I’m always humbled that you came back to read more. Thanks! I’ll try to keep the good times rolling. As you know, I was recently going off on why it’s cool to be middle aged and still rockin’. If you missed Part One, well, you missed out. So go back, get caught up, and then join us here for Part Two. For those of you who actually read Part One, there will be a trophy for you later. Here we go with Part Two. Ready? I am:
I Don’t Have to Mosh. Don’t get me wrong – I used to love to mix it up in there. I may be a pencil-necked, toothpick-legged twerp, but that just means my elbows are sharp. I can take a hit and I love to give them out. But hey man, there comes a time when it’s probably not a good idea to be down there doing the Huntington Beach strut. Even if the music is calling for it, I can restrain myself because God finally gave me something I was sorely lacking in my youth: good judgment. (One observation: when did women start going into the pit? It’s cool, I’m all about equality. But it’s also weird for me, too. It’s rough in there and guys are pigs. Just sayin’.)
Yes, I Love Alt Country. And Some Not So Alt Country. In my youth, alt-country was Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, the Outlaws and the like. They were actually alt-arena rock with a southern, drinkin’ and fightin’ mentality that appealed greatly to me. I have lots of records by these rockers and have seen them all. But I had so much testosterone running through my body that a slow song, even one by a great like Johnny Cash, was hard for me to take. Eventually, I stabilized some and learned to slow it down a bit. And lo and behold, Nashville (and people who borrow heavily from Nashville) was waiting for me. Wow! Thanks for your patience! I love it and I love most Americana roots music, too.
I Got to See a Lot of the Big Bands in Their Prime. Yes, the Stones are still touring. But live rock ‘n roll is physical activity, and I don’t care how many devils you sold your soul to, the body is going to break down. So seeing them now isn’t the same as seeing them decades ago. I saw the Stones when Jagger could, well, move like Jagger. I saw Zeppelin in ’77. I saw the Who when Daltrey still had a voice, and Entwistle and Moon weren’t dead. I saw Rod Stewart with pipes. And I got to see other bands that simply can’t be seen anymore because the key guy (or guys) died. There isn’t going to be a Clash reunion because Joe Strummer is dead. But I saw them. Same with the Ramones – guys died, and the touring band went with them, but not before BRP got to experience them. Sure, I missed out on some, like the Beatles and Hendrix. But I caught most of the legends. And yes, there are still guys who bring it like they are still young, like AC/DC and Springsteen. But those numbers are getting slimmer and slimmer. As the Quebecois have on their license plates, je me souviens.
And I Was There When That Tune Was New. This is an interesting one. I remember when certain songs came out, and I was ridiculed by my peers for listening to “punk” or “new wave.” Those bands and their songs were not radio ready when they came out. Well, they were, but the radio listening public wasn’t ready. Instead, you had bands like Journey, ELO, Yes, ELP, Supertramp, etc, who dominated the airwaves. That is the truth. So now, it’s funny to go to an arena and hear them playing “I Wanna Be Sedated,” and watching everyone bopping along. And then people who you know were big Styx fans will look at you and say how great this Ramones song is and how they’ve always loved it. Yeah, right you Johnny-come-lately poseur. The best arena “WTF” I had was at a Washington Caps hockey game last year – they actually played “Waiting Room” by Fugazi, perhaps the least likely song ever to hear in an arena. But if you were listening to everything that came out when it came out, you could hear all these great bands releasing brilliant tracks and trying to capture quicksilver. Bands that became huge, like REM, U2 and the Pretenders, were struggling and unknown artists for their first few albums, but I was listening. And some bands never made it big who should have. Like Wreckless Eric – check out the youtube link below, and tell me where I can get that suit and the pin that says “I’m a Mess” – and the Jags – everyone knows Back of my Hand, but they had other great tunes, too, and I linked you to one. And then there were the one-hit wonders of the day, like Martha and the Muffins “Echo Beach.” Yup, us old dudes were there when these songs came out, and we have been enjoying them for years and years.
I Can Give a Quiz to Loyal BRP Readers. Now I’m normally not big on tests and quizzes. If you had my academic record, you would understand why. I could never remember what I was being tested on, but I do remember two words from biology: endoplasmic reticulum. What that is, I haven’t the foggiest, but I remember those words to this day. It’s weird because I can’t remember the name of my own kids. Now back to the quiz: I’m breaking with my own taboo just this once to give YOU a quiz. Sit down, come back, it’s going to be fun. Here’s the quiz: of the two pictures below, which one scares you more:
Hahaha, wasn’t that fun? The nuns and priests at my school NEVER gave that kind of quiz, which explains why they sucked. BRP, on the other hand, is where even the quizzes are fun!
So when I started on this post, I thought maybe I would come up with two or three things to say. But clearly that was not the case. In fact, I finally just got tired and stopped thinking about new items. I may revisit this topic. Or maybe on the reverse side – you know, things that kind of suck when you get older, because those do exist. Nah, I’m lying, it’s all good on this side of life’s journey. Hey, rockers of whatever age, I love you all and hope that your life’s journey is accompanied by great tunes and mind-blowing shows. Thanks for sharing some of your precious moments on Earth with me. Until next time, be good.
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.