Saturday night at 8 p.m., I was home alone when my phone rang. It was Kay. “Listen to this!” she screamed. I strained my ears and mind to discern whatever patterns I could. I couldn’t make it out. But I did recognize the sounds of loudness.
Kay was calling from the Oakland Coliseum. She was at the Elton John and Billy Joel concert. Her friend Betsy’s company had bought a box that holds 12, but the day before the show, they only had 11 bodies. Kay got the call. I was way more excited for her than she was. Until I got the call. She was happily hysterical…
“I really really REALLY wish you could be here!” she shouted. “You should see these guys on their pianos! Wow! It’s amazing! They are having the time of their lives! It’s like they are little boys!”
And then there was Daltrey and especially Townshend at the Super Bowl. Pete Townshend, the definition of unleashed chaos otherwise known as rock and roll. His command of the force is no more or less than it ever was. And then there’s the Neil Young concert I went to not that long ago. A man who has never been pretty, but has always been beautiful to me. And there’s the Tom Petty concert a few years before that. I was so inspired I came home and wrote a book. And The Rolling Stones – Yes Mick, I do know that you know it’s only rock and roll, and yes, you’ve convinced me, you really do like it. And I love you for the reminder.
Much of what is me – my philosophy, my outlook, my artistic flow – came directly from the words and music of rock and rollers. When I was young, they were young, and they taught me how to be young. Now that I’m older, they are older too, so now they are teaching me how to grow old, by continuing to teach me how to be young. And that’s the lesson that never grows old.