They just start looking ridiculous if they never ditched their acid-washed jeans and tooled leather purses.
Fortunately, I evolved. My jeans sit fashionably below my belly button rather than under my armpits although I’m uncertain how long my belly button will remain in the same place. I’ll cross that raging river when I get to it. For the time being, I think I’m safe – if only in my own mind – as no one has pulled me aside for a dressing-your-age talk.
But….back in the day, I considered myself quite the rocker chic.
Not a groupie, you understand (although a quickie with Keith Richards in a stadium bathroom was not outside the range of teenage fantasy). Just a lover of all things rock and roll and everything it represented. It was rebellion, freedom, artistry and self-indulgence all rolled into one and since I started to rebel around the age of 6, it was the perfect muse for my wandering soul and fiercely stubborn need to learn everything the hard way. It seemed to me at the time to be the attitude of every other rock and roll front man considering the many unfortunate drug-related incidents that beat them silly until they realized it might be a good thing to stay sober so they could still tour when they’re 65. I was in good company with my stubborn attitude…. that’s my story – or my excuse – depending on how you want to look at it.
Growing up, the whole music culture scene fascinated me to distraction. I spent many a blissful night in the blue haze of a concern stadium making my way down to the floor to get closer to the altar of a visiting messiah like Pete Townsend or Joe Walsh or Ian Anderson all the while deep-breathing my way to a gentle contact high; or wearing a gauzy Indian shirt on a sweltering, Midwestern summer night at the Mississippi River Festival, swaying to the soulful lyrics of Jackson Browne or the sexy growl of Gregg Allman while hopping from blanket to blanket in search of the best weed or a cooler full of Boone’s Farm.
Sometimes, when Classic Rewind on my satellite radio actually plays something that I consider “classic” I am propelled back to a time when I’d lay awake at night carving the names of rock bands and front men into the soft, pressed wood of my cheaply paneled bedroom as the last glow from my patchouli incense faded away to ash.
It was so different then.
Like it was okay to be a teenager pushing the envelope of what was acceptable according to your parents.
There was no fear that I can recall, no violence to speak of. Only a little benign juvenile delinquency that never hurt anyone like getting caught smoking pot on school property. What can I say? We were caught off guard. The approach of our crew-cutted, polyester-wearing football coach was drowned out by the Robert Plant’s falsetto blaring from a tape deck in someone’s beat up Trans Am. Copious amounts of marijuana + Immigrant Song + football coach who hated non-football playing boys with chains attached to their wallets = call your parents and tell them you’re a pot-head. An unfortunate chain of events that I hope my long-suffering parents have forgotten. I can still see the What-To-Do-With-Your-Pot-Smoking-Teenager pamphlets that appeared atop my patchwork bedspread, placed there by bewildered adults who had no idea what to do with their nightmare spawn.
From time to time I have considered apologizing to my parents for putting up with me but love means never having to say you’re sorry and I try to live by the rules of profound movie lines that have stood the test of time. So…I’m off the hook.
But I digress because the purpose of this post is to encourage anyone reading this to RUN not walk to the nearest movie venue when It Might Get Loud comes to your town. I won’t spill everything about this amazing rockumentary because you should get the full impact of its profound message and nostalgic power from the worn-down velvet of a theater seat surrounded by a Lucas-inspired sound system that will make your ears bleed.
I will tell you only this: It features, Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White with whom I am secretly in love even though he is a mere child which is to say he is under the age of 60 which is not my preferred age group but I’m making an exception.
This could very well be the holy trinity of rock and roll:
Jimmy Page is God the Father.
And The Edge is Jesus
And that leaves Jack to play The Holy Spirit which makes perfect sense to me.
Long live rock and roll!