Listen: God “My Pal” (1987)
This might be my favorite song out of all the songs from the incredible 1980’s underground rock era that infested dingy bars and dangerous night clubs world wide…one of the most exciting and creative periods in the entire history of rock’n’roll, a gloriously analog time that is almost completely forgotten for that very reason, because we now live in a digital universe. Only those who were there remember it, just as only those who were there remember the days when vaudeville or radio or live television was the most happening thing ever. Digital lives forever, analog disappears as records become unplayable and cassette tapes disintegrate. Maybe one tenth of one tenth of one tenth of all the music of that time survives on CD or YouTube. Entire scenes have disappeared without a trace. It’ll take archeologists to dig through all the basements and storage bins and closets where the remains lie, in worn out old 45’s or piles of flyers or boxes full of mix tapes. We called them compilation tapes then, and they’re like time capsules. You find one and if it still plays you can hear your past life. I have this song on cassette, one I put together, all this ancient music pouring out. I still have the 45 too. And I have my memories. It was a glorious time to be alive–those of us who survived it, anyway–and for some reason, it has all crystalized for me in this one song, which I first heard some thirty years ago when this record magically appeared in the mail all the way from Melbourne, Australia, and I slipped it on the turntable and listened to it over and over and over.