Twenty five years ago, Sting unleashed a cynical lyrical torrent on unsuspecting suburbanites everywhere with “Synchronicity II,” one family’s tale of mind numbing banality in the manicured hinterlands. The location is purposely unidentified because that’s the point of suburbia-it’s not ANYwhere at all—it’s neither the city nor the county, it’s neither cosmopolitan nor is it pastoral, it’s neither hip nor square. It simply IS.
While I had the good fortune not to have to go to war in Southeast Asia during my teens, some of my friends were not so lucky. (Luck, it should be noted, was involved because there was a lottery system enacted, but in its case, the “prize” wasn’t exactly the same as striking it rich via the Big Game or Powerball.) Many of the stories they came back with were too grotesque to contemplate—Coppola’s Apocalypse Now wasn’t an exaggeration or caricature, it seems. One of the things that invariably came up in their stories was the music in the bars.