By Walter S. Coppage
“Hi, welcome to the future. San Dimas, California, 2688. And I’m telling you it’s great here. The air is clean, the water’s clean, even the dirt, it’s clean. Bowling averages are way up, mini-golf scores are way down. And we have more excellent water slides than any other planet we communicate with. I’m telling you this place is great! But it almost wasn’t. You see, 700 years ago, the two great ones, ran into a few problems. So now I have to travel back in time to help them out. If I should fail to keep these two on the correct path, the basis of our society will be in danger.”-Rufus
Last month, I bought the “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” soundtrack for one reason and found another. The film opener “I Can’t Break Away” was good at every viewing since I was in second grade all the way through my midthirties. I hadn’t seen Bill and Ted in a few years but the memory of this song stoked a Pavlovian urge to Amazon Prime the soundtrack to my house.
I cranked it in my CD Player, one of the last people left to not surrender every listening experience to the stream. “I Can’t Break Away” was great but the opening credit cut is perfect next to the album cut.
It was other songs that you only hear snippets of in the film. “Walk Away” by Bricklin is the rocking song that is played to announce Bill and Ted’s presentation. I want that song before any presentation I do forever.
“In Time” by Robbie Robb is the song playing when Bill and Ted accidentally travel to the future that their band saved. This is the world where “the air is clean, the water’s clean, even the dirt, it’s clean” and they’re wearing cool shades and future clothes.
“In Time” has become my favorite song on the soundtrack because it represents more than the musical stylings of Robbie Robb. Every morning I wake up worried about what happened while I slept. An Executive Order? The dismantling of a critical federal agency? The firing of an Attorney General? A Consitutional Crisis in the night. This isn’t the future we were promised. I’m fatigued and exhausted and we could have anywhere from 4-8 years of this if Democratic Norms hold.
“In Time” gives me a one song reprieve of the present and allows me the vision of the future where Bill and Ted saved the world. A world where we have excellent water slides not crumbling bridges and infrastructure. A world where we communicate with other planets not building walls. Maybe 1989 wasn’t the moment for Bill and Ted or 1991. Bill and Ted’s moment is now. Wherever you are, Rufus we need you more than ever.