The Heart of Rock and Roll - Yes, Its still Beating

by Chuk Kittredge

Born in the USA Born in the USA

So there I was last Friday after my 5a, with a gleam in my eye and a spring in my step. Well I busted out of class/had to get away from all those fools/ I learn more from a three-minute record, baby/ than I ever learned in school. And I'm thinking to myself, God - Bruce Springsteen is the man, baby. I mean, you kids these days with your Vines and your Strokes and whatnot - what would you know? The Boss is riding #3 in the national charts right now. That's reason to get up in the morning, right there. He was incredible back in '84 with his seminal Born in the USA album, and he's still rocking out. He's coming straight from the heart, to borrow a phrase from the immortal Bryan Adams. Oh, Bryan. A flash in the pan, you say? Maybe. Or maybe it's just that his genius remains unrecognized after all these years; after those first bittersweet bars of 'Summer of '69'.

See, later that night, I was on my couch with the tunes going, in a state of dishabille, and well, there was this girl there, too. I had the mixed drinks, the lavender aromatherapy candle sputtering in the corner, and my 80's seduction mix on the player. Say what you will about Barry White, you'll never top my boy Bryan when it comes to tonal love poems. 'Yeah, I'd fight for you/ girl I'd lie for you/ Walk the wire for you/ I'd die for you...' Frankly, it gets me wet. But, so - there we are, and then...oh...wait for it...Firehouse. No, not the liquor store, you little ass-clowns. You know, the band that sang 'Love of a Lifetime'. By the time the first 16 bars of lyrical synthesizer are done, she's just blissed out - whether it's my musky cologne or the 14 gin and tonics I fed her, I can't tell. But either way, things start getting serious by the time 'Every Rose has Its Thorn' rolls around. And I know what you're going to say: cheesy party closer music, right? Wrong. She's in my arms (I mean, the hand-holding is definitely done by this point) and I'm softly stroking her hair as I stare up at the stucco ceiling. She's breathing a little heavily, but I chalk it up to those overworked pheromones and the romantic scene she's ensconced in.

Problem is, next thing I know 'November Rain' is whispering its way through the kitchen as she huddles over the toilet. At this point, I'd like to be swaying with her in my arms (remember those junior high dances? Or are y'all too young?), but instead I'm holding her hair back as she noisily vomits and thinking Axel is right; maybe I do need some time on my own. And then, she's all cleaned up and I offer to walk her back to Olaf (well, what did you expect?) when on come the Proclaimers. Walk 500 miles is right. My God.

So maybe that wasn't the most exemplary of my '80's rock experiences. But like I said, there's still hope. Rock is back, baby. Frankly, I'm sick of sitting around here trying to write this book. I mean, I need a love reaction. Or else, next weekend it'll be the same old shit - my CD player and I, dancin' in the dark.