I think my dear colleague Torben and I have been working together a little too closely for a little too long, and I think we’ve been left to ourselves for a little too long.. And, in that process, have developed our own strange tastes, sense of humor and perceptions of the world and how it should be. We may also have developed a strange liking for everything out of the 80’s and a somewhat common conception of what us cult and what is not.. Strangely, most normal people don’t seem to quite follow our line of thought.
Take the other night for example. We were just going about our own business, minding our work and listening to the radio.. We’ve reached a strange kinda compromise regarding the radio, I should mention. It hasn’t been easy between someone who is mostly a rock freak and someone who mostly listens to pop, but we’ve managed to find a classic pop station, featuring hits mainly from the 80’s and early 90’s.. It’s okay.. While rock is mostly my game, I am and always will be a child of the 80’s, so 80’s pop tickles me in strange ways.. Anyways, we’re sitting there, doing our work, drinking our coffee and playing our game of occasionally calling out strange company names or addresses we stumble upon.. And I get to thinking.. And, as we all know by now, that’s usually not a good thing.
“Y’know,” I ponder out loud, “they’ve played all the classics now.. For days on end.. But not ONCE have they played St. Elmo’s Fire! For shame!” – “TRUE!,” Torben chimed in within a tick: “SCANDALOUS!” – “But,” he continued: “If they won’t play it, we will! Put down your work, we’re gonna find this song, bring out your laptop, you must have it!”
And so, as it’s been known to happen before, all productivity came to a complete halt as Torben and I set out on yet another strange mini quest. This time a quest for a working, decent copy of John Parr’s legendary song St Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion). Initial search of my music collection (strangely enough) proved effortless and as such our search expanded. Within minutes all work computers were pointed towards various pay services and streaming sites in an illusive search for a 20+ year old Billboard hit. Which, believe it or not, proved exceedingly difficult to find.. Apparently no one shared our fascination with this gem of a classic pop tune because we seemed to be completely denied the option of purchasing the song.. Despite numerous services carrying entire John Parr albums and what not.. Hey, what gives?
Frustration build, as did the minutes of inactivity.. Well, inactivity from work-related projects anyways. Eventually, I started searching Youtube, thinking that there should at least be a music video for the damn song.. Again, no luck.. Well, no real luck anyways.. After even more searching and some ten damn minutes of work standstill, we eventually settled for the best we could find. A horrible quality, obvious play back version of the song from some long-forgotten 80’s TV-show with barely tolerable sound quality so low that we really needed to crank the speakers to make anything out of it…
Which we, of course, did.. Cranked my work PC speakers as loudly as they’d go, put on the video, hit play and got our ROCK on.. Well, our POP on, I guess.. And incidentally that is, of course when people started pouring into the office..
So there we were, the two of us in the middle of the room, a horrible recording of an old 80’s hit blasting from a pair of old, beaten speakers, our heads turned towards the ceiling, fists pumping in the air, horrible off key screams of “I’ll be where the eagle’s flyin’ higher and HIGHEEEEEEER. Gonna be your MAN IN MOTION, All I need is a pair of wheels, Take me where the FUTURE’S LYIN’ … SAINT ELMO’S FIIIIIREEEEE!!!!” …. Only to hear a small “Ahem-hem!”, pause in our tracks and look around us to see a rather perplexed looking cleaning lady staring at us along with a somewhat scared looking very young man from the warehouse who was evidently looking to buy some candy from our little candy shop operation and some random people from downstairs who seemed to have been alarmed by the commotion and rushed upstairs to figure out what on earth was going on.
“Errrm…,” I ventured: “It’s St. Elmo’s Fire..” – “We. umm, we don’t get a lot of company up here at night,” Torben chimed in as we rather quietly, heads bend and all, returned to our seats, one classic pop experience richer.. Sometimes I really think we need to get out more.
EDIT: Watching this again, I realize that the long-forgotten TV show I mention might actually be Top of the Pops, my apologies!