I don’t think growing old sucks. Let me qualify that statement. I don’t want to be OLD old. And if you had lived your life like I have lived mine, you would fear death more than the average Joe. But in my opinion, middle age is badass, and it goes on for a long time.
So what? Well this is a rock blog, so I’m going to discuss the joys of middle age rock things. Want to know what they are? You’re in luck! Here are some of my favorites, but I’ll have to do this in two parts:
Am I The Oldest Guy In The Club? This is a fun game that I play with my friends, but it doesn’t work at all concerts. If I go to see Tedeschi Trucks or Tom Petty, there are a ton of people in the crowd who are older than me. In a slight change to the AC/DC song, for those continuing to rock, we salute you! But when we go to certain shows, say, Sleigh Bells or Joywave, we look around and see if there is anyone older than us in the club. It’s not always easy to tell. Some dudes always look older – it was like they were born 50. Women dye their hair and look more youthful as a result – keep it up, it’s cool, but so is letting it go like Dudes do (those with hair, at least). But usually, it’s pretty obvious. And when it turns out that you are the oldest MF in the joint, there is a certain perverse pride in that. Unlike all your sorry contemporaries sitting at home binging on TV (see Black Flag’s “TV Party” video below for a smack on that), YOU are at the club catching something that no one else in your age bracket even KNOWS about, like, say, the Struts (where I was the oldest by about 10 years).
So when you find yourself out with your cohort at the new new thing restaurant and they’re droning on about some boring-ass tax or insurance item, you can change the subject and make them think you are, well, a freak. And then you can change the subject to the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and see whether they were cool in their youths. So to all you middle agers who are still bringing it, let’s get the party going even if we are old as dirt!
ID’s? Nope, not for me. I’ve been to clubs where they have a strict “we card everyone” policy, and they still let me stroll right in without pulling out my license. And they’ll stamp my hand or give me a wrist band, too. It doesn’t always happen. On those occasions when they do insist on having me drag out my license and blow the cobwebs off that sucker, I use the line: “what, are you checking on that AARP discount for me?” I always laugh at my own joke because It’s my joke, it’s funny as hell, and I like it. But it must be a good one because it always gets a laugh out of the bouncer. It’s sort of like the joke that I always use since I quit drinking and some dipshit asks why I’m not getting drunk. The answer? Well, when people are born, they are given only a certain number of alcoholic beverages that can they can consume during a lifetime, and I just used mine up earlier than most people. Pretty good, huh?
I Can Afford To Scalp. A Lot. Ah yes, the peak earning years. Guess what, these aren’t a myth. The brats are finally out of the house and no longer sucking on the parental teat, and there is something weird in your pocket. Yes, it’s money, long green, clams, dough. Whatever, it’s something that hasn’t been between your fingers for a while. So you save some and you blow some. And what better way to blow it than 4th row seats for Wilco, 6th row for Gregg Allman or 2nd row for Mellencamp? Is someone coming to town that you want to see but all the seats are gone? No biggie, you get on line and snap up some choice ones then merrily make your way up front on show day. It’s great.
You Have Time to Blog. Hahahaha, what a great thing this is. I’m glad you’re here reading this because I love doing this. But when I had kids at home, I actually thought it was important to be there doing stuff with them. Nope, I didn’t think it was right to be working all the time, blogging or dumping my kiddos on other people’s parents while I went out. So now I have free time, my kids are the coolest and best-adjusted on the planet, and I fill my time writing drivel like this. And that leads to ….
I Can Be Honest. I’ve done and seen a lot. Not every rock show is great or amazing. Some suck, some are mediocre, some are letdowns. And I can call them like I see them. I don’t have to gush about “wow, they were great” when they weren’t even good. I can even leave early if they are atrocious. I don’t have to stay until the Replacements finally get their drunk butts off the stage hoping for, well, sobriety. It’s refreshing.
OK, that’s enough for one “virtues of being old” post. I’ll be back shortly with more. You hang in there, too, and stay as cool as you always are.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.