Sunday, October 09, 2005

Weezer and The Foo Fighters at CSU...? Then Rodney McDangerfield sez: "Hey, everybody, I'm going Back to School!"

"All my life, I've been searching for something. Something never comes, never leads to nothing. Nothing satisfies, but I'm getting close - Closer to the prize at the end of the rope. All night long, I dream of the day - When it comes around, then it's taken away. Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most - The feeling comes to life when I see your ghost..."

I never really got excited about "journalism" in any way, shape or form. There are only fond scattered memories of a simpler time as my tenure as Sports Editor at The Cleveland State University Cauldron student newspaper. I never got into it, like so many others did, for "a career." To me, it was more about belonging to something ...anything. It was, to me, more about saying something that mattered in a socially relevant, if not satirical, manner - back in a time when we didn't even know who or what The Onion or The Daily Show was...

Just like with Bill Murray in "Ghostbusters," to me journalism wasn't so much a science as it was "a dodge or a hustle" to vent my creative musings to a larger audience for my own selfish gratification ...and, hey, get paid to do so.

So when I returned to my alma mater, Cleveland State, last night to attend the Foo Fighters in concert, a flood of old feelings washed over me again that I haven't felt for some time. Oh, sure, they've reappeared in other shapes and forms, like The Free Times or The Second City, but there's just something special - something you can never forget - about your first true love...

I've gone on to slip in and out of the realm of Cleveland journalism over the years, taking each tiny victory whenever I was fortunate enough to grasp the opportunity. But The Cauldron was always the best and brightest memory for me shining brightly in a foggy Cleveland landscape - free of petty politics, corporate greed and the need for the constant flow of advertising dollars - no matter what the cost.

Actually, we had our petty politics, like any dysfunctional family would in a "bunker mentality" situation. But also, like any family, we pulled together and set aside our squabbling when it mattered most.

In a town where most "media personalities" have more DUI's than Emmys (Hey, we all falter at times, nobody's perfect), it's been hard to find a source for inspiration and guidance. Oh, sure, when I was an Editorial Assistant at The Free Times, I came in contact with some great talent at that time. But even though my primary duty was translating Harvey Pekar's "chicken scratches" written in a #2 pencil from paper to page, I never had much contact with him. He would stop in during office parties once in a while to scarf some free food, grumble something, and then be on his way - but a Master Yoda to me he was not... nor was it his responsibility to do so. I'm sure, in his own way, he is a nice enough guy (and "American Spendor" was an awesome movie).

And as for myself-? Well, I get no respect! (But, in truth, I've hardly earned it).

So walking through the old campus tonight (built with concrete, more concrete, and love) I couldn't help but feeling teleported back to that age of magic. I guess old feelings never die, they just lie dormant in the back of your brain until something triggers them back tonight. As a rush of adrenaline raced through my veins, it took everything in my power not to race up the steps of the Viking Hall dormitories and start pounding on the doors: "Hey, everybody, come on out - I'm reviewing tonight's concert for a newspaper and I need your help - and, oh yeah - bring Jell-O shots!"

To which the startled tenants would most likely respond: "Get lost, you weirdo, before we call the cops!"

That's the spirit!!! (Sigh) The reality is, I don't know how Jane Scott did this for all those years. I'm only in my thirties now, and at times, I feel like saying: "I need your help, Luke. I'm getting too old for this sort of thing..."

But enough boring Episode I prequel babble: on to the concert! I have to say that Weezer was fantastic - and I didn't even go to see them, but those crazy kids put on a helluva show! "The Sweater Song," "Buddy Holly" and "Beverly Hills" are all enjoyable enough songs - and "Hash Pipe" (my favorite) got the crowd lathered into a frenzy as the opening appetizer for the upcoming Foo Fighter feast.

Dave Grohl is fantastic - a stage presence to be reckoned with, unlike the bullshit and self-pretence of, say, U2's Bono (a tip of the hat to rock journalist, Peter Chakerian, for that one). The entire Foo clan was electric, positively charged, and ready to bring the goods - they did and they delivered, much to the delight of their fans.

"Many years ago, on June 19th, 1969, my mom brought a baby into this world in Warren, Ohio," Grohl screached to the Buckeye crowd. "And she brought me into this world to ROCK YOUR FUCKING ASSES OFF!!!"

I have to say that The Foo Fighters concert at Cleveland State was probably one of the best concerts I have seen in my limited lifetime - it rocked the galaxy. And when they played, "Everlong," set to a lightshow that dazzled the senses and would make Spielberg envious, I have to say I must have felt like what my favorite uncle, Dick Feagler, felt like the first time he heard "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" - live and in person! (Sorry, Uncle Dick!)

So, I guess, it's times like these you learn to live again. Nothing can bring back the past to the present - life doesn't work that way. And even though a flood of great memories make me yearn (did I just say "yearn"?!?) for days gone by - days when the catchphrase "C-Ya! Get Rocked!" was all the rage on my former college campus - you can't relive the past. You can only keep it close - to keep you warm in fond remembrance of those rare brief snipets in time.

And, with that, I'll leave you with this passing quote that a great man once uttered:

"Shakespeare for everybody!"

Goodnight, Cleveland!

"And I wonder... When I sing along with you - If everything could ever feel this real forever-? If anything could ever be this good again-? The only thing I'll ever ask of you - You've got to promise not to stop when I say ...when."


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At 8:00 AM, Blogger Theresa said...

How odd that you were just the "next blog" over from mine, I live in Ohio, I'm listening to Weezer "we are all on drugs on Yahoo right now, saw that concert last weekend, and for the last week have been singing "breathe out, so I can breathe you in" and "promise me you won't stop when I say when..." just weird.

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