeppelin, and wonder what those whose generation was “defined” by their music or any other music during that time and wonder how they are doing. Is it just me? There are times I wonder what kind of places I would be when I would hear songs from back in the day. Who would I be with? Would we be playing Rush ‘N Attack? Would there be enough room to sit a car in between me and the girl I was dancing with? And what exactly am I looking for when I’m dancing with her if it isn’t her eyes? It must be in this room somewhere. Man, it was so much easier back then. Now I have to think about important things instead of how soon Clearasil will work.
I find myself in the same mindset watching sports. I long to see Darryl Strawberry or Will Clark swing a bat. I want to watch John Elway throw a pass. Jordan and Pippen. Most people can associate certain sporting events with exactly where they were and the impact it had on them. I can’t, but I remember being a fan. I remember what life was like back then. I can’t keep up with it now. I probably can’t name more than 10 current baseball players. I stopped paying attention when I stopped collecting baseball cards. Again, the times they are a changin’.
Its hard to believe that things like the arts and sports are under attack in certain school systems. Its hard to believe a lot of our own free thinking is under attack. Sports and the arts are important. They develop learning skills, coordination, discipline, and quick thinking ability. What does this have to do with the previous paragraphs? Because back in my day, it was encouraged for us to participate in extra-curricular activities to develop those very skills, and to give us an outlet. I am very thankful for that. I may not have developed many athletic skills, or had any in the first place, but I do notice the affect of being in those situations. I also made some great friends and wonderful memories to revisit over and over again, if only in my head. After all, I’m a sucker for nostalgia.