Thursday, March 25, 2004

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Remember A Flock of Seagulls? I saw them last night at a warmup run for The Nike Run Hit Wonder. The band performed at the Third Street Promenade to promote the 10K/5K.

I got there too late to get some freebies Nike was giving out, but others were wearing "Groupie" dri-fit T-shirts, and "Flock" wigs – hairpieces in that whacky '80s style.

To quote the VH1 show, I love the '80s. Maybe it was because I was young and the world seemed full of possibilities. And I liked everything about the pop culture – the clothes, the movies, the TV, and the music. Sure, some things seemed cheesy, but that's what made it fun.

Like A Flock of Seagulls. They'll be playing at the race.

They played at last year's race, too. I can tell you, hearing their appropriately-titled hit, "I Ran" while you're dashing along is great.

But -- hearing it while you're standing around on a crowded street, waiting to run, as it's getting colder and darker… not so great. Maybe the sound system was bad, maybe it was because they were older and less whacky-looking, maybe it was me getting old and cranky, or maybe one basic fact was unavoidable: A Flock of Seagulls flockin' sucks.

OK, maybe not, but... I realized I never really liked them that much twenty years ago. In the early '80s, I was listening to Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard and The Clash. There was an occasional New Wave tune that I appreciated. To me, "Let's Go to Bed" was the only tolerable song by The Cure.

Should I feel bad for not enjoying the Flock's free gig? And that lead singer dude – how many times does he have to play that song? Is he happy to celebrate his one-hit wonder as exactly that? Many questions ran through my head as my group ran through Santa Monica.

Still I'm looking forward to the race, and hope I won't be similarly disappointed by the headliner, Devo. Last night, I had a good time hanging out, chatting with my runner friends during the concert and after the run. One thing I'm fairly sure about: I'll think this was all pretty cool twenty years from now.

Nostalgia will be even better then.


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