Saturday, April 14, 2012

"...Apparently, Bylines Now Come With Booster Seats..."

Mark Twain was the guy who said that getting older was about mind over matter.

If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.


That line popped up in the medulla a couple of times this week as, for one reason or another, I found myself engaged in conversation with someone and the subject of age, getting older, yada yada found its way into the chat.

At this point in my own life, I mentioned more than once this week, as I have both in print and on my broadcast shows for a long time now, that I have found the chronological number I am assigned to be less an awakening to my relative stage in life than the awareness that comes from things IN my life that put the whole getting older thing into perspective.

Put simply...

I am sixty years old, feel forty years old and act like I'm twelve years old.

So, the big six oh hanging over me like some digital sword of Damocles is no problemo.

Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, on the other hand, are, among others of their peer group, about to turn 70 years of age.

And Ringo Starr will be 72 in October.


Other little "life sign posts" do a pretty good job of slapping reality at me as if it were a metaphysical two by four.

It's been twenty years since Bill Clinton was elected President.

The little kid who played "Rudy" on "The Cosby Show" is thirty three this year.

And Mike Wallace, the perennial middle aged news icon, passed away a few days ago.

At the age of 93.

Back up six sentences for my feelings about that.

Damned if the whole thing didn't pop up again today with the sad news that Bee Gee Robin Gibb is, at this writing, seriously ill.

And here's yet another example of that "wtf" thing.

Without exception, every news item I have seen in print about the story in the last two days has had a section in it like this...

The Brothers Gibb -- calling themselves the Bee Gees -- soared to renown as one of the most successful British groups after the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever" starring John Travolta was built around the group's disco songs.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the Bee Gees have sold more than 200 million albums, and their soundtrack album to "Saturday Night Fever" was the top-selling album until Michael Jackson's "Thriller" claimed that distinction in the 1980s.

All of that information is, to be fair, factually correct.

With minor pickable bone.

The Bee Gees did NOT "soar to renown" after the 1977 film  "Saturday Night Fever".

They soared to renown in the mid 1960's with a pile of hits in the British Invasion style of The Beatles, their first big American hit, as a matter of fact, "New York Mining Disaster 1941" had a lot of us, in the day, thinking it was The Beatles themselves we were hearing and not the "newly discovered" brothers from Australia who went on to hit with "Massachusetts", "I Started A Joke", "Words"...feel free to Google and You Tube to your heart's content.

Their success in the disco era, post "Saturday Night Fever" was, by any reasonable definition, a second wave of success.

If all of this seems a little "picky picky", it should be said I'm only bringing it up to make the point about age and the relativity of it all.

If you were born, say before 1960, then you already know about The Bee Gees first hits.

If you were born, say, after 1970, all of that info may come as news to you.

At least it would, if anybody would report the damn news.

But they aren't doing that.

And that, and not the birthdate on my driver's license, is why I'm feeling old.

Because I'm logging on and reading Associated Press releases on

...that are being written by twelve year olds.


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