May 04, 2003

Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die

Oh hey -- I forgot to mention -- exactly twenty days from now it will be my birthday. Guess how old I am? Okay, I'll tell you: forty! Yeah, the big four-oh. Only, I don't feel all old and used up. (I expect that will be how I feel tomorrow morning, when I wake up with a hangover.)

I have always wanted to be old. I think I meant "respected" -- I am old enough to remember when old people were actually considered more responsible and respectable than younger people. But I have never felt "old" -- just like I never felt "young." (I associate youth with guilelessness, delusions of immortality, and careless driving. I will swear on a stack of bibles that I have never had delusions of immortality.) When I was a kid my nose was always in a book instead of attached to the rest of me as I was out getting in trouble with boys or something. I wanted none of that wild life. What I wanted was peace and quiet so I could pursue my own interests. That attitude has so far done diddlysquat for me in terms of success, but I guess I am too old to change now.

I am not going to be selling my Jethro Tull albums, that I know. Well, maybe Stormwatch -- that was the last album I listened to of theirs. It had a couple of good songs (the title track, "Dark Ages") but it still was far below their best. I'm thinking of Aqualung, Songs from the Wood, and Minstrel in the Gallery -- and of course, War Child. I'm keeping all of those albums.

Posted by Andrea Harris at May 4, 2003 02:55 AM

God bless and keep you, Andrea. Age is not a disease, and it's refreshing to encounter someone who realizes that.

On the subject of music, not long ago it was my pleasure to strike up an e-mail conversation with one of my favorite musicians, Steve Babb of Glass Hammer. I asked him what sort of music he liked to listen to, when he wasn't making his own. He expressed a little embarrassment over the question, semi-ruefully admitting that he preferred the records of his youth -- Emerson Lake & Palmer; Yes; Camel; King Crimson -- and tended to listen to them in exclusion to contemporary offerings.

Time is a filter. It selects for that which has staying power, which is why we call such items "classics."

Best Tull album: Benefit.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at May 4, 2003 at 06:57 AM

Happy future birthday!

You're still about three years behind me...I can't wait to get old so I can be one of those rude, cranky old women that say the most incredibly rude (but true) things to everyone. Oh wait, I already do that.

Time for some new goals.

Posted by: rita at May 4, 2003 at 09:45 AM


Posted by: Kevin McGehee at May 4, 2003 at 10:07 AM

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"

Posted by: Ara Rubyan at May 4, 2003 at 10:59 AM

Oh, and happy birthday!

You're a Taurus too. I turned 50 last week.

Posted by: Ara Rubyan at May 4, 2003 at 11:00 AM

No no! May 24th = Gemini. I just missed being a Taurus by a couple of days. Not quite on the cusp, but almost. Yes, I used to be into the horoscope stuff. But I have an excuse -- I was in junior high! It was the Seventies! Yeah, that's it... it was the Seventies...

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 4, 2003 at 11:24 AM

Somewhere in the evolution of Tull, they (meaning Ian Anderson) began to take themselves too, too seriously, and they ceased to be of musical interest after that point.

Best Tull album: Benefit. No contest.

Posted by: CGHill at May 4, 2003 at 11:51 AM

Songs from the Wood! Woo hoo! You radical. I love that one, too. And here I was thinking you were a youngster. I really thought you were a snot-nosed 20-something, and now I find you are almost the same age as me. Cool! Stay young!

Posted by: Alexandra at May 4, 2003 at 11:53 AM

I am mentally twelve, though.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 4, 2003 at 12:15 PM

40? Punk!

But welcome to the Dark Side of Time. You'll like it here.

Posted by: Moira at May 4, 2003 at 01:44 PM

July 16 for me and the dreaded 40 :)

(Mentally, I'm like 80)

Posted by: Ith at May 4, 2003 at 04:52 PM

Buncha damned kids.

Best Tull album: Stand Up; Benefit's a close second. Best Tull album cover: Stand Up.

Posted by: Don at May 4, 2003 at 06:53 PM

NEVER sell a Tull album. Never, never, never.

And what Don said. Stand Up, followed by Benefit. Clive Bunker and Glenn Cornick ruled, absolutely RULED. One of the best rhythm combinations ever.

Posted by: Kim du Toit at May 4, 2003 at 09:09 PM

You know, I never did manage to pick up Benefit. I don't know why -- it has several songs I like. I was on a kind of one-album-per-weekly-allowance at the time. That was when you could get an LP for $5.99 (US). Ah, the good old days.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 4, 2003 at 09:45 PM

Don't listen to them! You're only as old as those you feel.

Posted by: Ken Summers at May 5, 2003 at 09:09 AM