for May 7, 2002
by Bobby Stein
Oh, to be young again.
That was the thought floating about my skull during this year's Ag-Field day at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. To be young and carefree roaming about Passion Puddle on a warm Saturday afternoon, high on life, love, and freshly cultivated mushrooms from the stables of Cook campus. But no, I am older, wiser, viewing this event through wrinkled eyebrows under peppered hair. Still, it was proof of the old adage, "You're only as young as you feel."
My old band, Boss Jim Gettys, was asked to perform at the yearly festival by an old friend. He goes by the name of Wil. Wil had put together a lively lineup of old and new faces that seemed like a fit, so we agreed. But I have to admit the whole idea of strapping on a bass and dusting off the vocal chords was slightly unnerving. Would anyone remember? Would anyone care? It seemed like yesterday when we'd play to a packed, smokey room at 1 AM. But then again, it was actually more like 2 years since we really were a band, and we had all moved on in life. Mark, the singer/guitar guy, was married, ran a part-time recording studio, owned property in New Mexico, and planned to go back to school. Austin, our drummer, had just finished building his horse farm with his longtime girlfried, while playing in other bands by night and working for an online publisher by day.
I, on the other hand, had given up music almost entirely. After a yearlong stint in a Hoboken band, I decided enough was enough. I was getting too old for the late nights, the faraway gigs, the hemorraging wallet, and the dusty lungs. I wanted the simpler life of a modest home in the suburbs, a loving wife, and 4 cats nipping at my feet. But like any passion, music never completely leaves your system. It haunts your mind and soul like the memory of an old love. And in a way, I was glad to have another fling on the green grass of Cook campus. Minus the bug bites, of course.
The other bands were wonderful background music to a perfect afternoon with friends. We packed a cooler of sandwiches and beer, and sat on the lawn cracking jokes and telling old stories. This certainly wasn't the same gig I was used to. There were no punks doing lines in the bathroom. There were no meat-heads picking fights with the door guy. There were no kids trying to get in with a fake ID. This was actually FUN! And there were all sorts of people there. Young, old. Black, white. You name it. Very refreshing.
Sure, we didn't score a record deal or sell a dozen t-shirts. We didn't even bother with a mailing list. Now, was all about satisfaction. Entertainment, even.
Isn't that what it's supposed to be about, anyway?
©2002 Bobby Stein
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter
Monday, May 21, 2018
Kali Masi and The Vansaders at The Saint
Graham Parker and Adam Ezra at City Winery
Stringbean & Boardwalk Social Club at Asbury Park Yacht Club
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ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...
A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
Datarock - True Stories
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
HEALTH - Die Slow
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue
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