Archive for Apollo 11

(More Than) 40 Years Out: Tranquility Base Here

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Buzz Aldrin on the moon, 1969.

On this day in 1969, man set foot on the moon for the very first time. Looking at the photographs the astronauts shot that day, the moon seems like a fairly peaceful place. In fact, they called the landing site “Tranquility Base.”

Back on Earth, things weren’t so tranquil. Americans marched on Washington, D.C., to protest our involvement in the Vietnam War. The story of the My Lai massacre, where women and children were lined up in a ditch and shot, broke in the news. British troops were deployed to try and calm tensions in Northern Ireland. And so on.

It seemed like, on that one Sunday afternoon and evening, everything and everyone in the world just kind of stopped – if only for a few minutes, while two humans kicked up dust on the lunar surface. Many of us watched the shadowy figures on TV, live and in glorious grainy black and white.

Probably nobody really stopped what they were doing, but a teenager in Texas back then thought it would have been really cool if they did. And if we would have paid attention for a while, maybe we would have stopped fighting and yelling long enough share a little bit of wonder and pride in human accomplishment.

For just a minute or two … then we could get right back to killing each other. Which is what happened anyway.

Maybe one day we’ll go back to the moon, but many people will tell you there are infinitely more important ways to spend our time and money. And I suppose they are right. Still, somebody is going to get back there eventually. Tranquility Base will always be there, ready and waiting for us to start dreaming again.

MP3: “Moonlight” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

MP3: “Yellow Moon” (live) by the Neville Brothers

MP3: “Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins” by The Byrds

MP3: “Silver Moon” by Michael Nesmith & the First National Band

MP3: “Halo ‘Round The Moon” by Steve Earle

MP3: “Moon Dawg” by The Beach Boys

MP3: “Man On The Moon” by R.E.M.

MP3: “Moonlight Drive” (live) by The Doors

MP3: “Armstrong” by John Stewart

MP3: “Blue Moon” by Elvis Presley

MP3: “Kiko and the Lavender Moon” by Los Lobos

MP3: “Bark At The Moon” by Ozzy Osbourne

MP3: “Mountains Of The Moon” (live) by The Grateful Dead

MP3: “Brain Damage/Eclipse” by Pink Floyd

The Day We Took the Giant Step

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2009 by 30daysout

I remember I was in ninth grade … and the pictures came in black and white on TV.  The men on the moon jumped, worked and shuffled through the lunar dust.  They placed a flag on the moon and left behind a plaque with their names and the name of the President of the United States.  So someday some space traveler will find some pristine junk on the airless lunar surface with the names of the three great explorers – and Richard M. Nixon.

Continue reading