Every year, about this time, I find myself getting philosophical. Don’t worry. I won’t bore or torture you with the countless inane, pretentious, half-baked or downright silly thoughts that flood my brain.
Still, as I approach yet another birthday, I feel like I’m standing outside my body, watching myself stroll into and stumble out of shows, and wondering if this is socially acceptable behavior for a man of my advanced age. After all, pop music, rock music and their infinite variants are really the domains of the young, aren’t they? It’s just unseemly for old guys to be hanging out, watching much younger guys get all angry and sweaty. Isn’t it?
I remember vividly when I first started writing about music. I was 29 years old – probably too old, even then. Excited about this new aspect of my life, I recall telling my older sister that I was getting lots of free CDs and tickets to shows, and that I was getting to interview some really talented people. Her response was, “What are you? 14 years old?”
Now, I happen to know that my loving sister – the person who first introduced to me to the joys of pop music by tuning in KIMN 950AM when I was about 7 – meant no offense with that question/comment. She was merely expressing how very different my 29-year-old reality was from her expectations.
At the time, however, I felt judged, indignant and maybe a little ridiculed. I get that same feeling – shame mixed with indignation – as I think now about my elderly music consumption habits. Am I being judged? Probably. Should I care? No. Do I care? Probably a little.
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But I also realize that’s just me. And you, probably. I was way too into music at too young an age, and I’ll be way into it at too old an age. I’ll be a voracious music lover until the old white man in the sky stuffs those diaphanous, eternal cotton balls in my ears.
And that vision of stamina and endurance is kind of comforting. Never mind all that sex-drugs-rock-live-fast-die-young stuff. I plan to live a very, very long life, filled to bursting with more music than my shriveling brain and shrinking body can handle. I want these birthdays to keep coming because, to my way of thinking, it sure beats the alternative.
I picture myself as a toothless, hairless, liver-spotted, walker-wielding dotard, teetering into the Larimer Lounge on my 110th birthday to catch the latest electro-power-pop-jazz-metal quintet to have struck my fancy. I’ll greet the doorman with a smile, wave to the bartender and make my way to the foot of the stage. I’ll probably have to jostle a few youngsters out of my way and even crack a couple of kids’ toes with my walker, but they’ll just laugh and shake their heads at the crazy geezer as I take my position, front and center. I’ll look up at the musicians on the stage, throw my palsied devil horns in the air, and dare them to rock my old ass. – Eryc Eyl