After 43 years of traveling through space at the speed of light, the crew and I aboard the SS ‘Boston’ have finally reached our destination; a brand new planet for humanity to colonize. Along the way, we each brought some of our favorite records to listen to. I decided to bring Boston’s self-titled debut, and with all the out-of-this-world noises that songwriter Tom Scholz strings along on guitar with the soothing and conversely epic melodies and harmonies of singer Brad Delp, I couldn’t have made a better choice.
The spaceship finally touched down on the planet about ten minutes ago. A brief amount of turbulence and we could finally have some Peace of Mind. I keep constantly wondering at what we’ll find on this new planet. A semi-intelligent extraterrestrial species? New lifeforms? What new challenges we’ll encounter? As I can see, the planet is rich with lush green forestry, a gorgeous blue sky, scattered clouds and a whole lot of room for human colonization. Maybe we could finally build our sky structures, arrow-shaped objects that point and expand upwards for gravitational and life-support purposes.
After a week of initial set-up for the spaceship to transform into a working and residency center, the crew finally has some time off. Today and tomorrow, the captain said. I decided that this would be a perfect time to take out my old turntable and play my Boston record. Alone in my room and laying in bed, a smile comes over my face as I daydream finally listening to the songs of my teenage years and where I am today.
I had to reset my turntable and adjust all the measurements, but once I finished, I placed the record carefully in the middle of the platter. The tonearm slowly swung to the first track, and I closed my eyes, memories of fond relationships and familiar places flashing through my mind. Eventually, as ‘Peace of Mind’ closes out, the crescendo organ melody at the start of ‘Foreplay/Longtime’ begins, and I think back to my days as an Elementary school student, dreaming away at visiting distant solar systems, seeing the Pillars of Creation, and witnessing the creation of a new galaxy, from afar, of course.
Today, I’m one step closer to seeing all of these things. For years I dreamed of this moment as a kid, and now it’s finally my reality. I often think of how, but I’d always been chasing this dream, even when I failed. Always been pushing, even when I succeeded. It’s not where you can be, it’s what you can see that takes you their, your destination. Yes, I know that’s a Third Stage reference, but I love Boston as a band.
As ‘Longtime’ ends and the tonearm’s needle slowly draws to the center, I lift the tonearm and flip the record over to side two. ‘Rock N’ Roll Band’, the best of my teenage years, hits with a big guitar intro and never really relents. The song morphs with the guitar solo, and I imagine the connection between the guitar solo and where I am here on a new planet. It seems fitting; the band signed their record deals right as I signed up to work with the International Space Station. The hyperspace effects coming from the guitar are intense, and that’s how I imagined space could sound, even though we can’t hear outside of our spaceship. All of this as we blasted through space faster-than-light under the age-retention usefulness of cryostasis.
Someone over the intercom blares out an announcement, and the crew is eager to see what has been mentioned. ” A new dinosaur species has been discovered, and it’s over 300 feet tall a mile away from the station.” Of course, there’s a wide variety of flora, fauna, plant and animal life. But this is the first up close dinosaur we’ve ever seen.
Excitement runs through me regarding what this dinosaur looks like, and I run to one of many exit doorways and proceed outside to look at this new dinosaur. I don’t know what to call it, but a fellow crew member offers to take me up for a closer view, so I hitch a ride and go on my way. ‘Let Me Take You Home Tonight’ and ‘Smokin” are running through my head as the crew on the land vehicle approach the behemoth of a dinosaur. The dinosaur is eating the leaves off the trees, and we watch in. This dichotomy between familiarity and awesomeness has me in shock. I think to myself,” Who am I to find music and exploration so magnanimous and massive?”
We view this massive creature for several minutes, and after some photos we return back to the space-station. After a few hours of documentation, I return to my room and finish listening to the other two tracks I missed. ‘Something About You’ reminds me of that girl I used to know from ‘More Than a Feeling’. I wish I could’ve taken her with me to this new world and we could’ve kissed, but alas, we can’t have everything we want. In the meantime, several physicists here are trying to develop technology to send instant messages to Earth so we can still communicate from light-years of distance. Hopefully I’ll be able to communicate with her again, and soon.
As dawn approaches and a new day comes, the record needle stops and drifts back to the center. side two finishes, and I carefully place the LP back in its sleeve and put it on my nightstand next to my bed. We were only allowed to take one LP, as we needed to have what was very close to us to truly survive and thrive on this new planet. Of course, some people opted not to take LPs and preferred to take video games, movies, or books, but I decided that I would want to take the power of music as my item.
An item made to play music, just as I reflect and see this new planet.
May Boston guide our curiosity and space-station through time immemorial.