Thank You, Godzilla
When I became a father for the first time, I thought fatherly wisdom would just fall from the sky. I thought I would have all the answers, my patience would be unlimited, and every moment with my son would be an excerpt from a Hallmark special. It was quite a rude awakening for me when I realized that wasn’t going go happen. In fact, I really didn’t handle the first five years very well. The screaming, crying, tantrums, sleepless nights, and days of cleaning up poop, piss, and barf really took a toll on me. I was starting to wonder when the bonding moments between father and son would finally kick in. I knew it had to happen eventually. I just didn’t expect it to happen thanks to Godzilla.
If you haven’t heard the Blue Oyster Cult song Godzilla, then you haven’t heard perfection. It’s one of those rare songs when you think to yourself that no other band could possibly sing the song and get away with it. In this case, B.O.C. went out of their way to write cool lyrics about Godzilla and make their guitars sound like the gigantic lizard himself was in the room. Sure, there are times when I think for a split second that Guns N Roses or maybe Alice in Chains could have done it, but it wouldn’t have been the same. Maybe good, maybe great, but still different.
Understanding my love for Godzilla, imagine my excitement when I realized my now five-year-old, Andrew, loved the song as much as I did. I found out one day when I was singing it around the house, and when I got to the line, “He picks up a bus and he throws it back down” and Andrew burst out laughing. He thought that line was absolutely hilarious. I’m not even sure why, but I’m pretty sure it’s not important. What I do know is I finally had one of those rare moments that I mistakenly thought happened every other second. I sang the song a few more times, and every time I got to that line, he laughed like it was the first time he heard it. For me, it was pure magic. Andrew still asks me to sing the song a few times a day. If I sing just the lyrics and leave out the sound effects, he’ll reprimand me, “No, Daddy, with the noises please.”
One day I thought it would be fun to watch a video on YouTube of Blue Oyster Cult singing our song. So I entered “Blue Oyster Cult Godzilla” and got about four or five solid hits. I clicked on one that looked like a cartoon version. It started off innocously enough, but quickly shifted to disturbing images from the actual movies of Godzilla knocking over buildings and people screaming bug-eyed and running for their lives. I quickly hit the stop button, and Andrew asked, “Is it over?” He was disappointed, but I knew I made the right decision.
You see as a kid I had horrific nightmares of Godzilla. They would always start off the same with Godzilla’s signature wail, natch. I would look out my bedroom window and the giant lizard would be wading through the buildings directly toward my house with the singular goal of flattening 40 Stillson Place and crushing me and my family. My only recourse was to jump out my bedroom window onto the garage and run for my life. For whatever reason, I usually made it, but I would always wake up with my heart racing, sweating profusely, and wondering why the fuck my night light wasn’t on. I didn’t want that to happen to Andrew.
So I clicked the stop button. Of course a little piece of me felt bad, so later that week I went to the local electronics store and bought Guitar Hero Smash Hits for the XBox 360. It contains the original master track of Godzilla. Andrew and I love playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band together, so I thought this would be perfect. Of course I didn’t actually plug in his guitar because he plays like shit, and he would have ruined the song, but he didn’t need to know that. I’ll tell him when he’s older when he can handle that kind of truth, along with scary videos of giant lizards demolishing entire neighborhoods without causing recurring nightmares. Thank you, Godzilla for that. But thank you also for helping me bond with my son and giving me that elusive moment that I was looking for.