Friday, February 01, 2008

Made in America


Going through my stuff recently, I found a cache of buttons from the early 1980s. It was the time of many buttons, and now they are the stuff of time travel. Seeing how young Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven look now in the 1985 video of "Glory Days," it's a little eerie to think how young I was then, too. One of the buttons is from the Boss' 1981 The River tour -- his concerts were legendary at the time for running something like three hours long. The WXYC button brings back that UNC-Chapel Hill "alternative/progressive" FM radio station playing punk, New Wave, blues, etc. And the Rolling Stones 1981Tattoo You tour -- I saw them in Philadelphia in September at Veterans Stadium. George Thorogood and Journey opened. My father, who was on a business trip in his native Philly at the time, took me out to Bookbinders, the famous lobster house, and we sat two tables away from Journey and some of their entourage! It was crazy. Our finely attired old school Italian waiter griped about them, saying he wouldn't walk across the street to hear them play and had we heard how they tore up their hotel rooms? For Old Blue Eyes, though, he'd trade in a night's work for another show. More on all that some day, I suspect. Happy birthday, by the way, to my parents!


Sopranos fans will know that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" was the song Tony plucked from the jukebox in the last scene of the series. Journey premiered it in the 1981 tour and played it while opening for the Stones in Philly. Across time, space, and memory, it's a wildly intereconnected world, indeed. Pictured here is Deborah Lin, James Gandolfini's fiancée as of this post.

Yesterday's Rune: Defense. Today's: Fertility.

8 comments:

Sheila said...

I love collecting buttons. I have a ton of them on a "Summer Reading" tote bag that I got from barnes and noble. My favorite is one that says FUCK YOU-this message brought to you by the first amendment.

Dr.evil said...

The Rolling Stones don't make people as old as my dad look any younger do they?

Johnny Yen said...

Thanks son. I guess you didn't want your allowance this week, did you? ; )

I saw Springsteen on that tour too! I had great tickets-- seventh row center! He played over three hours. I was disappointed that he didn't play my favorite, Backstreets, but he did play another old favorite, Jungleland.

I collect buttons on and off. My late friend Bobby Scarpelli, who I mentioned recently in a post, and I used to gift one another with buttons. He liked my "Lick Bush" button so much (1992 election) I gave it to him. When I was in the midst of my custody fight, he gave me a button that said "I'll Do Whatever It Takes."

Johnny Yen said...

Oh, Journey's love song to their hometown, San Francisco, Lights ("When the lights go down in the city...."), is a guilty pleasure.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cool buttons. Definitely a bit of a flashback.

Lana Gramlich said...

I still have my Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" pin somewhere, too. The youth of today just wouldn't understand. Gads, I sound like my mother!

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks, y'all for the comments. Very funny stuff. . . . .

Johnny Yen said...

Just to snitch on my son one more time, Erik-- he was listening to the Chipmunks version of "Dark Side of the Moon" today. I'm not making that up. ; )