Friday, 18 July 2008
'You are old Father William' the young man said..... 'and your hair has become very white
And yet you incessantly stand on your head....Do you think at your age, it is right?'
Absolutely. The parents recently celebrated 50 years of drinking tea together. My dad still breakdances and my mum says ' well what do you want me to do - sit on the back step?'
We sat on Brighton beach with our jetlagged cousins comparing family feet, and the genetic bunion that I escaped because of the milkman. It was a very blue sky that day.
In June the whole family sat entranced through 3 hours of Hebrew on a hard Synagogue bench, to witness J's Barmitzvah. Even the usually hyper twins were stilled by the gravity of the situation. Acknowledging with all of their 9.99%, years the concentrated effort of a 13 year old dyslexic in the latter stages of Measles, as he deciphered the inky scrolls of an ancient Torah. The gossiping of the Maureen Lipmans behind us became gasps as they witnessed a strength of character not taught in any school.....
Nearly all Neil Young's songs are about growing up or growing old. And words that rhyme with old and begin with G. In 1978 when I suppose I was young, he was increasingly whiney and skinny but not in a cool wasted speedy way. So I sold Stars and Bars and collected pink punk vinyl versions of Nellie the Elephant....'1,2,3,4....Nellie the Elephant packed her bags and said goodbye to the circuuus!!!'
Now that Neil is fatter and more baritone and I can't find all those gimmicky singles that were in a cardboard box at my brother's house, I've come crawling back and found myself tail between legs watching old Mr Young in a damp field in kent. A totally sober event. Most intoxicating drug being a flask of PG tips (pyramid tea bags). Fave accessory: wicker hamper. Fave hat: Stetson. Fave hobby: fossil collecting. Mood: stalwart. Fave motto: I can't find the Piriton.
Of course he was excellent to the point of not really bothering about the other bands. Guitar surfing over a sea of gortex to produce yet another one of this summer's life affirming experiences. Also strangely and gothically - though not in a Phantom of the Opera-ish way, he played a church organ. What a great 48th Birthday treat it was. Another year under the belt (embossed leather, cartridge with pistol holsters). Yes folks, the new old Young ticked this year's box for seeing an icon a year. There are definite waistcoaty straw chewing similarities between Neil and Nick (Cave). It's certainly been an Old Testament kinda coupla months...and if I could've lifted both my parents up in their chairs, I would've.
Halleilujah to it all !........