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In the Mix

May 04, 2015 02:02PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Paul Cotruvo

“I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)” was the rally cry sung by The Who in 1965, encapsulating all that ‘60s rebellious spirit. But what did Pete Townshend really mean when he wrote those lyrics? I mean, how old is old? Was it a metaphor for one’s youthful spirit or an actual age? After all, The Who is celebrating their 50-year anniversary this year and will be touring the world. Will “Tommy can you hear me?” take on a whole new meaning? And “Who are you?” No, really, who are you?? Have they reached their “old” yet? Last I checked, Miracle Ear or Life Alert did not sponsor them.

I don’t think any of the ‘60s bands thought or cared about aging. After all, they all thought their fame would only last a few years. Paul McCartney once said, “Obviously, we can’t keep playing the same sort of music until we’re 40.” McCartney added, “When we’re old men playing ‘From Me to You’, nobody’s going to want to know about that sort of thing.” But I think Sir Paul was wrong. I think a lot of these bands and musicians still have something to offer. Still, it is art, and who is to say you can’t paint past 30? Or sing “Hey Jude” in your 70s!

Last month I went to a Fleetwood Mac concert in Oakland. It was the return of 71 year-old Christine McVie to the lineup. She was on top of her game and sounded amazing. And 66 year-old Stevie Nicks was still twirling like it was 1975. Their energy was unbelievable. They definitely have not reached their “old” yet.

The Grateful Dead are going to reunite this summer for a few shows; 73 year-old Bob Dylan has never stopped touring and will be out on the road this summer; Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and Eric Clapton will all be rocking the house. I wish I were this old! And yes, roll out the Visa cards, break into the kids’ college funds, because The Rolling Stones are back! Sponsored by AARP (not really). “I didn’t expect to last until fifty myself, let alone with the Stones,” Keith Richards said with a laugh in an article last year. “It’s incredible, really. In that sense, we’re still living on borrowed time.”

But what does all of this mean? It means I was lucky enough to grow up in the best musical era of all time. You can’t deny that most of the songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s are timeless and very relevant today. And as parents and grandparents from this generation, we have all done a great job in carrying this music forward and exposing it to our children -- even if it was because of the latest Rock Band video game or the latest car commercial. Call it classic or geezer rock if you want, but wear it proudly! And the next concert you go to, stuff that beer belly into that fading black Kiss t-shirt and don’t worry about the age of the musicians or what they look like; just feel lucky that these bands are still around to enjoy.

So how old is old? “I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)”

The greatest generation! (Ok, time for my nap.)

Quote of the Month:

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

― C.S. Lewis

Paul’s picks for May:

May 3: The Angry Brians, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm

May 21: Dan DeShara, Rocco’s Pizzeria, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, 8pm

May 23: Mark Blasquez, Rocco’s Pizzeria, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, 8:30pm          

May 23: Caroompas Room, Dallimonti’s, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 9pm

May 24: The Von Trapps, Pleasant Hill Summer by the Lake Concert Series, City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane, 6pm    

May 30: Garageland Rodeo, Dallimonti’s, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 9pm

May 31: The Sunday Paper, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm                           




Armando’s        : 707 Marina Vista, Martinez CA               

Dallimonti’s      : 1932 Oak Park Blvd. Pleasant Hill, CA    

Dan’s Bar            : 1524 Civic Drive Walnut Creek CA             

E.J. Phair Brewing Company:  2151 Salvio Street, Concord, CA

Pyramid Alehouse: 1410 Locust Street Walnut Creek, CA

Roxx on Main-627 Main St. Martinez, CA                             

Rocco’s Pizzeria: 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road Walnut Creek CA

The Roundup Saloon: 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Lafayette, CA       Phone: (925) 284-4817

Vinnie’s Bar & Grill: 2045 Mt. Diablo Street, Concord, CA