“I have something for you.”
One of my engineers stopped me when I walked into the office on Thursday. He went into his office and returned with a VHS tape: Xanadu. Olivia Newton-John’s face and windblown hair stared back at me. I was truly happy to see her.
“Xanadu! I haven’t seen this movie since I was in sixth grade.”
I remembered that the two of us had talked about this movie. I was a child when I saw it and he was a father with a child almost my age. He loved the movie so much that he bought it. I was curious to see how well it aged.
I haven’t watched it yet. I am still in that state that loves the movie as only a child could. Olivia Newton-John was the roller-skating muse of music. She inspired Gene Kelly during World War II. I remember her inspiring Andy Gibb to build a roller disco, but when I look at the credits, it looks like that character was played by an actor named Michael Beck. Both IMDB and Amazon have Michael Beck playing the character of Sonny Malone.
I had a BeeGees record player when I was in sixth grade and I remember thinking that I could use that record player to open my own roller disco. Maybe I just made the strange connection to the Brothers Gibb in my own mind.
I remember one scene where there is a competition between the Big Bands and the Rock N Rollers. There was a song for the Big Band people and lots of jitterbug dancing, then there was a song for the Rock N Rollers and lots of modern dance. At the end, the two stages merged into one and the songs merged as well. I could still sing both songs and the merged version for you to this day. It was beautiful. I wanted to be a Big Band singer so much. It’s probably why I’m obsessed with the Andrew Sisters and Peggy Lee to this day.
I remember being so impressed with Gene Kelly playing a clarinet. I’m sure that my adult eyes will see right through that now. In fact, I’ve been procrastinating my viewing just because I don’t want my adult eyes to see right through the magic. I enjoyed that movie so much when I was eleven years old that I can’t imagine it will look the same at thirty-four. I could have rented this movie on my own any time that I wanted, yet I hadn’t watched it.
Now, my engineer has brought this movie in to me. I don’t want to lose the magic, but he is going to ask me if I watched it when I return the tape. He loves Olivia Newton-John and will be disappointed if I don’t love the movie with the same fervor with my adult eyes as I did with my child eyes. Maybe I should just pretend that I watched it.