Monday, September 5, 2011

Where Were My Acid-Washed Jeans?

Last night we saw Journey and Night Ranger in concert. (The concert was also supposed to include Foreigner, but when it had to be rescheduled because of Hurricane Irene last weekend, Foreigner was no longer available.) Needless to say, it took me back—all the way back to my childhood in the 1980s.

As I've mentioned before, music has always been a huge part of my life. When I was younger, I bought record albums, 45s, and even cassettes with reckless abandon. I used to lock myself in my bedroom with my stereo blaring, and I'd sing along to practically everything. Journey was one of my favorite bands starting in the early 1980s when they released Escape (I can't even count how many times I used to doodle the cool way the album title was lettered), and I devoured their earlier music as well. And then in the mid 1980s, Night Ranger completely hooked me with hits like When You Close Your Eyes, Sentimental Street, Goodbye and, of course, Sister Christian.

Obviously, a lot has changed since the 1980s. Steve Perry left Journey, and although his vocals were tremendously distinctive, the band's new lead singer, Arnel Pineda, sounds so much like Perry it's eerie at times. And of course, everyone in the bands are older now. (Yeah, I am, too.) But for a few hours last night, I found myself taken back to my high school days, when some of the biggest crises I faced were whether or not I'd get the part I wanted in the school play, or how to get out of gym class (especially when it rained). All I needed was a pair of acid-washed jeans, a Swatch watch and a skinny tie (preferably a leather one), and it would have been just like 1985.

It was a fun time to revisit, although I wouldn't want to live there. But I'm grateful to Night Ranger and Journey for helping me reminisce.

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