Bringing Back the Music

After 1 ½ years of silence due to the pandemic, music concerts that were canceled are returning so when a friend said “Hey, I have 2 extra tickets to a Jackson Brown/ James Taylor concert -want to go?  Instantly I said “YES!” despite the fact the tickets were almost $140, it was at the huge Moda Center in Portland (I usually avoid large venues), and I would have to attend in a wheelchair due to my knee injury.  Sometimes you just have to seize the moment and go, letting the universe work out the details.  So on a rainy night in October, off the three of us went.

It only took about two chords of “Running on Empty” on the piano and I was transported back to a much younger me, a college student in the mid-1970s in that living room, that turntable, my friends, a more hopeful era infused in musical talent.  Two of my favorite musicians at that time were Jackson Brown and James Taylor, their vinyl albums well worn with use.  Looking back it was a time when I had the world at my feet- the music of the time making it all the more exciting.

I don’t know where the world went wrong since then.  We were the generation of change, peace, and environmental awareness.  I hardly recognize the country I live in now.  Still in that massive venue, thousands of us masked gray-haired Boomers let the music of these great musicians bring us back, and boy did they put on a show, visibly grateful to be doing so.  “In My Mind I’m Going to Carolina, For a Dancer”, all my favorites. Brown and Taylor sounded just as good as they did 45 years ago.

The view from ADA seating

Maybe it’s my imagination or I’m suffering the prejudice of aging but I thought the music of the 60s & 70s was just the best.  Maybe every generation feels their music was but I’ve noticed the younger set actively appreciating this same music.

The attendees of my deep water exercise class at the local pool are all aging boomers. We all look quite inauspicious old gals on the surface but we have colorful histories as young women. The class before Halloween we all “dressed up.”  Our Purple Witch teacher had on a playlist of oldies including “Monster Mash” and other crazy music from our era. As we swished and kicked, we sang and shouted to the music trying to guess the title or the artist of the music to win power bars.  “The Monkeys, Sly and the Family Stone, Loving Spoonful” we yelled out. Memories let loose.  The lifeguards looked on with disbelief at all us old birds having such a good time and one of them took pictures.  (At this age who cares about what people think!)

Music has always saved me but in the last few years, it has been such a refuge.  Turn down the news and turn up the tunes I say.  Welcome back, musicians.  Thanks for making the world a brighter place.

Summer of Love 50 Years Later

img_1511.jpgLast week the latest AARP magazine (a magazine for the 50+ set) arrived in our mail box complete with a Peter Max Cover.  It was a celebratory issue of the 50 year anniversary of the Summer of Love 1967.  I was woodstock-art-568933_1920stunned.  Could it have been that long ago when I was an awkward teenager in the Bay Area of San Francisco trying to find my way?  It was a time of great excitement & energy that perhaps the youth could change the world for the better.  “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was the motto.  I am in my 60’s now.  Where did it all go?

 

50th ANNIVERSARY

It was post war

I mean the Second World War

My white generation made its appearance

With the “Leave it to Beaver” show & Betty Crocker

We were entertained by black & white TV

Glued to the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings

While eating red jello for dessert

 

It was a coming of age to weed, flower children, Rock & Roll, the Beatles

Rose colored glasses, Woodstock, tie dye, bell bottoms

Long hair, the Vietnam War, anti-war demonstrations, peace-love

Free love, Women’s Lib, anti-establishment

Back-to-the-land, and Save-the-Earth passion

 

Where did it all go?

Lost in this world of capitalism and intolerance?

We have blended into the mix of other generations

A thin strata of history

The idealism disappearing with the passing of years

 

Now, lost in a sea of gray hair

I strain to hear those hopeful voices I once knew

Above the din of racism and selfishness

Where did it all go?

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary

Of the Summer of Love

peace-2422719_1920

 

When I’m 64

the-beatles-509069_1920It was 1967.  I was 14 years old and a  freshman in high school.  The Beatles had come out with their latest album “Yellow Submarine.”  Mixed in amongst other memorable songs was this one…

“When I’m Sixty Four”

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Continue reading “When I’m 64”