Time, The Alan Parsons Project and Friday Night with Youtube

June 28, 2008

How did I start thinking about The Alan Parsons Project tonight? Well, it was because the ioWest was hit with an SUV on Thursday. Let me sum up…wait, let me explain.

I just woke up from a Friday evening nap, one of life’s little pleasures. Every once in a while, like tonight, I’ll try to fight it, thinking, I must stay awake, it’s a Friday night. Then cool, calm rationality takes over, or as I call it, sleep.

So, then I head over to the ol’ internet just to see what is happening. Looking over the Big News board, I realize that I’ll have a lot of time for my own writing in the next couple of weeks as the ioWest is repaired (as will a lot of folks.) I must have been in a reflective mood anyway as I had just viewed an interview of George Carlin by Ralph Kiner on the youtube and started to read an account of how the poet Billy Collins was inspired by one of my all-time favorites, Looney Tunes.

So, immediately I went to my own history and started to think of my first favorite band, The Alan Parsons Project, since “Time” was one of their biggest hits. I think I first was exposed to the song on a collection of hits called “Dimensions” from that great compiler of hits, K-Tel Records. As with most things from your youth, it is probably more fondly remembered than it is. I looked at the lyrics, and saw there wasn’t a whole bunch there.

However, there was enough there for me to use it as my interpretive song for a drama class in high school. I got an A- and surprisingly didn’t have my lunch money stolen afterwards.

While looking for the lyrics, I saw there was a youtube link. That’s when the nostalgia started flowing like the Mississippi River during flood stage. The video, with “Time” playing underneath, had a ton of cool nature images. The fourth one got me to sit up and watch closer as I swore it was a view of Maroon Lake near Aspen. (As I write, I confirmed it isn’t, but still the journey starts there, and even a journey that starts under false pretenses is still a journey, or am I getting too metaphysical? Let’s just get “Physical” and go on with the show. Cue the lights….)

From there, it was just one long trip. Watching a turntable spin “Eye in the Sky” and thinking of all the old vinyl that I had. Watching “Don’t Answer Me” and thinking of Lichtenstein, how animation has changed and how a good story still is the base on which those images rely. Watching “Let’s Talk About Me” and realizing that some things are better left in the past. Watching “Prime Time” and feeling somewhere in between.

Favorite bands change and even now, I am not without sheepishness to admit to a past love, and even a bit of a current one, for The Alan Parsons Project or later groups like Hall and Oates, Night Ranger, David Lee Roth and Dokken. I’m not even sure if I can say that I like the music as much as the memories. Remind me to tell you about Butch someday.

So, now it’s 11 pm and I’m fully awake. I just loaded “The Best of The Alan Parsons Project Volume 2” from my old CD technology into my itunes (which is surprisingly categorized as rock, and looking at “The Turn of a Friendly Card”, progressive rock even), so that I can take some of those travels again as I shuffle songs or feel the siren call of Eric Woolfson calling me back to my childhood.