I used my parents’ van to drive most of what was left up north down to Los Angeles yesterday. Their Honda Odyssey doesn’t have Bluetooth or a USB port for my phone, but it does have Sirius XM, so I listened to the 80’s on 8 for most of the trip. The above song came on just as I was hitting the Grapevine and I got a little emotional, both because it belongs to the fabric of my childhood and because of what’s happened to San Francisco over the last decade. While Starship released “We Built This City” in 1985, I think it’s even more telling of 2018.
One of my best friends, a teacher in San Francisco, said to me this week: “Instead of boosting spiritual growth and creativity, now we’re using LSD to get more work done, for God’s sake. What the fuck happened?”
“Generational shift,” I answered. “It’s no longer our city.”
I thought about that conversation as I drove and listened to the radio, my eyes getting watery. Seventeen years of my life in a place I no longer recognize, while Mickey Thomas asked: “Don’t you remember? We built this city on rock and roll.”
But they don’t remember, Mickey. Nor do they care. In fact, they like it better this way.