Thursday, June 3, 2010

My View of the Carole King and James Taylor Concert

Part 1

It didn't take long for me to realize that this concert might not be the experience I had expected. As one of those people who is in denial about my age, I don't often put myself in the position of confronting that subject if I can help it.

I rarely look in the mirror because that old woman looking back at me is NOT someone I recognize. The graying hair, the sagging checks are just not something I want to be reminded of........ more importantly that thing called mortality. It is not my friend and I prefer living in the fantasy world where I am only as old as I feel. I still think like a kid so............... I can still do what a kid does............ That's my everyday logic on a lot of levels and particularly when it comes to horses.

The closer we got to the Seattle Center the more I realized my denial about all things age related was going to take a big hit. The people walking towards the center were all middle aged.......... or heaven forbid even OLDER!

My poor denial was being beaten down and we hadn't even parked yet. A part of me was thinking I'd have been a lot better off home in bed catching up on my sleep. These old fogies concert bound just couldn't possibly be my peers!

The closer we got to the Key Arena, the thicker the throngs of aging rockers. I saw hair styles and clothing I hadn't seen in decades. By the time we actually found our seats I was more tuned in on the audience than I would ever be on the concert. I just couldn't get over the sights and sounds around me.

The concert was slated to begin at 7:30. By then half the seats were still empty and they weren't just in certain blocks so I knew there were still plenty of people outside waiting to get in.

I knew from experience they probably wouldn't start until most of the seats were occupied. That meant there was even more time for crowd watching. I spent a good portion of my time peering around taking in the sights hoping they would dim the lights so I would not longer be reminded of my age.

The crowd was a great mix of fashion statements and they arrived making statements about their mindsets as well. There were dance moves in those aisle ways I had forgotten existed. Sometimes the clothing worn helped me identify what dance I was watching. It was like looking into some odd time machine that sent people back in time but everyone there with them were as aged as the time travellers.

I was pretty sure just looking around I am not the only one in denial about my age. The look, the feel of the crowd said most of these people still thought young........even if their bodies didn't.

I must admit I haven't seen so many gray haired hippies in one place ever in my life. While we have a friend who does the 2 foot long pony tail thing even though he is quite bald, I had no idea there were so many others out there just like him. Pony tails made up of a dozen or so hairs were quite common in fact. Who knew fringe could grow to such lengths?

Back in the day, I think those hippies would have been offended to see all those round little bellies in their midst. Old people were.......well, you know..........OLD! Along with OLD, came disdain. Now, those hippies were the ones sporting the beer bellies. I'm pretty sure there were plenty of guys there who could not see their feet . How dared time do that to us?

I don't want to just pick on the guys, the women were doing their own thing too. The current plunging necklines exposing aging bustlines made for an odd mix. I have never seen so much hyper jiggly heavily wrinkled cleavage in my life. What is it about sagging breasts that seems to give them a life of their own even when their supposedly contained in restraints? There was nothing contained about the cleavage I saw and it had life that was not there when I was nineteen.

OH! How I would love to have that 19 year old body again. Looking around the arena made my quite sad. Rarely am I reminded so vividly that I am over the hill............well, over the hill. Sitting in a concert of my aging peers was like some weird horror movie, if one is sporting denial as hefty as mine. I couldn't wait for the lights to go down hoping my denial would rematerialize then.

Now, I must admit Dave looks like the typical little old man. His hair is darn near snowy white.............. right along with his beard. He could easily play Santa Claus if he'd like...........and he'd be a great one. My denial does twinge just a bit when I look at him but somehow it manages to puff itself back up pretty quickly just as long as I don't look to closely to see if I'm know.

Dave just laughed at my foolishness. He did a lot of that as we waited for the concert to start. I'm pretty sure from the twinkle in his eye the look of this group wasn't bothering him one bit. Yet there I was feeling like I was in the middle of some kind of intervention set up to bring me to my senses and get me off horses.

When the lights did finally dim, I breathed a sigh of relief. The denial I wear so proudly rushed right back into the void forged by all this people watching I'd been doing. Carole King's now blond mop of hair comforted me only briefly until Dave told me it was NOT blond but gray!

James Taylor's very bald head was disconcerting and I didn't even know what he looked like in the first place! I think the aging rockers in the band hit me the hardest. The music was still the same but something about those performing it really shattered my illusions. The time capsule my brain lives in definitely sprung a leak. Hopefully that's a good thing.

NOTE: Guess I didn't recall that Carole King or James Taylor sang so many ballads. With my lack of sleep working the horse show, I nearly did fall asleep at the concert. I caught myself just as that fuzzy little feeling right before you drop off emerged. It was a good thing the encores were lively. They woke me up enough to drive home.

Just FYI, after this, I will never go see Neil Diamond again live. Don't know that my denial can take another hit!


  1. LOL I so hear you on this onI remember when my first high school dance song was played on the OLDIES station.

    I nearly cried. :)

  2. Hahaha! You don't have to get off horses just because your getting older. I know a lady in her 80's whose still riding. She was riding side-saddle for awhile, but after her hip replacement and recovery she's back to riding astride. I think I know where your coming from here..but then again I don't know how old you are. For me I can only say that 60 is the new 40... that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  3. Yup Denile/denial , not just a river in Egypt!
    I am 43 , but my girlfriends and I are often stunned by how we got here! Still feel like I am in my twenties (mind not body)

  4. Breathe, I don't think they even had oldies stations when I was a kid. What do you think of that? Just makes me feel even older. LOL

    wilsonc, well all I can say about 60 being the new 40 is..........that's a good thing since I'm definitely on the other side of that number.

    It's the starting young horses thing that makes me wonder but I guess you do what you have to do. I'll just keep putting along hoping there aren't many surprises.

    fernvalley, as you get older the 20s in your mind just stays there. It's just too bad we can't somehow trick our bodies into staying put too. Now that would really be the best of both worlds.

  5. Just yesterday,I was talking about aging rockers! When I was young, people were 'over the hill' at 35 and DIDN'T go to concerts. Nowadays, there is no age limit. Even some of the rockers are getting old. However, it certainly is a let down when one realize that no matter how young one feels on the inside, the clock is still ticking and we are aging nonetheless.
    I gave up going to concerts for 20 years and it's only been in the past six years that I have begun to attend again. It all started with a couple of David Bowie concerts. He hasn't visibly aged much although his tour ended with emergency heart surgery. He had both young and old musicians in his band and there was a good mix of both young and old in the audience too. The same with Def Leppard, Blondie, Cheap Trick, Journey, The New Cars (with Todd Rundgren), and Alice Cooper. I was happy to see the old bands can still rock on.
    I'm not sure James Taylor and Carly Simon ever "rocked out" however. If you are considering going to any more "oldies" concerts, check out youtube for some recent concert footage before you go. That way you won't be disappointed in their appearance/performance.
    Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens) really looks like an old man (and a Moslem besides) with gray hair and a full gray beard but I'd still go see him if I ever got the chance. ;)

  6. You are too funny!!!! You are not old!! My kids in Dallas just dropped me off at an Indigo Girls concert last week and I had a blast! Ages varied from 20's to 70's.
    Now my kids don't trust me to drive in downtown Dallas, bad case of night blindness; this is why they took me. My daughter asked me when I was gonna grow up and my answer was never!!!! She best be saving for a wheelchair van cus i plan on rocking til I die!
    I love the age I am. foremost, I no longer take crap off of anyone any more. Grown old enough to say what I think and get by w it. Very liberating!
    James Taylor and Carol King? I think I own every thing they ever recorded. The song I sing to Maggie when she is stressed? James Taylor. Wished I was there w you.Never have seen him in concert. so jealous!!!! From reading your posts, I see you at 40, vibrant, smart, and a force of nature!!!