Monday, December 04, 2006


Wanna debate that? Yesterday I had a "Senior Moment" at Wal-Mart. Pay attention because you will soon be having these, too....

In the electronics section there was a new, shiny Christmas toy... a Karaoke version of Air Guitar, where you hold a plastic simulation of a guitar and then strum it..... and a MTV-type image plays on the screen in rhythm to your movements. Awesome, dude.

This tall 17 year-old kid was banging away on it, gyrating, acting out and really performing very well. So much so that a crowd was gathering to watch the show.

There I was in my handicapped electric cart with my grey beard and balding hair, teeth out, watching in awe at the show. Pretty soon I caught the eye of another man in his 40's with dark long hair and easily old enough to be the father of the kid with the MTV guitar. We both stared at each other in amusement of what we were experiencing. The kid was freaking out to Ozzy Osborne and Black Sabbath ca 1970.
I finally said [from two full generations in the future]; "They don't even know that was OUR music! From one full generation away the younger man and I cracked up laughing at how absurd even that statement was!

Just one senior moment from a day in the life.

Oh, one other...........

At the checkout there was a grandmotherly type running the register. A sweet, wrinkled lady with lightly red-tinted hair. The kind of person no one would suspect as being a serial killer.

"You don't have to say "Merry Christmas" I said. "Nowadays you can piss people off just by saying 'Ho, Ho, Ho!'".

She got it.



Tom Wright said...

Here's another type of senior moment. I recently went to the wedding of the younger daughter of an old friend (he's 57, I'm 51, we've known each other for over 30 years). Since he was paying for the wedding, he insisted that he get to choose at least some of the music that the DJs would play at the reception/dance after the ceremony.

At first, with multiple generations on the dance floor (everyone from teenagers to 80-somethings), the music was safe and sane. But as the night went on the music got a little wilder. Somewhat to my surprise, the 80-somethings didn't seem fazed by the increasing volume and tempo of the music. And so I was treated to the sight of the whole crowd writhing and leaping to "Break On Through," "Helter Skelter," "Paranoid", "Crazy Train," and other wedding-inappropriate music. Nobody minded and everyone was having great fun.

It occured to me afterward that somebody in their 80s now was still a young adult in the early 1950s. That's when when rock & roll began to develop out of the increasingly hard-edged R&B of the period and the raw emotions and nervous energy of country music (as practiced by Hank Williams and his peers). Add a little (or a lot) of the passion of gospel music, stir together, and voila! You get Elvis doing his thing at Sun Records in 1954, Ray Charles doing his thing at Atlantic, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry in Chicago, Little Richard arriving straight from Mars, and the floodgates opening from there.

Today's senior citizens grew up listening to rock music, and they've followed its evolution from Elvis to Buddy Holly to the Beatles to psychedelia to Van Morrison, the Velvet Underground, "Stairway to Heaven," the Sex Pistols, Bruce Springsteen, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica... they've seen it all. Of course not everybody of that age liked rock music when they first heard it: my mother still thinks nothing good has been recorded since the heyday of the Andrews Sisters, and my father thinks the same about George Shearing and Errol Garner. But anybody hooked on it as a youngster has stayed with it.

Thus the arthritic grandmas and grandpas gyrating and throwing their fists in the air to punctuate the riffs in "Paranoid" and losing themselves in the swirling organ riffs of the Doors. It was quite a sight. You shoulda been there. I'm glad I was. said...

Love it. I was blessed with an entire second career outside of radio, as a party/wedding DJ/Emcee for about 20 years. Did over 500 parties - most of them weddings and reunions. What a great gig.

One of the biggest kicks was believe it or not, "The Hokey-Pokey" where you can see multiple generations grooving on great-grandma's music.

The most frenzied? "Mony-Mony" in the Billy Idol version.

I sincerely believe that were it not for music, God would have destroyed us all, long ago.

Rock on!


fran Bennett said...

what? eh? said...


Back before Frank Lehman became a raging feminist AKA 'Aunt Fran', he took me up to the crow's nest of a budding disco (before disco beame DISCO!) and Karaoke was anything other than a vegetable.... and taught me how to mix dance music. The only thing that would get a rise out of the dancers was "Takin' Care Of Business" and "Let It Ride" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Hey we are talking YEARS before "Thriller" by Michael Jackson and anything with an actual beat, by the BeeGees.

So I owe ya one Fran, or maybe several. My company "One More Time" was a hit in DFW in 1983 and made me lotsa buck$ over the years, in the DFW market until ACAP/BMI declared I was a "Performer" and decided I had to pay them to use the men's room at the Petroleum Club.

So there you have it Fran... Without knowing it, you made a bigger impact on ME than I did on YOU.... trips to Aspen, career stints at KSPN and boogie shoes, aside.

By the way I am STILL trying to find "Beau J. Poo-Boo" (sp) by Les Mcann.

Ron Wortham