In theory I have nothing wrong with Huey Lewis and the News. Like, light beer and rice cakes; he served a purpose despite being light and unfulfilling. I’ll even admit that in younger and more naïve days I once actually shoved a Huey Lewis cassette in my truck’s radio (though never in public).
(Note: those of you who aren’t quite as dinosaur-like as me can review the novel concept of a “cassette tape” by going to the Smithsonian and looking for objects classified as; “It was cool back then and people laugh at it now”. This includes medical leeches, Sony cassettes, and a form of black arts called shortwave.)
Of course I soon came to my senses and Huey Lewis wound up in the dirt on the truck’s floor amid empty cans and bits of wiring that had fallen out of the dash. I’d somehow acquired a Steppenwolf tape and (in the words of the Doors) “broke on through to the other side”. (Get your head out of the gutter, I’m not talking about getting stoned and dancing naked at Woodstock…I’m just talking about music that doesn’t suck.)
Fast forward several millennia. Recently I found myself en route from my secret rural bunker in an undisclosed location to a city which shall be unnamed. This was the beginning leg of a multi-week, multi-state, multi-mode trip. Tragically, (nearly unforgivably!) I was not on my motorcycle. This was because I had my kid with me and at some point I was forced to accept that two weeks of luggage and a kid aren’t compatible with rocketing down the road on a lightning bolt of cool (if I have to explain you wouldn’t understand).
Bravely trying to save face I commandeered my kid’s iPod (which was plugged into a Honda Hatchback) and clicked it over to “Born to be Wild”. Immediately my spirits soared and somehow the little Honda was going a mite faster than wise. The trip itself is indeed an adventure to my kid so he was in the spirit of the moment. Soon the inside of our unassuming little puddle jumper was vibrating with two out of pitch male voices screaming ‘Get yer’ motor runnin’!!!!”.
All was well with the world. Sure I wasn’t on my beloved bike. Sure I’m a fat balding middle management schmuck who works some of the time in fabric covered beige boxes. Sure I’m (how did this happen) a…gasp…dad…but I can still howl at the moon! And who wouldn’t enjoy hearing their son belt out “fire all of yer’ guns at once and explode into space…”?
The happy haze lasted 50 miles. I love Steppenwolf. My kid does too (following my example if for no other reason). I’m road trippin baby!
Then my subconscious interrupted my happy reverie. You know how a song gets stuck in your head? A song I hadn’t heard in ten years drifted into my mind and took root. “It’s hip to be square.” Huey Lewis, that evil monster, somehow knew that I was “square”. (Under “square” in the dictionary it says “When a generic slob in a hatchback hopelessly clings to a mental state of adventure”.) Mr. Lewis struck with superb precision…that focus grouped monster! Be warned. He’s in your head too. Set down the Viking Hammer for one minute and you’ll quit hearing the echoes of Ragnarok and hear Huey’s bubbly voice. It’s there like elevator music on the way to Purgatory. You’ve been warned.