I find aging rock and rollers creepy. There's something very disturbing about a 50-60 year old men still jumping around on stage in spandex pants, smashing guitars and crooning metal ballads that were written with 15 year old girls in mind.
I look at Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler and Gene Simmons and I'm reminded of that lecherous guy at the end of the local bar, the one who looks like he's been sitting there since 11am doing nothing but drinking and degenerating. And when he winks at you, it's with an imagined confidence of someone who still insists on believing he's sexy and seventeen.
If the Who (or what's left of them) want to put out a new album
, more power to them. It's not the agonizing prolonging of a stale career that bothers me. It's the inevitable tour that makes me cringe.
Roger Daltrey is 60 years old. Sixty. 6-0. Now imagine him standing on a stage, facing an arena packed with thousands of others who can't let their youth go, and this man who has been eligible for AARP membership for ten years already
starts singing about....his generation?
People try to put us d-down/Just because we get around/Things they do look awful c-c-cold /I hope I die before I get old
Well, so much for that idea. Old has come and gone for both Roger and Pete. The real bite is taken out of "they're all wasted!" when you look like this
instead of this.
It's not just the elderly rockers that have this age-image problem. I can't help but giggle when 30-something Fred Durst sings about doing it all for the nookie. Does Marilyn Manson ever feel silly when he's dabbing on his makeup, getting ready for another night of snarling at an audience made up of kids young enough to be his own? Do the guys in Slayer ever thing, gee, we're grown up, we have families and minivans and pets and man, faking this primal anger thing is getting old
Maybe there should be a mandatory cut-off age for people to able to rock out on stage. Is there anyone out there who still wants to stare at David Lee Roth's crotch as he attempts a balls-defying split? In leather pants? Hey, these guys can make all the records they want, but I think we need to put a stop to the full-on stadium shows the Viagra generation of rock stars are still putting on. Fifty year old men
should not be singing lyrics like She said 'I'll show you how to fax/In the mailroom, honey/And have you home by five'
to throngs of barley dressed, barely teen girls. Fifty year old men
should not be stomping around a stage in ten inch heels and make up while exhorting the crowd to rock and roll all night and party every day. It's just wrong
Oh, yea. I know what you're thinking. And you're right. I'm a hypocrite. While I find it loathsome to see grown men prancing around in leopard striped pants and too-high hair squealing about doing it in the old man's Ford, I have no problem still listening to the stuff even though I am loathe to watch the artists perform it. But it's different. Because when I'm driving in my car, banging my fists on the steering wheel and summoning up righteous teenage anger as I moan that all I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi,
Mike Muir and I are both young again. I don't have to stare mortality in the face by looking at him on stage and forcing myself to recognize not only are we old, but that freaking kid should have moved his lazy ass and gotten his own dam Pepsi.
Which all reminds me of a previously blogged conversation between DJ and myself:
Mom, it's kinda weird that you're 40 years old and still listen to Anthrax.
Hon, Scott Ian is 40 years old and he's still in Anthrax.
It's real easy for me to summon up the angst and anger that made all these songs so important to me. I can relive an entire decade by singing just one lyric. But I'm not wearing fourteen tons of anti-aging cream and standing before 10,000 people of some other generation while I do it.
Some day the old guy at the end of the bar will accept the fact that he just doesn't have it anymore. I'll kind of miss him winking at me, but we'll always have the jukebox.