Posts Tagged ‘Reunions’

Reunion Jitters

A massive reunion of old farts is happening this weekend in Reston Virginia, home to hundreds of us who grew up awkwardly but mostly happily in the 60s and 70s, in various states of consciousness. We’re all 50-somethings now and while the reunion is a great concept, it’s rife with degrees of anxiety.

First of all, I remember when I used to travel light. Not anymore. I will be attending the reunion with my girlfriend, Millie; my son, Charlie and Suki The Dog (turns out the Reston Sheraton accepts pets). My own friggin’ posse, for Christ’s sake.

Here are the questions and encounters I most fear:

So how you been?

This puts you in a position of sorting through 25 years of memories and life events and is not possible to answer honestly in less than three and a half hours.

Have you met your son, Levon?

You know, I remember that it might once have been cool to name your son after an Elton John song, but I don’t remember this particular kid. This can’t really be my son, right? Cute little fella (he’s now 34 and weighs 280 pounds). Funny! Ha ha! Buh-bye, now.

Remember that night on the 16th fairway of the North golf course?

This is when my girlfriend, Millie, shoots me a look full of daggers and I clear my throat repeatedly, hoping it drowns out the description of the actual event that occurred on the 16th fairway of the North golf course. Suffice to say nothing really good happens on a golf course late at night. Well, ok, it was good…then.

Remember when you drove your car ON the plaza early one morning?

This is when I check my calendar quickly and do some fast arithmetic to come up with the exact day the statute of limitations might have expired. It’s no longer acceptable to drive your car drunk on an actual sidewalk as I understand it, but for those remembering the alleged incident- it is, apparently, completely hysterical.

Remember the time we did mushrooms and jammed all night?

This is when my 19 year-old son, Charlie, shoots me a bemused look and I clear my throat repeatedly hoping it drowns out the description of what may have been ingested that night so long ago. I later point out to my posse how yummy Portobello mushrooms are nestled in a bed of lettuce and a creamy wine sauce.

Yes, the possibilities are endless. I may or may not report back.

Sweet Flashbacks

(Tom Ballew, Cal Everett, Jeff Severson, George Pittaway)

Visited the glorious past over the weekend as rock band, 4 Out of 5 Doctors, played an intimate venue in Vienna, Virginia to a collection of about 200 of us who grew up together back in the 80’s forming a piece of the fabric of the Washington DC area a quarter century ago.

An occasionally drunken and, uh, free-flowing fabric. Hey, we were young. I admit this because I have pretty much ruled out any future in public office. But I digress.

4 Out of 5 Doctors, if you don’t know them, had a record deal with Nemperor  back in the early 80’s (with singles on the CBS and Epic labels as well; all confusingly interrelated).   The guys were horribly mismanaged and screwed by the clueless wonders of the record industry at the time and Nemperor failed to pick up their option.

Anyway, these are all friends of mine and for the first time in the history of this blog, I am consciously shilling product. They have a new CD called Post-Op, culled from songs from the 3rd album-that-never-was, demos from the 1st-two-that-were and new material. There’s also a new CD set of their original albums. As the Washington Post noted in a review of one of their reunion concerts a couple of years ago, their music wears very well.

I was laughing as I was thinking how to describe what the Doctors sound like (for the sake of those not indoctrinated). It’s a rather varied list. For me they’re a mix of The Talking Heads, The Cars and Steely Dan with a hint of Beatles and if you do enough mushrooms, probably a little Electric Light Orchestra: the latter two due to their layered ooh-and-ah harmonies and catchy melodies. Add clever, pithy, occasionally twisted lyrics and- what’s not to love? I mean, really: “Had a fight with my car and my girlfriend broke down.” Has a certain perverse ring to it, no? The term “Power Pop” is thrown around to describe the Doctors but they’re deeper than that.

And Opus Ten should have gone down as one of the best rock songs ever. Well, it is; it’s just that a lot of people don’t know about it. There’s a very good article on the Doctors and their sordid history with the music industry here (despite universally rave reviews from critics).

Anyway, as for the tenor of the reunion-ish evening, it was rather amusing to see how old we’re all getting. Another decade and we’ll be showing up in wheelchairs and Depends.

But there remain signs of life. For both the Doctors and their minions. We are clearly not going down without a fight.

Go here to buy their stuff. Go here for the 4 Out of 5 Doctors website.