It’s one thing to look at your face in the mirror and see wrinkles, age spots and white hair. It’s quite another to see your favorite musician staring at you from a screen resembling an old man or woman.
It’s unbelievable to me that Woodstock was fifty years ago. That Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, and Joni Mitchell, to name just a few, are in their seventies. Yes, their seventies! It drives home the fact that we are no longer the younger generation and haven’t been for quite some time.
But it doesn’t take away from the powerful feelings and emotions evoked from their music. Nothing takes you back like a song from the past.
So, having recently been given a record player by a good friend, I decided it was time to pull out the albums and revisit those days, as well as surmise the condition of the vinyl which hadn’t seen the light of day for many decades.
The first cover I pulled out was the Rolling Stones’ Out of Our Heads. I carefully retrieved the record from its sleeve and placed it on the turn table. Then I lowered the needle, oh so gingerly, onto the vinyl so as not to make a scratch. Within seconds, Mick was singing, “I can’t get no, Satisfaction….” And I was propelled into my parents’ backyard, at a high school party where we guzzled forbidden beer and got totally wasted, or pretended to be so and danced until our feet blistered. I was right there in my yard. In black jeans and French beret. Not a sixty something woman, wondering where all the years had gone.
“That really doesn’t sound too good.” A voice broke into my memory.
“What?” I opened my eyes, shocked for a brief moment to see this grey haired man talking to me.
“It’s all scratched up,” my husband said.
“A little.” I hadn’t even noticed. But I did notice that within minutes, my husband was moving his body to the music.
Without asking, he moved the coffee table off to the side, picked up my hand and began swinging me around.
Back in the day, we had moves. He would twirl and spin me. Slide me through his legs and lift me over his head. Today, our bodies are decades from being that agile. But the mind is a powerful muscle. And if Mick can still strut around, so could we.
About fifteen minutes into our routine, the needle got stuck in a grove. That wasn’t the only thing that became stuck. My husband was having trouble lifting me up from a dip. Instead, he lowered me to the ground, very carefully. I removed the needle from the groove, silencing the music. And just like that, we returned to our current, sixty-something selves.
“How did we get here?” My husband asked. He pulled Blonde on Blonde from the stack of albums. “God, look how young Dylan was when this came out.”
“So, were we,” I said, twisting my waist right and then left. The parts all still worked. But they weren’t used to moving around so quickly. “How do you think Mick feels now after a night on stage?”
“Exhausted. Exhilarated. Lucky.”
“We’re lucky, too.” I kissed my husband on the cheek.
And I don’t doubt that for a second. I feel lucky to have grown up during the sixties and seventies, when music had melodies and relevant lyrics. Not that every generation doesn’t think so, but I know ours was the best.
Growing old is inevitable. Doing it with some of the greatest musicians ever born, makes it that much better.