By definition, nostalgia is hopelessly uncool. After all, whatever's hip is usually whatever's new -- unless the current hip trend is retro, in which case what's hip is what people think might have been cool a few decades ago. Confusing, huh? But being trendy is a full-time job. In the end, letting out a wistful sigh over what you used to wear, whether it was a polyester leisure suit or a poodle skirt, will get you nowhere.
Still, most people hang on to those high-school yearbooks and even pull the dusty tomes down from the shelves every now and again to thumb through all the little notes from classmates. Nostalgia's not just a passing craze, and given the basic rules of the G.O.D. Syndrome (that's Good Ol' Days Syndrome), the past gets better the older one gets.
That's what makes events such as NostalgiaFest 2002 so successful. Were the Turtles really so good the first time around? The band was such a Byrds rip-off that its name was originally the Tyrtles. And yet the singing duo of Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, rechristened Flo and Eddie after some time spent in Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention following the Turtles years, will no doubt receive a warm welcome when they perform at the festival as Sunday's headline act. Headlining Saturday is Blood, Sweat and Tears, which should have changed its name to the David Clayton-Thomas Experience more than 25 years ago. Not a single original member, including Clayton-Thomas himself, who joined after the band's first album came out, remains in the group. But once again, folks who fondly remember Blood, Sweat and Tears' shining moments of 1967 and '68 will think fondly of the performance.
Along with the musical acts, NostalgiaFest features more than 150 booths of nostalgia and craft items, food, games, contests, prize drawings, and a large children's area, for all the little people who have no idea who's performing on stage, what with the absence of anything in a baby T and hot pants.