It’s not often that I think I’m too old for something. Most of the time, I still think I’m young. I’m game for most fun stuff. I’ll ride any rollercoaster, go down any waterslide, climb a waterfall, do a canopy tour in a rainforest. And then I listen to my daughter’s music.
It happens with every generation. We all think we’re cool and have the best taste in music…till we have teenagers. Then, our teenagers let us know just how uncool we are. My daughter loves Post Malone and Kendrick Lamar, among others. In fact, when Kendrick Lamar was performing for the NCAA National Championship football game halftime show, my daughter saw it on TV and said, “I wish we were there.” He was performing in Centennial Olympic Park instead of inside the Mercedes Benz Dome. I said “He’s not even inside the stadium. I’m glad I’m not there.” She responded, “You have no idea who he is.” She’s right, and I’m OK with that.
This week, I’m going to a concert with my friend, Mary Ann. Even though she’s over 40, she has a mad crush on Harry Styles, so for her birthday, I gave her two tickets to see him perform in Atlanta. Originally, she was going to take her eight-yr-old daughter, saying the daughter wanted to see him. Yeah, right. The daughter has since decided she has “outgrown” Harry Styles, and Mary Ann still wants to go, so I volunteered to go with her. We will have fun, but I guess I should listen to some of his music on the drive down to Atlanta. Really, I’m too old for this. I think Mary Ann just wants me to get her backstage to hang out with Harry, and with my mad skills, it could happen. Kidding! I’m an old lady…old enough to be his mother. But I’m going to the concert, and we are going to have fun.
I love a good concert, but most of my friends know there aren’t many performers I’m actually willing to pay to see. I paid to see Prince in 1997 in Mobile, and my husband and I had great seats to the Eagles a few years ago…when Glenn Frey was still alive. We also had great seats to Sade, and John Legend opened…quite a show. I’ve taken my daughter and friends to Selena Gomez, Miranda Cosgrove, and Ariana Grande, and my daughter and I even saw One Direction open for Big Time Rush a few years ago in Durham, North Carolina. We had no idea who they were at the time, but we watched them from our front row seats, and then, they were on Saturday Night Live a couple weeks later.
The last concert I attended was in Charlotte last summer. I went to see New Kids on the Block, Boys to Men, and Paula Abdul…with Mary Ann…I think I see a theme here. When the New Kids were popular the first time, I was way too old to like them, but my friend, Angela, and I liked them anyway. We were in college. Most of their fans were tweens, but we secretly loved them. We would drive around in my car playing the New Kids cassette, but only when no one else was in the car. Mary Ann, on the other hand, was the right age for loving the New Kids, and her daddy got her front row seats.
I’ve never been invited backstage at a concert, but I have friends who have. One even went on the road with Poison in the 80s, and I have other friends who know some “rock stars.”
I did meet the GooGoo Dolls one time in Charlotte. My friend Lisa, and I went out for dinner at The Palm. This was probably 2002 or 2003. We were waiting in the bar for our table when she said, “That’s Johnny Rzeznik!” I turned around to look, and indeed, it was. In fact, it was all the members of the Goo Goo Dolls coming in for dinner. Lisa was a big fan. Lucky for her (and me too!), we were seated right next to them. I only knew them because my husband liked their music. Lisa knew their music, so once we were seated, she turned around and said something to one of them, and before I knew it, we were sitting with them. I called my husband from my flip phone (no camera!) and told him to come down there, but he refused. It was a memorable night. We had dinner and dessert. I was the designated driver, so I got us both home safely.
The Goo Goo Dolls are closer to my generation, but I’m still older than most of their fans, I think.
Two years ago, I was flying back from Los Angeles with my daughter. I got up to go to the bathroom, and on my way back to my seat, 2D, I saw Frankie Valli in 3C…one row back from me and across the aisle. I’m sure my eyes got big as saucers, but no one seemed to notice. In fact, no one seemed to notice it was Frankie Valli! I recognized him immediately. He was part of the soundtrack of my childhood!
I quickly sat down next to my then-12-yr-old daughter and said, “You won’t believe this! Frankie Valli is behind us!” Her response? “Who?” I went through some of his songs…My Eyes Adored You…Sherry…Can’t Take My Eyes Off You…Working My Way Back to You…Grease. We had a winner with Grease. She knew that one, but she still had no idea who he was. I explained to her Jersey Boys is about his life! He is a living legend! She was too young to appreciate it, just like I’m too old to appreciate Kendrick Lamar.
Now, if he had been in a window seat, I’d have left him alone, but I hated to pass up the opportunity to meet a living legend. Since he was on the aisle, I just turned around and quietly asked if I could come back and speak with him. He said yes! So, I squatted on the floor next to his seat and talked with him briefly about his music…and how my mother’s name was Sherry. I have no idea what was said between the two of us, because I had helicopters in my head. I ended our brief conversation by asking if I could get a photo with him, and he obliged. He was very sweet…and still quite dapper at 82 (he’s 84 now). In fact, he’s still performing regularly…and doing it very well! He was on his way to Savannah for a performance that day. I’d pay to see him perform…definitely.
Later, when I went back to the bathroom, I stuck my head in the galley and said to the 25-yr-old flight attendant, “You know that’s Frankie Valli in 3C, right?” She looked like I had 14 eyes and said, “The agent said he was somebody famous, but I don’t know him.” Again, I went through his songs. Heck even my 12-yr-old was more knowledgeable than she was. She just gave me a blank stare. So I ended with, “Well, the man is a living legend. You take good care of him. And when the plane lands, you call your mom and tell her you had Frankie Valli on your flight, and she will know who he is, and she will be excited.” Ahhh…the ignorance of youth. To see one of my favorite Frankie Valli videos, click here.
So, when I’m at the Harry Styles concert, I will pretend I’m 21 again and live in the moment. Mary Ann and I won’t get invited backstage…unless he’s looking for a mother figure to darn his socks or do his laundry.
I’m getting too old for this.