Throughout the course of anyones life, likes and dislikes are established. Sometimes these stay the same. Other times, they change as we change with age. That’s just how things are.
As a child of the ’80’s, it’s an allowable fact of life that I dislike the hair metal that I was in love with back then, now. Don’t cop that attitude: I was barely 10 years old and that’s all that was on the radio.
At any rate, I had a discussion with my sister about the fact that she was going to see Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. Say what you will about the man and his group, I’ll offer only this: even as they’re technically old farts, they are just as tight as they were back in their heyday. Also, Bruce is just as intense live, now, as he was back then. Additionally, I was informed by my sister after she attended the show that Bruce crowdsurfed.
He does it regularly. He’s 66. He’s also probably a member of AARP. Do you think you’ll be that intense at the age? Not fucking likely.
Suffice it to say, she was pumped to have the chance to see all of them play live again. Leading up to the show, she had started watching recent YouTube videos of The Boss and Crew performing.
What follows is the original conversation.
I still stand by what I said. If you’re still into the same thing that you were into as a kid, regardless of what it is, the “moment” ought to be about you and the thing that you’re into. Who gives a shit about the people who you have to share oxygen with because they’re apart of the moment too?
Personally, I think the Internet and our level of connectivity are to blame here. While being as connected as we are is nice, the downside of it is that this connectivity has given voice to a lot of insufferable fools. Additionally, these fools are in the majority. And because of that it’s a lot harder to not fall prey to trend following and psyching yourself out of something that, deep down, you’re really into.
Point of Fact
A million years ago, my group of friends and I used to frequent a bar called The Swinging Door. The only thing that this place had going for it was the bar bowling machine and it’s jukebox.
One Sunday night, we all meet up there. It was dead. There was just my group of friends and a group of married people down at the other end of the bar. They were probably out ending their weekend on a high note before they went back to their work weeks and their kids.
Back then I had a bit of a reputation for being the guy you didn’t want pumping quarters into the jukebox. It’s not that I would pick straight up garbage or anything like that. I’d just pick the stuff I wanted to hear. Example: You knew I was responsible if you heard Motorhead, C+C Music Factory, and The Beatles come on in succession. My friends always bitched about it because there was “no flow” to it.
This particular night, I had managed to get to the jukebox without having my quarters slapped out of my hand. I don’t remember the first two songs but I do know that I made a point of making sure that they “flowed”. As a ‘fuck you’ to my friends, I ended with Thunder Road as it was the polar opposite of the first two songs.
SIDEBAR: I genuinely liked the song at the time. Still do. Back then I was just getting into Mr. Springsteen. Plus, my friends were of the contingent that cried foul every time a ‘Bruce’ song came on. END OF SIDEBAR.
The first two songs played out fine. Then Thunder Road starts. After Bruce started singing, I was met with sighs, a few ‘goddammits’, and a stifled spit-take from my little horseshoe of friends. As I write this, I’m still pleased with myself.
Before the end of the first verse, the group of married couples at the opposite end of the bar started to sing along. Loudly, like they were going to war at first light.
There’s a lot of words in that song. My friends weren’t pleased.
In Sum, as long as you aren’t causing anyone legitimate harm, like what you like: fuck everyone else’s opinion.