' ' Cinema Romantico: A Very Serious Review of Lady Gaga's Top Gun: Maverick Anthem

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A Very Serious Review of Lady Gaga's Top Gun: Maverick Anthem

I couldn’t tell you the first time I dreamed of flying a plane and what prompted it. It might have been touring the SAC Museum in Omaha or the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as a kid, but more likely it was Luke Skywalker making his target run, or Maverick putting on the brakes so they could fly right by, or perhaps most realistically Snoopy envisioning himself as the WWI Flying Ace. That beagle had an active imagination and so did I. All I know is that any dreams I might have once harbored about flight pretty much died the day during an adolescent game of backyard football when I removed my glasses during a rainstorm and fired a pass to what I thought was my best friend running something approximating a crossing route only to hear the pigskin thwack off a tree. If you’re throwing passes to trees, you probably shouldn’t be strapped into a cockpit. That all came to back me last week as I waited to board my flight at the Duluth International Airport back to Chicago. After all, the Duluth Air National Guard is housed on the airport’s grounds, and as I sat twiddling my thumbs (looking at my phone), a couple F-16s thundered down the runway and into the sky, the takeoff so loud the windows I was watching them through rattled. “What,” I wondered, “would that feel like.” Mentally, I sighed for, surely, I’d never know.

After I settled into my seat aboard the tiny regional airliner and we taxied out to the runway, I suddenly remembered that earlier that morning I had downloaded the just-dropped Lady Gaga track – “Hold My Hand” – off the forthcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” soundtrack. What better way to christen my ears with it than during takeoff? I put on my headphones, taking that moment that I do before listening to any new Gaga track to appreciate the fact that I’m about to listen to a new Gaga track, and cued it up. And as our elbow room-less little aircraft lifted into The Gopher State air and Gaga pulled the throttle forward to that first rendition of the chorus, I could have sworn, for four bars there, our Air Wisconsin Canadair Regional Jet eclipsed the sound barrier. 

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