Last week AARP crossed my path in two very different ways and the duality of the situation pretty much sums up my mixed feelings about this whole aging thing. First, AARP announced that with the help of Concord Records, they would be offering music content and radio to the often kicked to the curb over 50 crowd. No big news flash to us at boomitude. That’s what we’re all about. We’re here to share our love for music with our like minded generation – those who predate the download but still have music flowing freely through their veins. My second AARP sighting came from Urban Dictionary, the lexicon of the young and with it. I follow them because I appreciate a clever turn of the phrase and more importantly, it keeps me current with the word on the street. They turned AARP into a verb: ‘aarping’ which means when people of a certain age complain. As in, “I missed half of Entourage because my dad was aarping on and on about his 401k.” Take that aging boomers!
It’s sort of like the recent Peter Frampton concert when a friend and I, who were enjoying the hot summer night and the outdoor show and yes, a drink (or two, and we’ll leave it at that), were shushed by the guy in front of us. Yes, he actually turned around and went “Shhhh!” – at a Peter Frampton concert? Really? I figured it wouldn’t be a good time to tell him about my little music blog. But on the other hand, the guy behind us couldn’t be happier with us and was all looking to party like it’s 1976. He even tried to sweeten the deal with…I kid you not…“Hey Ladies, I’ve got bug spray!”
I wasn’t lucky enough to be at the original Frampton Comes Alive show 35 years ago, but I’m guessing neither scenario took place. So yeah…times, they are ‘a changed but isn’t reverting to our younger and more carefree selves part of the concert experience? I get it – we’re all aging (even the twenty somethings….they just don’t know it yet) and how we discover and partake in good music has changed too.
I’m all for AARP, they do their thing well. I’m just not sure I’m ready to make them my go-to music resource and based on what I hear from many of my AARP age but nowhere near retirement friends, they’re not ready either. And that has nothing to do with the fact that they’re moving in on our action. OK, maybe just a little, but it still begs the age old question: would you rather be known for your high level of boomitude or your incessant aarping?