Might As Well JUMP!
I'm unapologetically a child of the 80's. Kicked off the decade by graduating junior high school and entering the ranks of high school life as a freshman. Spent six years after graduation riding the wild roller coaster that was post-teen angst, exploration and discovery with the best music soundtrack one could hope for at the time. You're not gonna find me pining for the halcyon days of day-glo outfits and shiny synthesizers, are you kidding?, that stuff was cheesy as hell in the present. What I fondly recall are the moments. Little splinters of remembrance that are sharp and lucidly preserved, glitter like stardust in the murky brackish of all the other shit that I don't remember exactly.
And it usually had a soundtrack.
Like in 1983, when Lisa Rivera opened her garage door during her sweet 16 party and everyone saw that her house had been toilet-papered, all the while Dionne Warwick sang "I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again." Or in 1985, when one of my co-workers at Knott's Berry Farm's central productions kitchen dropped a 1200 pound pallet of supplies on my foot and "Freedom" by Wham! is gyrating through the air.
An ongoing project here at the studio has been digitizing my old 4-track cassette demos from the 80's. This goes back to 1985, runs through maybe 1990 before I began getting into digital recording and includes both released and never heard recordings by my old band Crazed Bunnyz.
Granted, much of this stuff is crap and interesting mainly in an archaeological sense, but these five years of constant recording are not only a revelation in how much the music of the era influenced my art but also serves as a musical boneyard from which I can pick out ideas for current projects. After writing music for 35 years you do reach a point where you sort of start plagiarizing yourself, but I think everyone does that, right?
And, man, this shit brings back a lot of memories. I have to monitor the transfer because I recorded at different pitch speeds over the years, sometimes switching to a slower speed mid-way through a tape in order to squeeze more time out of the cassette. I was often so broke that I couldn't afford to buy a 90 minute Maxell tape. All the in-between stuff that didn't make it onto albums that I released from 1985 to 1992, it's a vivid sonic picture of individual moments, conversations and accidental breakthroughs. I'm about 22 tapes through and my face hurts from alternately smiling and cringing.
Recently, I did a phone interview with Dustin McNeill, who is writing a book about the legendary Universal Orlando Resort attraction, Jaws: The Ride. As a former skipper with photos, ride footage and even a rap music video (I'm not even joking) about working the ride, I have resources that would help with the finishing of the book. I haven't shot analog video for years and didn't even have a way of doing a transfer, so I ordered the Elgato Video Capture device and it'll arrive sometime today. Now all I have to do is find the tape with the ride footage that's buried somewhere in a file cabinet here. It's going to be like looking for the Lost Ark of the Covenant in a government warehouse.
And I'm sure I won't find it right off the bat, which means I'll probably need to scan through a lot of video and if tripping through the 80's via 4-track cassette hasn't been cringey enough, now I get to surf through the 90's via video, which is the barest state in which you can exist on media. Nothing tells the truth like video.
Unless it's a deep fake, at which point you just sit back and enjoy the ride.