Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Hey, remember ten minutes ago?

It’s one of those days. The temperature has changed enough to make me think that it’s fall. And with every change of season, I feel like I’m transported to some other year, or era. When the fall leaves are rustling and it gets chilly enough to need a jacket, I think about sitting in my mom’s driveway in Indiana, listening to Metallica – Master of Puppets and replacing a heater coil in a ’76 Camaro.

It doesn’t help that I watched about an hour of some MTV “Hey! Remember the 80’s?” show last night. It was the one about 80s metal bands. A lot of it was about the hair bands like Cinderella and Poison, and it was amusing to see all of them broke and destitute, hair cut and money gone. It was odd to see George Lynch. He was in Dokken, which although they were trying to do the whole fringe jacket and tight pants thing, were somewhat musically talented. Anyway, George Lynch is now an amateur bodybuilder in Arizona, and was probably the most well-spoken of the bunch. He looked totally different with short hair, a tan, and riding around on a mountain bike or lifting weights. It shows you how much you can change in 10 years.

I listened to a tape last night when I was running that I made 10 years ago. Me and this guy Jia used to make comedy tapes, sort of Cheech and Chong types of things, and I dug them out of the closet. I actually listened to a mix I made on the backside of one of our tapes of a lot of the bands I was into in high school. Some of it had classic stuff like Hendrix, Grand Funk, and Led Zeppelin, but it also had some Saxon, Anthrax, and Metallica on there.

I know I’ve changed a lot since high school, but one of the things I miss is that in high school and in a lot of college, I had a real thirst for music. I spent a lot of money on tapes – when I got my first non-food job in high school and started working in the mall, I would buy at least one tape a week, every week. Even then, there were so many other things in the tape racks that I wanted to buy but couldn’t because of money. Now, I can walk into a CD store with a roll of hundreds and not find anything I REALLY want to buy. Sure, I could buy that Black Sabbath back catalog, or the Iron Maiden CDs that I only have on vinyl. But there isn’t a kind of music I LIKE anymore. I don’t know what new stuff I would want to get into. Although there is some cool older stuff, I want something new – something recorded in the digital age, something with good production, a lot of energy, and a reverberance that makes me want to go out and buy all of the artist’s albums. I had this back when metal ruled the world, but now I don’t. There aren’t any metal bands, and I’m not sure I’d even want to listen to them if they were out now. I’m sure they would be some band like Winger with some samples and a drum machine to sound more like Chemical Brothers or something. Oh well – metal caught me unprepared when I first started listening to old Maiden and Motorhead – maybe the next cool thing will, too.