I am approaching my 15-year college reunion, which means I have been out of high school nearly 20 years now. I graduated in 1988, which sometimes seems like a long time ago, and other times seems very near in my memory.
My final semester of high school, we went on a ski trip and one of my fondest memories was of re-enacting “Hanz and Franz” Pump You Up from SNL with my friends. We all had nicknames for this – Hanz, Franz, Mueller, LeManz, etc. Good, clean, goofy fun.
During that trip, I played the most successful practical joke that I have ever enacted. There was a guy we didn’t like because he was rich and rude and he had a super-expensive car and the girls loved him. What, me jealous? Never. His girlfriend was the snotty head cheerleader (not making this up), which I realize sounds an awful lot like the premise for a John Hughes movie now that I write it.
Well, here’s the thing – I have a knack for doing impressions, and I could do this guy’s voice PERFECTLY. So, one night, after a few too many beers, I called his girlfriend (as him) and told her that I wanted to break up with her, because I (he) wanted to date another girl. The amazing thing was that she believed me. Mission accomplished! They worked it out and we actually got to watch him stutter as he tried to explain what must have happened. Was this juvenile? You betcha. I was 17. Gimme a break – that is funny stuff. We celebrated our “victory” by listening to R.E.M.’s “The End of the World as We Know It” at top volume. This is a memorable and fun song, but I think my all-time favorite song by them is “Nightswimming“.
In the summer of that year, I took a trip to New Orleans with my best friend Jeff (a trip that we repeated the following summer), and we spent pretty much the entire trip talking, laughing, and listening to Steve Miller’s Greatest Hits and Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind“. Interestingly enough, many years later, this CD was my son’s favorite when he was a toddler, and he used to dance “like no one was watching”. Like father, like son, right?
During that summer, my friends and I attended a couple of terrific concerts, mainly just to see two specific songs performed live. Yes, it was that important to us. We saw Def Leppard with Great White (I don’t really remember this second-tier band very well, but I know they opened). “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was one of the defining songs of my late teens. This was kind of the top party song for me and my group of friends, and we probably did significant damage to our hearing by listening to it so loudly in my car.
The show was really a great one, and Rick Allen is the finest one-armed drummer to have ever lived. One of my closest friends Robert aspired to be….a beer truck driver. Can you guess what he ended up doing? In an effort to make this post related on a tangent to real estate, I would like to point out that Robert set an achievable, measurable goal and made it happen!
The other concert from that summer remains one of the best that I have seen to date, with the possible exception of the Eagles’ “Hell Freezes Over” tour (which sounded like a CD, though it was live). In July, we went to see Guns ‘n’ Roses OPEN for Aerosmith. I think the show was about four hours long. As a 17-year old, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” held a certain amount of power over me. Even today, if I happen to be out somewhere and hear this song, or perhaps if I catch it on the radio, I want it to be far louder and I want be on stage singing it while Slash is playing guitar next to me.
I spent August preparing for my foray into collegiate life, and I remember this as a highly adrenalized and exciting time. There was a girl I met during a preview weekend (CLEP tests) and I kept in touch with her over the summer. When school actually started, I got to spend time with her (do you like my gentle euphemism?) alone in her room. She played a CD for me that a friend had given to her. I had never heard the band before, but I cannot hear any of the songs on 10,000 Maniacs “In My Tribe” without being transported to that autumn. I think “Like the Weather” is the most evocative for me.
Thanks for letting me share a little bit more with you guys, and thanks for reading about a couple of my memories. Oh, yeah – real estate.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out the new AR group I founded today with Adam Waldman and Paul Slaybaugh called “INSPIRED BY SONG!”. This is a group for music-related posts, and we are planning to have monthly contests with 1000 points to the winner. Should be a lot of fun!