Saturday, July 13, 2013

We Built This City

Last night was one of those "full circle" nights. Allow me to explain...

I have loved music since before I can even remember. This is not an exaggeration. I can, however, tell you that one of my first embedded musical memories involves Starship. Not Jefferson Starship... Starship.

My family and I were visiting our friends in New Jersey -- the Nolans. We loved this family. Still do. We don't get to see them nearly enough, but the love is still there. So, we were visiting, and I can remember being in my friend Colleen's room when she put a Starship record on and started playing "We Built This City." I can remember thinking, "Wait a minute now, what's all of this?!" It's important to remember that it was probably 1985 and I was 7 years old. This was literally the coolest thing I could have heard. And it was. I can remember dancing around like a fool. A FOOL.

When I saw Starship last night in Hamden, history repeated itself. After a full concert, Jenn and I were heading out because it had started to rain, but we were both hoping to hear the iconic song, so we walked really slowly back to the car. At the last possible moment, I heard the familiar wail from the stage: "WE BUILT THIS CITY!" I screamed, "YES!!!!!!" and ran back toward the stage to take a short video (after dancing around with my lawn chair in my arms.) Twenty-eight years later... different venue... different good friend... SAME DANCE.

Full circle night.

I recorded what I could after my dance (and before it started to pour):

I should address that I am aware of what most people think of this song. Here are two stats:

In 2011 a Rolling Stone magazine online poll named "We Built This City" as the worst song of the 1980s. The song's winning margin was so large that the magazine reported it "could be the biggest blow-out victory in the history of the Rolling Stone Readers Poll".

The defunct magazine Blender's ranking of the song as the worst song ever was in conjunction with a VH1 Special of The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever. In order to qualify for the distinction, the songs on the list had to be a popular hit at some point, thus disqualifying many songs that would by consensus be considered much worse. 

It doesn't matter. This song, for some reason, changed things for me. And I remember that moment. I remember that dance. And I am an avid music lover with a vast music collection. So, I promise that you can like "We Built This City" and still be well-versed in music. I am happy to show my iTunes library (and my dance) to anyone who disagrees.

Here is a bonus video of Nothing's Gonna Stop Us, which also holds great memories for me:

Definitely impressed and pleasantly surprised with last night's concert. My familiar refrain is always, "They don't make music like that anymore." But at least the ones who made the music to begin with are still putting it out there.

Jenn, thank you for standing in the rain with me.

Colleen, thank you for being one of the catalysts in my lifelong love affair with music.

Starship, as long as you promise you won't retire the music, I promise I won't retire the dance.


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