Some friends, the Old Boy and I, went to a Herman’s Hermits’ concert last night. I said to them, “We’re sharing a table with some strangers. They’ll probably be wrinkly-dinklies and Herman’s Hermits’ tragics. You know the sort. They’ll know every single song and go ‘Woo!’ at the end of each one. We’re just going to have to be gracious and not let that bother us.”
The hall was set up with large tables, plenty of room between each one and a bar at the back of the room. It looked like a wedding reception. There was even an usher at the door with a floor plan to help us find our table. When we sat down I asked the people next to me, “Are you friends of the bride or groom?” They smiled, but a little warily. They probably thought, “Poor old dear. Dementia’s on its way.”
The band was fantastic. They might have grey hair and are older than dirt, but those dudes could still rock it out. But, you know you’re out with the oldies when the band asks the audience, “Hands up if you thought we were dead.”
I had a strange sense of being back in high school and in a future retirement village, at the same time. There was a senior citizens’ version of a mosh pit where a few braver, and obviously fitter than the rest of us, couples danced the rock-and-roll jive all night. ALL NIGHT! What steroids are they on?
And guess what: I was right about there being an old Herman’s Hermits tragic at our table. It was me! I knew all their songs, and the other 60s classics they did. I sang along to them all, attempted a bit of harmony when it was particularly loud, and yelled “Woo hoo!” and “Alright!” at the end of each song. And you know what? I don’t care. I had F.U.N. The others were patient and gracious with me.
What has this got to do with writing, living and the price of eggs? Probably not a lot, except that the evening showed me, once again, how powerfully connected music and memories are. For a few hours I was transported back to beehive hairdos; pointy-toed stiletto high heels; school-girl crushes; doing my homework while glued to the radio; being young, fit and healthy and even, possibly, a little bit cute. Ah…glory days.
It also showed me that with the right attitude and a good band, it doesn’t matter how decrepit you are, you can still have fun. Groovy, baby. And, one more “WOO!” for the road.