Way back in the day, I sang in a rock and roll band. As you do in such cases, we lived in a small rented house in the valley with a garage that had been turned into rehearsal space. We filled the space with too much sound and the strident call of guitar solos and screaming vocals filled the neighborhood. For my generation and yes I am a pejorative boomer, this was common. Garage bands we were called. Like most GB’s, these were my friends and brothers and we made music that was our expression of the times. It was our loud siren call. It was in a way, a weird worship service.
One of my best friends was the drummer. We went back to jr. high and high school. His mom was the neighborhood mom. Bob was a cutup and scamp. One day he turns to me with a satire on a song title. He says to me he says: “Armageddon Sentimental Over You.”
For years I have chuckled to myself over this twist, this weird turn of a phrase. And now it means something close to truth. It points in a direction that is perhaps no longer just a funny thought spoke out loud between puff puff pass. Today it is somber look into our cultural mirror.
Buried deep in the satire of Bob’s remark was a prognostication of a time in the far off future that perhaps we never thought we would see. In the days of sex and drugs and rock and roll, we really thought we wouldn’t live that long.
. Deep in the satire is a truth to cling to, not the Armageddon, but the “over you”. There was a tender sentiment in the original title. Back in the day of sunlight and smokey venues it was just a lark, just a laugh. We laughed at it then. We’re not laughing now.