Only Rock & Roll, but I like it…

I am no longer pop-culturally literate. I listened to new music, though not pop. I read new books, though I haven’t delved into episodic vampire novels. It might be more accurate to say I no longer have interest in the celebration of pop culture, the accoutrement, the personalities, so forth and so on.

Part of my evolution is organic. I’m not the target demographic. Pop culture’s appeal arises out of a youthful desire to see something new and different, something young people can take ownership of, and in doing so, perhaps even ruffle the feathers people of my generation somehow acquire with age.

Part of my evolution is my comfort within my own featherless skin. I no longer feel the need to prove I’m cool because I know what “on fleek” means. By the way, “on fleek” means “on point.” Here’s a little dialogue to illustrate.

“I say old chap, have  you read Jon’s latest post? It is on fleek.”

“Indubitably!”

Earlier this summer I saw Bruce Springsteen’s River Tour. It is probably the twentieth Springsteen concert for me. My oldest friend Marty, who’s been my co-conspirator to at least 18 of those shows, and I opted for the mosh pit rather than assigned seats. The idea sounded great, at the time.

I was in denial, ignoring the fact we’d be standing six hours. Ignoring the arduous, and frequent hikes to the restroom. Part of me was still 25 years old and it was 1984 when Marty and I had amazing floor seats for the Born In The USA tour.

I’m not 25. I’m 58. It didn’t take long to realize I made a big mistake. Despite how close we were. Despite the great pictures I took with my iPhone. From minute one, I couldn’t wait for the concert to be over. In the past, I would not allow myself to admit I don’t enjoy large concerts. That wouldn’t be cool.

Of course, some concerts were transcendent. The Born In The USA show for example. Imagine a charismatic singer-songwriter standing on the stage in total command of 21,000 of his closest friends. We stood when he told us to. We sang along, we responded with amens of ovation after ovation. He performed for four hours and we would have been happy for four more.

Not so much anymore. With a new appreciation for my feelings, I now can see that my concert experience is a perfect example of how out of touch I was, incapable of recognizing how I felt in the moment. And even when I did recognize my feelings, I ignored them in favor of being accepted.

There are still choices I make to superficially  define myself. How I dress is probably the most obvious. But I’m sure there are others. The difference now is I have more awareness of my choices and why I am making them.

Thanks for listening. Stay in touch. Connect.

Jon

P.S. Yeah, I took the picture I used today. From the mosh pit. That’s how cool I am.

P.S. A multimedia kinda post!

P.P.S. Another Almost Famous clip? Whaaaaa? Rock stars have kidnapped my son.

9 thoughts on “Only Rock & Roll, but I like it…

      1. awww you’re welcome.

        I love the profundity of the second video too, great clip.

        The post reminded me of when we saw U2 in concert about 8 years ago already…I loved them in the 80s and when I saw them with friends on the last day of my final year of high school, it was phenomenal. I really hadn’t followed them in recent years, but we went with one of my friends from that time in high school, and I looked around at the crowd and wondered if it were all the same people because we were TIRED! It was hilarious. Even the band, I think, wondered at the low energy. Everyone was loving it of course, we just weren’t jumping and screaming around like maniacs lol. And I was only in my late 30s! I am a lot more particular about what concerts I go to, and if we can sit down 🙂 I particularly love the WOMAD festival, there’s one in Adelaide, South Australia, which is the one we go to. I got to work at the very first one in Adelaide actually, when Peter Gabriel was touring with it (as a founding member). Great memories. But I am happy to leave that in the past.

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      2. I was unfamiliar with WOMAD so I looked it up. What a great cultural moment to be inside the velvet rope experiencing, especially the first one in Australia? (Did I say Australia right? I know how sensitive some of you can be.)

        I saw U2 maybe ten years ago. I was still “connected” to my previous existence of professional sports so I had backstage passes and the whole works. I was actually there with Marty from today’s post, and his wonderful wife, Zooey. When the concert began, the band started playing song after song from their new album. The true definition of a captive audience. Zooey and I got Marty to agree we’d leave after we heard two songs we recognized.

        And we did.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. haha I am imagining you are saying Australia just how it’s spelt 🙂 Or, you could say it like a lot of Aussies, “Straya”. I think I might be somewhere in the middle…
        Yes, I understand what you are saying, I just could not really get into most of their new stuff. Loved the old, and the old B sides, in fact I did a post on one of the B sides come to think of it. I miss the B sides 🙂
        I’m trying to remember, I think the only reason we stayed to the end was because my friend wanted to.
        Yes, WOMAD is wonderful. If you ever have the chance… Plus there are all kinds of stalls and wonderful eating places etc. You can come and go. Of course, it might be set up differently in different countries, but I am sure the concept is consistent.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. This is where a braver man might say, “I’ve always wanted to visit your lovely continent.” (Do Men At Work and Tommy Emmanuel still greet people getting off the planes with shrimp and beer?)

        Unfortunately, between basketball -sized spiders and approximately 60,000 other unique ways of meeting one’s demise, I would need a fair amount of persuasion. Not out of the question by any means.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. hahaha one of our favourite scenes, ever. My husband loves quoting it until I remind him I am from the one state that was founded by free people.
        I also then remind him that the US was actually taking criminals from England, finally told them to stop sending them, we’re full thank you very much, so they sent them here instead. 🙂
        And I am afraid the answer is no to your first question.
        You seem to have the same fears as a lot of our friends…it depends where you visit. Look at it like this, people were amazed we travelled to the US over Christmas because, well, Trump, but we were brave and survived. 🙂

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  1. Oh Jon, I laughed. I remember my last concert and I was SO close to the stage I refused to leave my place, but after standing still for over an hour (before the opening act had come on stage) I felt my legs, back and shoulders start to ache :’)

    We all get older, but we all like to deny it, surely. Hope you had a good time despite being in the mosh pit! The pic is awesome, though! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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