When my son called me via cell phone from California a few years ago to tell me he had gotten us concert tickets, we had a little Abbott and Costello moment.
"Mom, I got you and Dad tickets to see The Who."
"Tickets to what?"
"Not The What. The Who, the WHO, I got you and Dad tickets to see the WHO!!"
"OH, the WHO!! WOW!"
I didn't even realize that The Who were still doing concerts. let alone coming to town. But then, I don't really keep up on the concert scene these days except for the occasional email broadcast from co-workers selling tickets they can't use. I usually have one of two reactions: "Who's that?" or "Wow, they're still alive?"
I'm not exactly what you would call a raving "Who Fan," save a very brief period in 1975 when I had a huge crush on Roger Daltrey after the release of "Tommy." But these days I can't say I'm a raging fan of anyone, except maybe an NPR personality or two. But The Who is an icon of our generation, and so I was very excited to go despite the fact that I had not been to a rock concert in decades. It is amazing to me how different things are going to a rock concert at age 50 versus 20.
When I was 20, I agonized over what to wear in hopes of dressing sexy enough to gain attention from the band. At 50, I agonized over what shoes to wear in hopes of being able to walk from the parking garage to the venue without my feet hurting. When I was younger, they could not play the music loud enough for me. But at 50, fearing the loud music, I grabbed a pair of earplugs on my way out of the house. At 20, I wanted the concert to go on forever and was crushed if there were fewer than three encores. At 50, considering the concert was on a weeknight, I was relieved when the house lights went up after the first encore ended.
Don't get me wrong; the concert was great. My son, who was working on the band's DVD at the time, arranged for us to have front-row seats. I've never had such an amazing concert experience. For almost the entire concert, I had eye contact with Pete Townsend, and at 60-something he's certainly still got it.
After the concert, as we were walking to the car, basking in the glow of our son's fabulous gift to us, I said to my husband, "I have a splitting headache, but I don't care," To which my husband replied, "WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR A WORD YOU'RE SAYING."
Next time, I'll grab a pair of earplugs for him, too.