Saturday, October 13, 2007

The '80s Live On In Us All

This afternoon, I watched The Legwarmers perform. I had heard tell by a fan or two that the group was a lot of fun, and my curiosity was piqued. I had seen a photo of the band, so my Skept-o-Meter™ was on high. Did the group's authenticity end with the headband and skinny tie?

(Go ahead, check out the Web site. I will wait.)

See what I mean? It could go either way.

Well, I am here to tell you that everyone in the audience was singing along and bobbing heads to the music, from those who came of age in the 1980s to those who have to listen to "classic rock" stations to get their Van Halen on. We couldn't keep our feet still, nor our fannies. We clapped, we sang, we danced. I myself nearly lept into the fray of dancing bodies when "Love Shack" started, but I was carrying a library book and figured Mike was a little busy actually running the festival to tend to the library's book.

The performance was a lot of fun, and I can recommend this group to anyone who wants a rockin' good time with songs of their youth. (Or, as Mike put it, "PROM!" — because every single person of a particular generation heard those songs in similar settings.)

I also noticed a phenomenon: older people rocking out. Now, before you berate me as ageist, let me explain: these people were dancing with their second and third generation friends and family members, so they were not teens. When someone completely gray is on the verge of an impromptu air guitar solo performance during "You Give Love A Bad Name," he is much older now than he was when the song was first released. ("He" because women don't do air guitar.) (In public, that is.)

When I think of grandparents, I think of my father — and when I see people who remind me of my father, I do not think "David Lee Roth" (or even the pensioner Mick Jagger). "Grandparents" I grew up with were the fans of Benny Goodman, Montovani, the stuff of which "elevator music" is made. My dad, may he rest in peace, was of a different generation. Those of his generation would no sooner rock out in an air guitar solo than remove their trousers (on purpose) on the dance floor.

So, needless to say, I have to think differently when I think of people old enough to be grandparents. I guess I have to think of my friend Beth, who could be a grandmother any time, with her children in their 20s. My friend Carole with two teenagers could be a grandmother in the next decade — though Collin and Corinne won't really want to date with Aunt Chris accompanying them on every date through their graduate school years. (No, I'm not protective.)

Long story short, my generation is getting to the point where I have to view its members differently. My contemporaries are getting older.

Waaaaaaait a minute: what does that say about me?

No comments: