I've been on an '80s jag of late and I've had this post written in my head for about a week now... with some additions and more than a few subtractions. But we shall try and put it up, and damn the torpedoes. So. The '80s, which is this, in part, for me:
It's my own design
It's my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
So glad we've almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world
This is a re-run, in that we've posted this tune before, simply because the song contains what I think is one of the greatest rhythm guitar breaks ever recorded...at 2:20, or so. But we digress. What we're on about is decades o' music and decades of our life. Permit me...
We'll begin with the 60s. Not the Sixties of conventional wisdom, which began with Woodstock in 1969 and ended with Altamont, in that same year. One could make a case that the '60s lasted well into the '70s, but we'll forgo THAT, wanting instead to talk about decades. The '60s... for me... began with teenage angst, given that I graduated from high school in 1963. I went into the Air Force in that same year (1963), suffered the grief and psychic damage of the JFK assassination shortly thereafter, endured the loss of my mother to suicide in 1964, and married for the first time in 1966. This decade was highlighted by the birth of my two adult sons, which was the high water mark of the decade, for me. Altogether a mixed bag, highlighted (musically) by the British Invasion with the Beatles and the Stones and all the others.
And then we moved into the '70s, a decade in which we saw our first marriage fail, fell into a life that could have turned out MUCH worse than it did (think: three felonies before breakfast, see item 10), met The Second Mrs. Pennington and fell in glorious, delirious love, and ended up launching our second marriage, followed closely by buying my very first house. Yet another mixed bag, albeit one that ended on a VERY high note. Musically? Very, very good, actually. That said... when I listen to music from that time I'm haunted by what might have been. Which is NOT a warm and fuzzy feeling.
So we come to the '80s, which, to mis-quote Dickens (but check out the full quote which applies, in spades) was the best o' times...with none of that "worst" shit, mainly coz it was ALL good. We began this decade with the best assignment in my USAF career... to RAF Uxbridge in the London borough of Hillingdon. Those three years... from 1980 'til 1983... passed oh-so-much quicker than they should have, and that's coz time ALWAYS flies when yer havin' fun. We hung up the Blue Suit in 1985 and launched our civilian career by moving to Dee-troit, where we signed on with Ed's Famous Data company. TSMP and I lost our collective asses in the oil-bust of 1985 (didja ever take a check to closing when you SOLD a house? Me either, until we left Oklahoma, when we watched ALL of our equity and a large piece of our savings vanish in the proverbial puff o' smoke.), but we recovered and bought the best house we ever owned shortly thereafter. I also became a hockey fan during this decade, igniting a life-long love affair those Wings. The '80s marked the point in time when we began making some serious money, too... so I look back on that decade with GREAT fondness. The music that was the soundtrack of that era remains among my favorites, with good reason.
Then came the '90s, which, in a word, sucked. My lifetime apocalypse happened in 1998 when the maid quit and everything that came after that was just so much stage dressing. The ONLY bright spot in that dismal decade was the birth of SN3 and even that happy event is fraught with bitter memories of good times I never had. Forgettable in its entirety, as was the music.
The 2000s were a mixed bag, as well. I hit the pinnacle of my civilian career, what with taking another job out in San Francisco... which came outta the blue and was completely unexpected. Digression: I "retired" in 1999 and really didn't expect to work again until a buddy called me up and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. The offer was a great one: we hired on with a magical six-figure salary (plus bonus) and got promoted to the exalted position of Director (my tongue is FIRMLY in my cheek) before we quit in 2002. It was a good run, professionally speaking, but ultimately proved to be hollow... what the Hell was I working for, anyway? We did manage to pad the 401k a bit, getting to the point where we could retire, permanently. So we left SFO in 2002 and arrived in P-Ville for a "one month visit" with SN1, who was stationed at Cannon Airplane Patch at the time. And we're still here even though SN1 and fambly are LONG gone. Go figure.
The music of the Oughties? Eminently forgettable and I attribute my Old Fart status as the reason. Nothing in today's music resonates with me at all.
My but we do go on, eh? And all by way of sayin' that I'm thoroughly enjoying the music of the '80s these last few days... or weeks. Now you know why.