Saturday, April 12, 2008


Gail Collins, in her column titled The Revenge of Lacey Davenport, in Saturday's New York Times, wrote:

Long, long ago, Mick Jagger used to say that he couldn’t picture singing rock ’n’ roll when he was 40. His message, obviously, was not that the Stones planned to retire, but that Mick planned on remaining in his 30s forever. That which we cannot change, we ignore.
"Lacey Davenport" is a Doonesbury character thought to be based on the late Millicent Fenwick, who was elected to Congress from New Jersey at the age of 64, which at the time (1974), Ms. Collins observes, was considered "a geriatric triumph." She then adds: "These days, of course, as the first baby boomers are pushing 64, it’s regarded as part of the prime of life."

Well, of course it is. We boomers are a cohort of Jean Brodies, all in our prime:
Which, I suppose, is why, when I see a guitar store window, I pause and look longingly at those sleek Fender Strats and Teles, those gorgeous Gibson Les Pauls; why I'm distracted at the dry cleaner's by a poster offering guitar lessons. To quote the Beach Boys, It's not too late... .

Update: Ted Burke suggests (see comments) blues harp as a perhaps more attainable alternative to guitar heroism. Actually, I have an exemplar in that regard: one of my wife's friends' father, a septuagenarian living in the suburbs of Buffalo, who took up harp late in life and now bids fair to be the Sonny Boy Williamson of the Niagara Frontier.

Bonus: Hear and see Ted play blues in G here.