19 February 2005
Time travel has long been the stuff that sci fi is made of.
Who wouldn't want to find out what Cleopatra was really like, to see the glory days of Rome, to walk with Socrates, or listen to the Sermon on the Mount? Who isn't curious about prehistoric times, or being with our ancestors as they made that fateful trip to America, looking for a better life.
If you want to read a time travel book that will make your head spin, read "The Man Who Folded Himself," by David Gerrold. His hero receives a special belt as a gift from his uncle. The belt allows him to jump forward and backward in time. It gives a whole new meaning to "meeting yourself coming and going." I once told David it gave me a headache to read it--he said "Imagine how I felt writing it!"
I've never had a special time travel belt, but I did perfect time travel a few years ago.
It was the year when I decided to take my old yellowed journal pages, written during the 10 years from time time Ned was 6 months of age until 10 years later, edit the stories, and put them all into a book that I had hard bound, to give to them for Christmas. (I called it "How I Did It," because people were always saying to me, "I just don't know how you did it, with all those kids!")
"You gave us back our childhood," Ned told me. All the kids read it, and all their friends read it. For a time it was on the "most popular" books with a very small segment of the Davis community!
It was really a fun project. I took out all the "dull" parts, the things that I knew wouldn't really interest the kids, and I concentrated on the fun (and irritating) things that they did, on the stories about birthdays, holidays, vacations, and school antics.
I opened each chapter with an 8x10 photo of the kids taken at about the time that particular chapter started...
...and then throughout the text, I interspersed interesting things like drawings that the kids had made or other things that It hought might interest them.
(I love that Ned made this drawing for Paul years before either of them had thought of forming a band, before Ned took up drumming!)
I was really proud of the end result. I've often thought about having extra copies made, since some have disappeared. But I'm glad to have the ones that we do. (Maybe some day I'll send it off to Lulu and have them make extra copies for me, since I sitll have the original)
It took me a year to put the book together. I would sit here all day, retyping the stories that I typed decades before. When you are re-living things that you've already lived through before, I discovered, as you retype them, your brain is actually back there again in that time period. You almost expect a young child to come in and demand a glass of juice.
Sometimes, I'd spend all day typing the journal and then go out with Walt to a club to watch a Lawsuit concert in the evening. It was a real jolt to see these "babies" that I'd spent the afternoon with up there on stage looking so adult.
It was every bit a "time travel" experience as if I had physically gotten up and actually gone back to revisit those days.
Since Lawsuit ended, since Paul died, and especially since the Internet has expanded and more people have learned how to use search engines, I periodically get e-mail from someone who has been looking for Lawsuit information and stumbles across my journal. Sometimes they are people who are just learning that Paul has died. Sometimes it's a mother or a spouse whose child or spouse was a huge Lawsuit fan and they want to surprise them with the gift of a Lawsuit CD. But the CDs are long gone, alas.
The local used CD store here has a running list of people who have come in looking for Lawsuit CDs and has said that if Lawsuit should decide to make additional copies of the CDs, they could sell them.
But that's a logistical nightmare. The copyrights for the songs are owned jointly by all 10 members of the band (how well I remember the days when they filled out the copyright paperwork and were scrupulous about sharing the ownership of each song). If someone were to buy a CD, there would be no way to do anything with the money. By rights, it should be shared by 10 people, who are scattered across the world right now. The band no longer has a bank account and...well...it would be more of a headache than it was worth.
So Ned decided to set up a "Lawsuit graveyard," a web site where someone could go to read the history of the band, to see tons of photos, to read reviews, to download all of the music and all of the interviews that were done on the radio, and include a forum for people to discuss the band, share special memories, etc.
The project was a deep dark secret from all the band, but Ned let me in on it and asked if I'd help design some web pages.
I took on the job of doing the pages for the reviews and for a couple of other things. It involved several days of being immersed in Lawsuit, of going through photos to decide which were the best ones to use with each review, and to put on that time travel belt and step back to the 10 year period when Lawsuit's hopes were high and the band was riding such a wave of popularity.
For a brief time, Paul was alive again, jumping around the stage to the cheers of the crowds.
For a brief time Dave was alive again, there in the "mosh pit," huge grin on his face, sweat dripping off of his body as he and Tom danced up a storm, often getting the crowds going.
For a brief time, Lawsuit lived again. The guys weren't married with young kids, they were young guys on the brink of life making terrific music and traveling around the country hoping for that one big break that would help them make it onto the big scene.
It was lovely time travel.
I was sorry when my part of the project finished and I had to return to the present day, a time with no Lawsuit, no Paul, and no David. It was a sadder place.
But the Lawsuit Graveyard is really a terrific web site. I hope everyone checks it out. Read some of the reviews. Download some of the music (I'm going to start adding a "Lawsuit song of the day" on here, for anybody who might be interested), read the bios of each of the members of the band, and find out what you missed by not being around for the terrific, if brief, ride that the band had.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The name of this band was LAWSUIT
for the Lawsuit Song of the Day