Monday, March 19, 2012

Old People Gone Wild

Last night, out of the kindness of my heart -- and, also, not wanting Seth to be the weird guy alone in Row L -- I accompanied my husband to a Pink Floyd concert.

No, Pink Floyd has not reunited (although Roger Waters, at the age of 68, is currently on tour). But the popular term "tribute band" doesn't do last night's music justice. Called "Brit Pink Floyd," this slick and very professional group of musicians sounds every bit as good as the Floyd did.
...and now
I doubt die hard fans will argue...since they were all there last night but how do I put this delicately-- they have gotten really old.

Think about your grandparents. Gentle Grandpa and sweet little Grandma. Think about how they nodded off in front of the TV while wearing sweaters. Or, picture them doing cute grandparently things like making pie, pruning a rosebush or arriving promptly at 4:30 for the early bird special at Ponderosa.
"We don't need no
thought control..."

Now picture these same people in greasy jeans, leather jackets and feather earrings, arms raised, eyes closed, intoning "All in all, it's just another brick in the wall." Add a few Dark Side of the Moon tats on flaccid biceps and you have the idea.
"Teacher, leave them
kids alone!"

Or, picture Grandma, tanked up on Guinness, shrieking like a crazed banshee to the point where another slightly less hopped-up grandma screams "Jesus Christ, would you shut the %$*&#@ up already!!"

Picture women with loose skin in halter tops elbowing their way down to the stage front to dance stiffly, flicking their hair and hoping the monumentally disinterested lead guitarist might glance their way or, how about the man, with white hair and an AARP membership card, who nearly get into a full scale, alcohol fueled brawl with a burly security guy over how close he should be entitled to get to the stage during the encore.

There were some younger people in attendance, too. Parents brought sons and daughters most of whom appeared to be painfully embarrassed. And there were plenty of people in their forties and younger. But the majority were our age -- mid-fifties -- and older.

It felt good to be in the slightly younger demographic of this creaky group. But, don't worry, people my age were acting really stupid, too.

Many were attempting to record the entire concert with their phones despite the repeated warnings from security to stop filming. Or, they pulled limp joints from denim pockets, struggling to light their granny weed in the laser-punctuated darkness.

My crowd clawed for our glasses in order to read the seat number on our tickets, thundered to the bathrooms during intermission as aging bladders throbbed along with the bass guitar or wore earplugs to protect our hearing from the decibels blaring from giant speakers.

As for my Pink Floyd loving husband, he doesn't have that much concert going experience...

Yours truly, along with my intrepid college pal Annette, made it our beeswax to attend a concert almost every weekend when we were in school. In those days, if you weren't zonked from the exhaled marijuana that hovered overhead in a dense cloud, you still knew how to be cool.
Why did I grow this

Often, your concert behavior was based on the band...for the Grateful Dead, you were laid back to the point of appearing comatose. For Bob Dylan, you maintained a more socially conscious demeanor. With Neil Young, we were super cool, grooving on his electric guitar and nodding along to his liberal mantras. When Neil Diamond came to town, we were all New Yorkers with a story to tell and deli on our breath. Bruce Springsteen brought out our energetic, patriotic selves. After all, no matter how tough the road, we were still blue collar Americans down on our luck...even if we weren't.
You can all stay here
but I'm going home
to my $35 million

And we knew, when the moment came, how to properly cheer for the musicians giving us their sweaty all up on stage. I mention this because, for at least the first half of the concert, I was pretty sure Chewbacca was in the audience...somewhere to my left.

After each song, or during an extended and exhilarating guitar solo, I heard the unmistakable trilling and grunting of a wookie.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that the wookie calls were emanating from my husband.

It turns out that Seth, attempting to make noise for the band, sounds exactly like a wookie when he cheers. After thirty years of togetherness, this was news to me and  I intend to work closely with him so we can all have a wookie- free experience in the future.

The up-side is that if we ever attend a Star Wars convention, Seth can probably earn a small fortune doing Chewbacca impressions in the parking lot at a quarter a pop.
"What did that bitch say
about us?"

All in all, the young people at the concert were the best behaved. It may have been because they were so dramatically out-numbered and were very afraid.  Or it may have been that seeing so many old people acting like total assholes was disturbing enough to keep them in line.

Either way, I congratulate them on their restraint as Grandpa was getting handcuffed by the exit after becoming belligerent in the line for the bathroom. 

We had a great evening but I can only dream of the mountains of advil that were consumed when we all got home.
Learn to sound like Chewbacca right here.


  1. What a scene! I don't know if I should laugh or cry. Go, Chewy!

  2. I feel the same way when I go to see Rush in concert. The wheelchair section gets bigger and bigger every time I go.

  3. I am cracking up at the Chewie reference. That's hysterical.

    As for Floyd, that old chick with the wrinkly, flabby arm will be me (tattooed no less). I'm a huge fan, and I love the tribute bands. I'm jealous (in a good way!) you got to go.

  4. "how can you have any pudding if you don't have your teeth?"


  5. haha I'll be laughing a while! So funny!

  6. Do both, Sharona...thanks for commenting!

  7. Michelle, I went to see Tom JOnes and sat near a woiman with a walker! At least we're still going! Thanks for reading!

  8. It was great, Alicia. Keep your eyes open...between Australian Pink Floyd and Brit Pink Floyd, you'll get to see one or the other.

  9. They asked that very question, Scott!

  10. Thanks, Crack! I am very glad you enjoyed it--thanks for coming!