Music and Sports


If there are two things in our society that are supposed to make us feel young, they’re music and sports.

Yet here, in 2010, few things make me feel older than music and sports.

As I write this, I am copying the entirety of Live’s Mental Jewelry onto my computer. It’s a fantastic disc; one that I’ve re-found thanks to my wife’s Great CD Purge. Yet while reading the back cover, I was heartbroken to discover the release date: 1991.

Nineteen-ninety-one!? As in, 19 years ago!? As in, when I was a college freshman; when Don Mattingly was still a great Yankee; when my dad’s hair wasn’t gray, my car told us “A door is ajar!” and ice cream scoop at Friendly’s cost 75 cents? How the hell did that happen? And how did Wyclef’s The Carinval come out 13 years ago? And how did Wrecxx-n-Effect’s Hard Or Smooth come out 18 years ago? And why in the world do I have Tiffany’s 2000 comeback CD?

The same exact words and feelings can be applied to sports. Let’s see, I covered my last World Series … hmmm … uh … EIGHT years ago!? And Mattingly has been retired for 1 1/2 decades!? And Karl Malone is already up for the Basketball Hall of Fame? And the Delaware-Cincinnati NCAA Basketball Tournament game I attended was … when the first George Bush was president!?

I am truly baffled by time, and how a 40-minute spin class at the gym can feel like 10 years, and how 10 years can feel like a half hour. I can deal with some gauges (the growth of my kids; the recession of my hair), because they somehow seem natural and progressive. Yet with music and sports, I only feel old and washed-up. I think back to my boyhood, when we’d drive somewhere and my parents would turn on WCBS—the local oldies station. Some tune by Smokey Robinson or Frankie Avalon would come on and I’d roll my eyes. Now, however, reality has mashed me across those face. What Smokey and Avalon were to me, Men at Work and Madness are to my kids.

I am old.

And so is my music.

7 thoughts on “Music and Sports”

  1. Jeff, whatever you do, DO NOT go see one of your favorite musicians perform 10 to 15 years after they were really relevant. Saw Public Enemy in concert at BB Kings in NYC last March… I could feel my hair line making a bee-line to the back of my head… and there was no sign of any Dwight Gooden mural on a building in Manhatten.

  2. Best posting I have read on your blog. I am 44 and think through these same thoughts often lately.

    Brad – exception is Paul McCartney, best “oldie” show that has as much if not more energy than when he was younger.

  3. This past November, my (three years younger) brother was traveling to NYC and had pre-confirmed dog-house status for himself by announcing to his wife that he’d be leaving her and their three kids in the hotel to go see the Pixies play on Thanksgiving eve/morning at 1 a.m. His invitation for me to join was an easy one to consider — no way. A) I’m old. B) My various life blessing leave me always tired. C) We were scheduled to move three days later and had to pack, D) my wife would promptly banish me to the dog house if I had left her and our three kids to go have fun while she lay sleepless, considering our impending relocation. Seeing as no one else his/my age would agree to with him, my brother still had a ticket available when I agreed to go with him two days before the show. First of all, I had a truly excellent time and didn’t feel as old or subsequently tired as I had expected. Second, I spent no time in the dog house (“Do I have to go with you?” my wife had asked. “no.” “Then I hope you have a good time.”). But the big take-away for me was — how the hell can Frank Black agree to perform at that time of night and then completely kick ass at nearly 45 years old? Is it just speed, or (wait for it) – is there hope for us fogies after all?

  4. Age is just a state of mind. Chuck Berry was still rocking in his 70’s. Darlene Love who has to be in her 60’s is awsome. Even at 60 Springsteen still puts on a great show.

  5. YOUR OLD!!!!
    I remember seeing the Doors in concert.
    Ditto CSN&Y
    Frank Zappa
    Tower of Power
    David Bromberg
    Some jerk named Ike and his amazing wife Tina Turner
    Charlie Musselwhite
    BB King
    No offense but music died before the 90’s
    Disco was the beginning of the end.
    Talked to the owner of a pub near campus told him how much I enjoyed those old blues bands I used to go there and listen to, Robert Cray, Curtis Salgado (Inspiration for the Blues Brothers, AKA stole the act) etc.
    He had this really sad look on his face and said, “unfortunately all they want today is a DJ.”

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