Sunday, January 6, 2008

Just How Old Is Too Old, Anyway?

So, here’s the thing.

I’ll be turning 40 in February, and it got me to thinking; at what age does one, SHOULD ONE, stop listening to ‘new’ music?

Is my passion to discover new bands going to wither away like my eyesight or is my interest going to continue to expand like my once 32 inch waistline did?

When I was 20 there was nothing more pathetic than seeing a ‘middle aged guy’ (read: 30 years old) blaring AC/DC in his Volkswagon Jetta out of his Blaupunkt speakers . Or seeing some ageing hipster with a grey ponytail wearing a “Neds Atomic Dustbin” tee shirt under his brown, corduroy sports coat. When you’re an arrogant little punk in your teens or early 20’s, you think that music, really good kick-ass subversive rock & roll music, should be reserved for the ears of youth.

My question is: is that true?

Do I have the right, only 15 years away from getting my AARP card in the mail, to enjoy new bands like The Arctic Monkees or the new Of Montreal album? Or do I resign myself to listening only to the tried and true standard bands and albums from my past.

I suppose it’s not too late to switch gears and seek out some Adult Contemporary stuff, nurture my barely-passing interest in Sting’s lute excursions. Perhaps I could buy an antique rocker, sit in my backyard and learn to play the pan flute. I mean, NPR’s ‘Echo’s” program isn’t ALL bad, right?

Nah, I think I’ll just keep on keepin’ on.

I still love the feeling of discovering a really great album, and I feel confident in the fact that that will not change for me. I also have two small daughters, and I feel it is my duty to expose them to truly great music, and shelter them from the bland, sugary processed crapola being force-fed to teens these days.

Good music is good music, you know?

No matter how old you get.


ThomG said...

You're never too old to seek out great music. Never. Signed, the almost-45-year-old-guy-with-new-titanium-earrings.

uNCLE e said...

Right on, man!

Philbert The Ancient Marinade said...

I have to be honest with you my young friend,40? You're worried about turning 40? Dear God, I was listening to "Pressed Rat & Warthog" while using the "Wheels Of Fire" gatefold to clean and roll my, uh, oregeno the day you were born. You snot-nosed little punk.
I still think of Sting, U2 and Elvis Costello as "new" music. Every time I play "Rattle & Hum" it makes me pee a little.
If I decide to jerk off I have to rest up for a couple of days and take a pill first. Your pathetic whine of, "Oooh, will I still be a hepcat once I turn 40?" falls on deaf ears. Literally.
Anyway, my guess is you will maintain a curious attitude toward music despite your age. Your colon may seize up, but you'll still think 19-year-old slackers with large amplifiers are cool. I know I do.
Happy Birthday.

Hal Johnson said...

At 51, I guess I'm a little more up to date than Philbert: in my case, I still think of Counting Crows as a new group. When I let my subscription to Rolling Stone die about eight years ago, my awareness of popular culture seemed to whither along with the subscription.

But hey, how 'bout them Foo Fighters?


Rob said...

I have to comment on Philbert's repsonse!

By far, the funniest thing I've read...."Every time I hear Rattle & Hum it makes me pee a little" Wow, quote of the century and a very interesting graphic image I now have in my head!!
And as a result of Philbert's reponse we can now add "Roll my Oregano" to the previous Uncle E gem entitled "Stupid Band Names" Full credit given to Philbert for this one!!