by Roger White
A friend recently posted on Facebook a snippet of herself at a Kansas concert, and it really got me thinking. No, it wasn’t a concert in Topeka—it was a show featuring that well-seasoned rock band Kansas. Yes, they’re actually still around, and yes, they’re actually still touring. My first thought upon viewing this short clip was to make a mental sticky-note to myself, which will read: “Note to self: Never post a clip on Facebook of you singing along with any band anywhere.” All you can hear in this video clip is our friend wailing out “Carry On My Wayward Son” at the top of her lungs, presumably as the guys on stage paid to sing the song are doing likewise. It weren’t pretty.
The second thought that swam across the shallow stream of consciousness that is my brain was “Aren’t the members of Kansas like, 87 years old now? Shouldn’t they be singing something like ‘Carry On My Wayward Grandson’?”
Apparently, as Bob Seger opined long ago, rock and roll never forgets—as will attest many an aging rock outfit (they call them “legacy bands” now, which is code for “old fart rockers”). And these antique acts haven’t forgotten that we old fart fans will still pay good cash money to hear “Satisfaction” or “Born to Run” live just one more time before we all keel over. It’s amazing how many wrinkled ol—er, I mean, legacy bands are still at it. Just look at the lineup for Austin’s One World Theatre for any given month; nine out of ten acts playing there are card-carrying AARP members.
And this got me thinking further. I do believe it’s time for some of these long-in-the-tooth bands to tinker with their repertoire a bit to more properly reflect where they are in life. I mean, come on, Donny Osmond’s pushing 60. Can he still authentically pine about his “Puppy Love”? Instead of “Dust in the Wind,” Kansas should be singing something more along the lines of “Dust in Your Depends.”
So, herewith are some gentle oldspouse suggestions for revisions to many of our generation’s classic, albeit geriatric, gems, in no particular order:
- The Rolling Stones: “I Can’t Hear You Knocking”; “Ruby Snoozeday”; “When the Hip Goes Out”; “You Always Forget What You Want”
- Chicago: “Does Anybody Really Know What Day This Is?”; “If You Bathe Me Now”; “Questions 67 and, Uh”
- The Eagles: “Hotel Neuralgia”; “Life with the Gas Pain”; “Glaucoma Sunrise”; “After the Pills Are Gone”
- The Who: “Talkin’ ’Bout my Medication”; “Behind Bad Eyes”
- Bad Company: “Feel Like Makin’ Fudge”; “Rockin’ Chair Fantasy”; “Can’t Get Enough of Your Prunes”
- Black Sabbath: “Iron (Deficiency) Man”; “Hemorrhoid”; “Bark at the Nurse”
- Beach Boys: “Be True to Your Stool”; “Catatonia Girls”; “Good Fibrillations”
- Bruce Springsteen: “Vitamin E Street Shuffle”; “I’m Goin’ Down (And I Can’t Get Up)”; “Tenth Avenue Wheeze Out”
- Crosby, Stills, & Nash: “Almost Grew Some Hair”; “Find the Cost of Lasik”; “Helplessly Scoping”
- Deep Purple: “Stroke on the Water”; “Face Tuckin’”
- Doobie Brothers: “Long Vein Runnin’”; “Angina Grove”; “Takin’ It to the Sheets”
- Lynyrd Skynyrd: “Rest Home Alabama”
- Foreigner: “Feels Like the Last Time”; “I Wanna Know What Today Is”
- Steely Dan: “Rikki Don’t Lose Your Walker”; “My Old Stool”
- Neil Young: “Down by My Liver”; “A Man Needs a Nurse”; “Enema Girl”
- The Monkees: “Last Train to Restville”; “(I’ve Got Your) Kidney Stone”
- Billy Joel: “Just the Way You Snore”; “Scenes From an Italian Rest Home”
- Todd Rundgren: “I Saw the Nightlight”; “We Gotta Get You a Bypass”
- Sly and the Family Stone: “You Can Wake Up If You Try”; “Thank You (Falletinme Feed Mice Elf Agin)”
- KC & The Sunshine Band: “Get Sleep Tonight”; “Shake Your Footies”
- The Kinks: “Dedicated Follower of Napping”; “You Really Got Gout”
- Three Dog Night: “Try a Little Dulcolax”; “Just an Old-Fashioned Gallstone”
- Jefferson Airplane: “Go Ask Cialis”
These are just suggestions, mind you. I had a few more in mind, but you get the picture. Besides, this compilation began to seriously eat into my nap time.
Roger White is a freelance old person living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious offspring, a very obese but mannerful dachshund, and a cat with Epstein-Barr. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com. Or not.