Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – It’s Part of Your Life

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cover

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Quite honestly, this sequel just might be better than the original. Everybody gets the joke now and they pull in even more obscure and wonderful music memories. It was good to see Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone making appearances in this one and hey, it wouldn’t be GuA without continued references to David Hasselhoff.

This movie series may be based on a comic book, but, it’s really for the north of 50-somethings who grew up reading comic books as kids. The real hook pulling us in is all of the great songs they pull out of the 1970s MOR (Middle Of the Road) radio play lists.

Another great aspect of this franchise is they take their cheesiness seriously, not the storyline. Every one of the actors seems to buy into the “this is a triple cheese pizza with cheese stuffed into the crust” guiding light of each installment. Honestly, I hope none of the actors ever get too old to rise to the physical demands of this work. This is one of the few comic book film franchises I hope the studios keep funding and I hope the old codgers picking the play list never run out of dusty old albums to mine for long forgotten tracks. Every pushing 50-something audience member out there has at least one special memory for each song.

How can you not love a movie which slams Microsoft! The one corporation which ruined the world!

Some day this franchise may get around to the bug riddled bloat ware, Windows 3.x being sold as an “operating system” when it clearly wasn’t and the Clinton’s running interference keeping Bill Gates out of his much deserved prison sentence. What? It’s only mail and wire fraud if poor people (i.e. non-donors) commit it?

You Millenials missed it. You had no idea what the Zune found in a trash heap was. In the long list of Microsoft failures of biblical proportions (Microsoft Bob, Microsoft Money, etc.) the Zune is in the top 3. Thankfully there is a deleted scene floating around you can watch. (Windows Mobile, the phone operating system which has been end of lifed without a migration path will remain the reigning champion for some years to come, at least until LinkedIn officially takes its place.) Zune was Microsoft’s ghastly attempt to compete with the Apple iPod and iTunes. That deleted scene should have really been left in the movie.

GUA 2 Zune image

GUA 2 Zune

There can never be enough people dumping on Zune even this long after its end of life.

Of course I was hooked on this movie long before we got to this scene. Early on they played a song which is tied to a long ago memory from my youth, “Lake Shore Drive.” Back in the days when none of our tractors had air conditioning that song always sounded good on the single speaker AM radio even with the dust and engine noise. I always thought the song only did well in the Chicago market, but now I guess everyone else has head it too.

When I was 20-something and literally “fresh off the farm.” I was best friends with an ex-girlfriend (I know, it lacks a certain logic, but there it is) who lived in the northern part of the city. I well and truly hated “the city” back then. One of the main reasons we broke up was the fact it wasn’t worth the hassle of driving all the way from Fox Valley Mall to the north side of the city just for sex. There was (and still is) no sex that good. You had to pay to park, a completely foreign concept to me. Adding insult to injury, where she lived there was no parking to be had so I had to pay for parking at an unattended lot at least 4 blocks away. By then I had a really nice car. Not cool!

She calls me up one really nice day and cajoles me into schlepping into the city to go with her to the NorthAlsted Street Fair. “Oh come on Roland. It’s just like your country fairs. There will be bands and booze and tons of craft vendors. I need to find a watch as a gift for my brother.”

Keep in mind, I was fresh off the farm. If you have never scene pictures or video from this festival, you cannot begin to understand what a massive shock it was for me. Rock Hudson had recently happened, but we didn’t have a decade of “Will & Grace” under our collective belts. In the tiny little place where I grew up there were only whispers of such things. Nobody believable had actually been to any place where such things happened. When we rounded the corner past the convenient store there was nothing in my past which prepared me for deeply tanned guys wearing nothing but sprayed on bike shorts and tennis shoes deeply French kissing.

P starts weaving through this massive crowd and I clutched her finger tips pleading in my mind “Don’t loose me!” She must have darted between a hundred vendor tables. At one vendor table were these women selling hand made, I don’t know what they were really called, even to this day. They looked like some kind of Medieval armor which covers a woman from about the belly button to roughly half way up the breast. They were all wearing them and most in the booth stopped an inch or more short of reaching the metal cup in the front, if you can translate that in your mind. One of the women caught me looking and wrinkled her nose up at me. I do not believe I said it out loud, but I know my mind screamed

Don’t worry lady. You have more hair covering your legs and hanging from your pits than I do. Mr. Happy isn’t going to sleep in the same town where that party happens!

It’s hot. Bartles & Jaymes had recently introduced their tea flavored wine coolers and thankfully someone there was selling them. Too little fluid in the bottle but thank God it was cold!

Just past there we noticed this crowd of guys with massive water pistols standing tightly together. We kind of wonder what was going on. Ahhh, the mounted police. Having grown up on the farm I figured out what they were doing before we got to see it first hand. P looked at me with a wtf look on her face as I saw someone trying to push their way through the now really crowded street. I said “Just wait, it’s about to happen.” Adding to the joy, it was someone in sandals. The tight crowd of guys easily parted only after the person chose to look at them instead of the next step. Bad choice. Next step buried that foot past the ankle in steamy fresh road apples along with a great roar from the crowd.

Oh, for you citified people. It’s a gift left by the horses the mounted police were riding.

road apples image

Road Apples

Did I mention it was north of 90 that day, but the asphalt made it seem well north of 100? That smell was going to be at its peak all day.

At this point P was in full on Princess mode. (Most likely another reason we don’t speak anymore, Princess mode was something she kept growing into, not out of.) We were about to turn the corner at the convenience store and someone stood up on the flatbed to announce a band was about to start, Aliotta Haynes & Jeremiah. I stopped, caught some bitching and said “You can go home, but I want to listen. I’ve always regretted not owning one of their albums.” She then started being entertained by someone who obviously dropped acid and was walking around in a big heavy football jersey muttering things like “their gonna play all their best stuff man.”

It was a bit sad. The band was giving it their all, but they were kind of pas their prime when it came to harmonizing. Still, about 3 songs in they took a bit of a break announcing they had CD’s for sale behind the trailer. I was there. P wanted to go and I said “once I buy a disk.” The guy who sold it to me told me the band would sign it if I waited for another 3 songs until the set was over. P was well past Princess mode by then so I bought my disk and left.

To this day, my life’s biggest regret is not waiting to get this thing signed.

lake shore drive cd image

Lake Shore Drive CD

Lake Shore Drive back cover image

Lake Shore Drive back cover

 

As you can tell by the state of the case, it’s traveled in a lot of rides. Thankfully it was not in the car a 12 year old kid torched on me.

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