Singer/songwriters Kenny Loggins, Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman recently formed the new band Blue Sky Riders, and were profiled by Huff/Post50 in February. They are finishing their first album and will be chronicling their experiences as a band in this blog.
A few days ago Georgia and I went to an music industry party down on Music Row in Nashville. At first I was afraid we had stumbled into a Planned Parenthood meeting because the room was filled with embryos!!! You know you are the oldest person in the room when you go to the buffet table and choose by "easiest to chew."
That got me to thinkin' (that's what we call "Ponderin" here in the South) that growing old has it's downside but looking back there are many more advantages to being EXACTLY the age I am. Allow me to reminisce and gloat:
I had Bugs Bunny.....hell, even better than that...I had BULLWINKLE. Not a day goes by when I don't quote or reference something from Bugs or Bullwinkle and it always makes me and the person I am talking to (if they are the right age) smile knowingly. No one quotes the Jetsons or Teenage Ninja Turtles. Before Hanna-Barbera screwed up the art of animation, we had the primo stuff!!! If cartoons were pot ...our sh*t was from Maui.
We had the Beatles. Moving on.
We had hippies. Even though I wasn't really a hippie I was around them for long enough to know they were HIGH-LARIOUS! I went to Woodstock but my only concession to flower power was a leather headband I wore for about three hours on the first day untill it fell off and got muddy so I was afraid to pick it up because my Mother said that was how you got polio. My sister once brought a hippie home for dinner who was "tripping" and halfway through the meal he stood up, went outside, took off all his clothes and sat on our hill in the backyard till doctors came and took him away. High-larious.
We had the Yankees and Red Sox. I know there are still teams that compete under those names but the REAL Yanks and Sox were Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Carl Yastrzemski...come on!!! One game playoffs! Ron Guidry! Bucky Dent's home run over the Green Monster! Am I losing the female demographic? Sorry.
Let's get back to the music for a second. Even the non-Beatle bands were amazing. The Buckinghams? The Monkees? The Looking Glass? Thirty years from now will they be singing "Brandy...you're a fine girl..." in a bar somewhere or will they be singing (editor...insert some rap song title here. I have no idea)? That era was when we first heard country rock. Tight three-part harmonies over acoustic guitars. Jimmy Webb. Laura Nyro. Joni Mitchell. Burt Bacharach. Brian Wilson. I am not saying this music was better or worse than the music before or after...I am just saying that being a teenager in the middle of all that was pretty damn wonderful and inspiring. I remember standing outside the music store in my hometown waiting for the delivery truck to unload the boxes of Sgt. Pepper so I could get the first one. (And I walked 40 miles to get there! You whippersnappers.)
The fashion. My God, the fashion. Seen any zoot suits lately? How about powdered wigs or skinny ties? That's because those fashions were goofy. The 60s provided lasting additions to style. Cool then, cool now. Excuse me while I slip into my bell bottom jeans and tie-dye shirt and go lord my grooviness over the kids at the mall.
Let me end by throwing a few more minor thrills I got to see on my new color RCA tv or hear on the radio in my '67 Chevy Malibu with it's black vinyl top and 8 track!!
Some guy walking on the moon. I was driving to the beach with my best friend Billy when the announcer on WDRC broadcast: "That's one small step..." we pulled over and screamed and hugged each other. Then we quickly and uncomfortably separated and pretended the physical contact never happened. I grew up with posters in my room listing all the rockets and their dimensions and payloads. Is it any wonder I didn't kiss a girl till I was 32?
John Kennedy. Granted, that didn't end well but for a while we had a cool young guy in the White House. That wouldn't happen again till Bill Clinton. Granted, that didn't end well.
One of my best and oldest friends has just (hopefully) come through a major heart operation and we are hanging on every call to see if he is going to stay on this side of the grass. The fact that he is my age makes me a bit more reflective than normal. I have had a great life. Right place at the right time kind of stuff. I am certainly not saying I am ready to join 'Lizabeth ... but I am a little more appreciative of the expression "If it all ended today..."
I am looking forward to rocking through the next 30 years or so. Can't wait to see what they listen to (us) or do (go to our concerts) or dream about (again...us) in those years to come. I'm sure it will be glorious and exciting and fantastic.
But it won't be the '60's.
Got any great 60's moments to share? Any bands I have forgotten or over inflated? Got a Nehru Jacket to sell? Put on your reading glasses, sit on your inflatable pillow and write in. Let the battles begin!!!