Thursday, September 07, 2006

Welcome To My Nightmare

Even though I have a birthday coming up rather soon (& I'm having a little bit of trouble grasping the fact that I'm going to be mid-30somethingish), I don't feel like I'm really getting 'older'. Though my body has been starting a revolution against me in response to years of mass pizza, cheeseburger & hot sauce consumption, my mind still feels young. All in all, I feel pretty good.

Or I did until this past weekend.

VH1 was playing a marathon of the documentary 'Heavy: The Story of Metal', which I subjected T to many an hour of viewing (she's such a trooper!). It was fun walking down Memory Lane, seeing all the bands that I loved in my teen years.

That is, until they started showing them now.

Most of them looked like they'd been beaten with an ugly stick before. Now they looked like they'd fallen out of the ugly tree itself & hit every single branch on the way down to the floor of the Ugly Forest. I guess years of hard livin' will do that to a person, but sheesh! The most depressing part was when they showed what I thought at first was archive footage of a Twisted Sister concert. It was when they showed the drummer from behind, arms a'flailin' behind his kit, & then panned around to the side that I realized, to my unmitigated horror, that the clip was of a more recent vintage, for, upon swinging the camera around to the right side of the drummer, we were given a glimpse of his enormous gut!

Not a slam against TS (goodness knows I wouldn't want Dee Snider banging on my front door), but Spandex is flattering on a select few bodies. 40+ year old drummers with an unfortunate case of beer gut are not among those elite few.

A memory flashed through my mind after that of some people I knew while growing up. They were children of the 60's. Not hippies or flower children, mind you, but they had grown up during that era. I remembered that every time I rode somewhere with them, they always had the radio tuned to an oldies station. I swore up & down that I'd never be like that, holding on to the remains of "the good old days" & becoming a pop culture dinosaur. I was not going to feel dated by the music I listened to because metal ruuuuuled!

Yeah, well, the best laid plans, etc...

I look back on the groups & people that I listened to (& still do on occasion) & feel...old. Three quarters of the original Ramones are dead - & only one was due to drugs! Eddie Van Halen's had hip surgery - before Barry frickin' Manilow! Axl Rose looks like someone put their foot on the back of his head, grabbed his ears & pulled really hard. David Lee Roth's got a cul-de-sac goin' on! Sammy Hagar's the only one who still seems to be having any fun (though he still puts out some crappy songs - c'mon, Sammy; does every song have to reference Mexico?). But he's 50something years old. If he weren't a world famous musician, he'd just be that weird guy who lives down the street who wears Hawaiian shirts & black socks pulled up to his calves with Birkenstocks, trying to talk to kids using their own slang, who always smells like he crawled out of a vat of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

You know who I'm talking about.

One of the most depressing interviews was with Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, who was modelling the latest in the 'Crocodile Hunter' line from Banana Republic, complete with an Aussie-style hat. It made me want to cry. I didn't expect (nor would I want) him to be wearing studded leather & swinging a broadsword around. But...Bruce Dickinson! Iron Maiden! Many a metalhead screamed themself raw trying to sing along with 'Run To the Hills', attempting in vain to match the note that Dickinson hits at the end of the song!

And here he was, looking like a guest host on 'Brian Fellow's Safari Planet'.

That's crazy!

So now, as I look through my old tapes, albums & CD's, thumbing through Cinderella & Kix & Van Halen & Priest & all the rest, I think back to "the good old days," with its screaming guitar solos, hammer-ons, screaching vocals & mindless lyrics about vikings, girls, cars, girls & Icarus. I smile, remembering my youth. I might even try an air guitar riff or seeing if I can sing along with 'Screaming For Vengeance'.

Then I find The Boy looking & laughing at the old guy listening to his oldies.

And I promptly ground him.

Laugh at the old folks, will he? He's got another thing comin'!