Thursday, 8 September 2011

Too Old To Rock and Roll, Too Young To Die?

A while ago, a buddy brought over a Steve Miller concert DVD.

My reaction was, "oh, is he still around?"  Secretly, I was glad it was from a recent concert and not something from the 70's.  Back then the technology was not as good, production standards were low, and everyone was stoned and so the musicianship in most concert videos (that I've seen anyway) wasn't too good.

But that first reaction:  is he still around?  Is he still playing the same old songs now that he's an old man?

Well, the DVD was fun.  Good production, song after hit song well played.  Good old fashioned rock and roll, not too serious, a little trippy  ...  what's not to like?

Except the uneasy feeling that here's one more aging rocker that will soon reach - or maybe already has reached - the point where it's more than a little ridiculous to be playing a young person's music.  Not as silly as The Stones, maybe, who long ago became fossilized caricatures of themselves, but unnerving.  Especially when I reflected that the bulk of my concert video collection is by such people.

Even more unsettling, of course, is the knowledge that I am one such person.

What to do?  Hard to play angry young man or reckless rebel when your face is full of wrinkles, isn't it?  I mean, at bottom, rock music is a bit of a joke and it's best not to take things too seriously - but it's the music that's supposed to be the joke, not the musician.

What's a poor boy to do?  Retreat into the Blues, where you're kind of expected to be old?  Fall asleep over your crossword puzzle while listening to Mozart?

Or do you re-invent the rebellion and claim your right to stay young and immature forever?

Wait a minute, I think I've seen a few TV commercials playing on that sentiment.  Didn't like that one bit.

So what's the answer?  I don't know, but it might be something like:

Don't think about it - just do it.  And ya, I know, that sounds like a TV commercial too.


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