Friday, March 25, 2011
Mentioned over in a thread at Lowetide's the other day that I'm watching a show on Bravo called Rock and Roll Stories. Its three hours looking at the scene in Toronto in the fifties and sixties.
I watched the first show and it was really well done. Interviews with Robbie Robertson and Ronnie Hawkins and numerous other musicians and hangers on. When I watch shows like this I'm always struck most of all by the passing of time. Seeing Robertson has a skinny smirking teenager or Hawkins as a young man with thick black hair and a thuggish grin and then seeing them now is a startling reminder that a half century has passed and they are old men now. Robertson still looks good as he tells anecodotes in that laconic way he has while Hawkins is fat and pasty and white bearded, his raspy coughs telling the story of thousands and thousands of cigarettes and the lung disease that will come for him one day.
Even more interesting though are the changes in the city itself. Yonge Street is the centre of it all, a brawling, boozy, neon jaunt peopled with musicians and thieves, wise guys and kids out to have a good time, as kids always will. Its the Yonge Street of legend, not the strip I came to in the mid eighties, strip clubs and head shops, record stores and sex shops and rub and tugs. And now, twenty five years after I first walked it, Yonge Street is changing again, losing some of that seedy grandeur.
I've always been fascinated by the history of a city. A grocery store that I used to go to when I was a student, now long gone itself, had large photos on its walls of the neighbourhood as it looked at the turn of the twentieth century, muddy paths wending through empty fields and climbing the plateau where St Clair Avenue runs today. The odd shack or farmhouse. Young men, dirty with work, grinning, squinting in the sun, all long gone now. Best grocery store ever.
When you have small children time comes into focus. Life is hectic so you suddenly realize, as we did last night, that we've had nobody over to our house for dinner or drinks in months, even though we had no idea that this was the case. You look at pictures of the family from last summer and while we look the same basically (Jenn is skinnier and I am a little greyer, soon you may call me the Silver Fox) the kids look totally different, especially our youngest. Five or six months ago the boy could not skate, our oldest could barely swim, our youngest could barely talk. Now they have all mastered these skills. I plan for the future as best I can and realize that ten years from now my little sweetheart, my first child, will be finishing high school. And there will be boys coming around and I will be forced to threaten them with violence.
That's not that far away. And then I realize that twenty five years ago I was just finishing up high school myself and now here I am, I've been married ten years this summer. And my old man will be eighty next summer and he and my mom will mark fifty years together.
And then I start thinking about the circle of life and how there's a time to reap and a time to sow and a time to laugh and a time to mourn and I wonder how the hell they actually made a reasonable musical out of The Lion King, with the stilts and the costumes and all of that crazy shit. And then I think that its the weekend finally, thank fuck for that, and I think I'll have a bottle of wine tonight and read a good book and this weekend I'll hang out with my kids because my wife is working all weekend but thats okay because she makes good money. And I think about that glass of brandy I had last night and how good Jenn's ass looked in those new jeans when she got back from a dinner out, all flushed and boozy and how we had a good time last night, we still have it and that is a great great thing.
Sing it Elton.
Oh man, talk about time passing slowly, five years out of the playoffs and the Oilers playing out the string with Hall and Hemsky and Whitney and Gagner and Horcoff all out and Fraser is the second line centre and Ryan Jones is playing twenty minutes a night and Strudwick is in the lineup and its 2007 all over again. Its painful.
There's nothing left but to see if Eberle can score twenty and if the young Finn gets his first and really other than watching Hartikainen there's really nothing left to do. The team is beyond awful and all we can hope is that nobody gets seriously hurt.
I am looking forward to this tournament that they hold every spring where teams get to play for the Stanley Cup. Should be fun. Its wide open. Would be nice if the Oilers, you know, made an appearance someday.
For us, us poor Oilers' fans, its all about the offseason. About which veterans get bought out or moved along, which teenagers get picked at the draft, which kids turn pro and have a shot at making it next season. Early returns say that Petry and the Finn will be in the lineup next fall, Teemu has already eaten Jacques' lunch, not that that in itself is any great feat and I would bet that we see see Petry beside Whitney come September.
That's what passes for excitement these days.
Son of a bitch.
Posted by Black Dog at 1:50 PM