So we were watching the Hyde Park concert movie last night and I had an epiphany. The best religious ceremonies often offer epiphanies, don't you think?
So what was my realization? I'll try to explain.
I was trying to figure out why it is that the Stones sill look amazingly cool onstage and ARE still amazingly cool onstage, even though their sell-by date would seemingly have long since passed. I mean, they were playing a venue which they had played forty-four years ago, which would have made them in their twenties then and yet, they still brought as much energy and juice and jam to the party at the advanced ages they are now as they did all those years ago.
Well, almost as much. Probably.
This is what Mick and Keith looked like then:
The Stones never looked like they were "supposed to." They wore make-up and their girlfriends' clothes and accessories.
They took the ever-clever "are y'all boys or are y'all girls?" remarks and turned them upside down and Mick, at least, went full-on drag at times,
while the girls still screamed for him, never once doubting that he was, underneath it all, the sort of man they would not take home to mother but the sort that they would happily keep all to themselves. And not to share make-up tips with, either.
There was a period in Keith's junky-hood when he obviously didn't bother going to the dentist. One of the richest men in rock and roll history and the man played guitar onstage in front of thousands with missing and rotted teeth. Okay, that was more of a drug-related thing than a fashion statement but it didn't seem to bother their audiences at all.
So...where am I going with this?
What occurred to me last night watching these seriously elder men playing rock and roll in front of I don't know how many screaming, dancing, joyful people of ALL ages, was that they look no more bizarre now in what could be their dodderhood than they've ever looked and that they have always pushed the envelope as to what a performer should look like and now they're pushing it even further in a very different and profound way. They look like what they are, which is men in their late sixties and early seventies and yet, they very much do not resemble in the least what we visualize when we think about men of that age. Not when they're onstage. And with the exception of some hair dye being used in the case of both Mick and Ron, they almost certainly are not availing themselves of artificial cosmetic or surgical enhancements. Mick and Ron are both so thin that they could easily model for med students tracing the musculoskeletal anatomy of the human male, Charlie Watts looks perfectly fit (and he has to be, as do they all) and dear, dear Keith has gotten himself a belly which says to me that he's not doing drugs and makes him somehow even more adorable.
So yeah. That was my epiphany. That even now they are changing our perceptions of what Rock and Roll is and looks like and perhaps more importantly, what aging is and looks like.
Or maybe this is all bullshit and I'm just old and there you go.
Anyway, I enjoyed watching the film tremendously and I did enough small-dancing in the living room to possibly give myself a chiropractic treatment and I am in almost no pain at all today. I am thinking that this should be a daily event.
The weather is turning as I write this, huge gusts of wind coming through and turning the leaves inside out and slamming doors shut and scattering the newspaper in the kitchen. The party I was looking forward to going to this afternoon has been canceled due to illness. Mr. Moon's temporary crown has popped off once again. Why do these things happen on the Saturday before Christmas? I don't know but almost the exact same thing happened to me some years back and I recall my dentist meeting me in his office after hours, the night before Christmas Eve and putting my real crown on. That was enough of a Christmas miracle to last me for years.
Now we shall see if Mr. Moon's dentist is as accommodating as mine was. I am not putting my money on that one but one never knows.
I guess that's what I'm saying here overall- one never does know. I don't, anyway.
I never would have guessed that so many of the Rolling Stones would still be alive, much less still playing fantastic music and still one of the most lucrative acts on the planet, that half the Beatles would be dead, that I'd still be alive, that I would have grandchildren, that the wind would be coming in like this today, that the party would be canceled, that I'd look in the mirror and see what I see when I look in the mirror, that SAME-SEX COUPLES IN UTAH ARE BEING LEGALLY WED, that I'd be twenty-nine years married to a former basketball player who sells cars for a living, that I'd be living back in Lloyd again after having left thirty-two years ago, that I would be a chicken-tender (haha!), and that I would still be dancing, occasionally, at least in the privacy of my own home under the influence of...The Rolling Stones.
And so much more, some of it which I cannot even discuss here. But trust me- I never would have guessed and this is life.
You just never know.
It is best not to accept the preconceived notions of how anything is supposed to happen or look or feel or be. Instead perhaps, we should just take what we have and joyfully trudge on or dance on or shuffle on or stumble on or however we can manage to keep going on with whatever powers we may still possess under whatever circumstances we find ourselves.
As the Stones have so famously said over and over again- you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.
Here's a clip from that film, beautifully shot, saying it better than I could, those old men doing it with love after all these years, redefining what they invented so many years ago.
Happy Saturday, y'all.