Friday, September 30, 2005

Times Have Changed


So I have been thinking that seeing as I've billed this blog as partially being about music, perhaps I should include it occasionally as a topic. There's a thought! I don't know if I am having a mid-life crisis or a reawakening or what, but lately I have been obsessed with music again. When I have freetime, I find myself wandering around different sites online. You name it, sites for bands, online music stores, music e-zines. I'm there desperately looking for something. I just can't figure out what I'm looking for yet.

Maybe I'm trying to reconnect with my youth. Maybe I'm trying to find that perfect new band that I can't stop listening to. Maybe I'm trying to identify with the aging of some of my old favorites, see how they are handling and expressing the changes your soul makes over the years. Have we softened up yet or are we just more realistic? Have we figured out what matters?

I'm still not sure why I turn to music when I do some soulsearching. I guess I find it comforting when I find a sound or an idea that mirrors what I am going through at the moment. Sometimes I think it's a little weird that I've chosen such an impersonal way to be a part of the collective consciousness. I guess I'm kind of introverted. Now that I'm older, I wonder if I am being immature. I guess I still really don't know why I love it so much. It's simply part of what makes me tick.

The difference between me now and 20 years ago, where music is concerned, is that then it was who I was. Lauren and I had a whole discussion this past week about how I used to be so concerned about my "cred" when it came to what I would and wouldn't listen to. No way in college would I ever have admitted to liking bands like Van Halen (there's a whole horrific story that goes with that one) or some funny song from younger years like "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." Now, I'm OK with it all. No shame involved, no judgements placed. Wow, it sure takes a lot less energy! There are definitely some great benefits to getting older. I find myself more able to enjoy things for what they are. Simple.

I guess what got me thinking about this today is that tonight Lauren and I are going to go see Bob Mould. He is someone who I think has aged gracefully where his music is concerned. What is great about this show is that he will finally be playing both his newer solo material as well as some old material from Husker Du and Sugar. I never blame musicians when they decide that they aren't going to play certain things from their past. Imagine having to tell some story from when you were 21 over and over again. Not only would you get tired of the repetition, but you're no longer the person you were then. I do think that as you age, it becomes easier to revisit the past, as time has a way of smoothing out even the roughest edges. You learn to appreciate that you are what you are now because of a process and that it was all important. Trite, but true.

I guess I decided to write about this today because my last experience with Bob Mould was far different than the one I know I will have tonight. Tonight, I'll pick up Lauren, drive to the show, have probably one beer, maybe two, stand in the back, and be fine with it. Almost twenty years ago, I bought my Husker Du ticket from a friend the day of the show. I piled into a VW microbus with a bunch of people I barely knew and we drove from Columbia, SC to Chapel Hill, NC. I don't know exactly how long this took, but it was more than a few hours and I know I missed class the next day, but I'll tell you about that in a minute.

So, we drove all the way there and managed to get to the show on time. I knew I wasn't feeling so good that day, but by the time we got to the show, I knew I had the flu. Cold sweats, woozy head, exhausted. So, what did I do? Why, drink of course!!!! The show was amazing. What was more amazing was the rest of the trip. Amazing? No, STUPID!!!! So, we all leave and decide that we didn't want to drive all the way back to Columbia. We stop at a hotel somewhere. This is when I realize that I have now been railroaded. No one in the van is 21 except me. Mind you, there is also another car traveling with us and they've stopped, too. I am now legally responsible for about 10 people I barely know.

We pull around the side of the hotel so the front desk can't see how many of us there actually are. I go in with one of the girls and check in and get ONE room. Right. I'm sick and delerious and feeling a little nervous, but does this stop me? No. We all load into the one tiny room and are sprawled all over everywhere and of course we are not quiet at all. At this point I realize I am really sick and pretty much attempt to pass out. In the fog my head was encased in, I do realize that my roommates are loud, they have alcohol and they are in possession of, and are using, various types of drugs. If I hadn't been so sick, I probably would have freaked out. Even then I knew what was crossing the line regarding legality and the possibility of getting in actual legal trouble. Regardless, I just laid there. Nothing happened and we all made it back to Columbia the next day, but I definitely was not happy. Needless to say, I never went on a roadtrip with that crew again.

Long story short, I am very glad to go see Bob Mould tonight. I am very glad to be going with Lauren. I am very glad that I know I will be in my own bed at a reasonable hour tonight. I'm very glad that I can tell this story of youthful foolishness with no embarassment. I'm very glad that I am 40.

9 comments:

lulu said...

How much not to tell anyone the Van Halen story?

Coaster Punchman said...

Sharon, this is a really great post. And I demand to hear the Van Halen story. (It's not the one about wearing black for three days when the broke up, is it?) And remember, if you won't tell me, I know the combination to Lulu's vault.

lulu said...

Back in the day, Sharon didn't like Todd, Bruce's roommate, because Todd looked, and I quote, "like the kind of guy who might wear a Van Halan tee-shirt."

Tenacious S said...

So, now that loose lips have sunk the ship.....Yes, I was annoyingly pretentious, but it's over now. Well, mostly over now.

lulu said...

Hey, you gave me permission!

Coaster Punchman said...

That's a great line and you should not be ashamed of it. Right up there with "Karin wore velour."

lulu said...

I have *no* idea what you're talking about.......

Melinda June said...

I would have hated someone who looked like a van halen fan back then, too. Now, I think a van halen tshirt would look great with some jeans, a velvet jacket, a pair of motorcycle boots, and a bright red lipstick. (David Lee Roth Van Halen. Not Sammy Hagar, of course.)

Sonja said...

Such an interesting topic. And I think that the effort to define ourselves continues after college. Music was a greater part of our world then. Now that we're adults and consumers, the categories have multiplied.