One weekend my daughter was going out with her friends and wondered if my wife and I would watch our grandson.
She asked me if I had ever heard of the local band they were going to see. I heard of them but I never saw them play.
Then she said with a bit of disappointment “Oh, they look kind of old.”
When I looked at the band’s publicity pictures they didn’t look like a bunch of guys in their twenties but “old” is not a word that came to my mind. To me they looked like they could have been in their mid to late thirties possibly their forties.
To someone who is in their late fifties that is not old. Old would be watching someone my father’s age play.
I don’t mind her calling them old. I understand it’s subjective to the viewer’s perspective.
I guess what bothered me is the tone with which she said it. It was as if to say they are old, how could they be any good. Old guys can’t rock.
I fight that same prejudice. They look at me, guess my age and are probably pretty accurate with their guess. Then they assume I am probably too frail and weak in my advanced years to play rock and roll.
But the fact is most of these young guys have no idea about putting some pop in their playing.
Yes they’ve heard about the groove, and making music breath but they have only heard it on records that were made by guys that were probably older than me.
They’ve heard music made by guys who have experienced it and sought after it like a drug or a prize. They’ve heard it and probably don’t even know they’re listening to it, all they know is they like it.
I know every time I sit down at a kit for an audition or an open mic they see my white beard, balding head and wrinkled face and expect some tippy tap amateur crap playing.
But as soon as the back beat knocks them down they look and smile the smile of a very pleasant surprise.
But it’s getting past that prejudiced expectation that old guy’s can’t kick some ass when they play.
And I don’t consider myself old.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.