Tom Ross' column appears in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4205 or tross@SteamboatToday.com.
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Steamboat Springs Editor's note: The following Tom Ross column originally appeared in an August 2002 edition of the Steamboat Today.
I have a party game to re-introduce to you this week. It's called, (with sincere apologies to Barry Manilow) "I Write the Songs that Make the Whole World Gray."
Are you ready to play? Here's the deal. The idea for this game came over me while watching a magical Little Feat concert at Howelsen Hill in August 2002. I caught myself thinking, "Whoa dude, guitarist Paul Barrere looks like he could be somebody's grandpa!"
Don't get me wrong, I admire Barrere's music a whole bunch. It's just that I looked around the concert venue and realized we're all getting older - some of us faster than others.
And just about the time I was picking up on this, an acquaintance said out of the blue, "Hey man, did you go to Woodstock?"
"No, I didn't, but my wife did."
"Cool. A couple of my friends invited me to go to this big concert in New York state that weekend, but I had to work at the drugstore. Anyway, they never got closer than two miles."
"Far out man."
Did I really say "far out?" Let's get on with the game. It's really simple.
All you need is a pencil, paper and a few active memory cells. The idea is to think of an old rock song from the '60s or early '70s and rewrite the lyrics to fit the current age bracket of the band that originally recorded the song.
Naturally, I have a few ideas to get you started.
Instead of singing, "Feats don't fail me now," Little Feat should sing, "Heart don't fail me now."
The Rolling Stones just re-released, "Ti-i-i-ime, ain't on my side. No it ain't."
Back in the '60s - like about 1965, a band called Herman's Hermits had a hit with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter." Thirty-seven years later, Peter Noone would be singing, "Mrs. Brown, You Are a Lovely Grandma."
Speaking of the '60s, who can forget that Simon and Garfunkel classic, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme?"
I know, if you can't hear the melody in your head, this isn't going to work for you. Maybe you should turn to the sports page right now.
However, if you're still with us, picture Art Garfunkel with that big head of golden curls and cue the harpsichord music. Then, sing to yourself, "Testosterone, Old Age, Viagra and Time.
"Remember me to one who once cared. She once was a partner of mine."
Hey, Bruce Springsteen is back on tour with the E Street Band. He's rewritten the lyrics to his rock anthem, "Born to Run."
"Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to na-a-p."
David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young once wrote an ode to shoulder-length hair, entitled appropriately, "Almost Cut My Hair."
These days, David is singing: "Almost bought Depends, it happened just the other day. I could have said they were in my way, but I didn't and I, wonder whyyyy!"
If Jim Morrison of the Doors were still alive, he'd be growling, "Come on baby let's retire, our 401K ain't gettin' no higher."
Hendrix, bless his little heart, would be about 62 years old now. I can just hear him ragin' on that Strat and singing, "Actin' funny, and I don't know why. Excuse me, while I pop a Centrum Silver."
Hey, Joni Mitchell didn't go to Woodstock, but she wrote the song called Woodstock. What else did she write?
An early hit for Joni was "Big Yellow Taxi." Today, when Joni sings, "And a big yellow taxi came and took away my old man," the lyrics have a whole new meaning. Her old man really is old!
Check this out. I know an old rock song that doesn't need its lyrics updated - Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Get it? We're buying a Stairway to Heaven!
In closing, I'd like to defer to Neil Young, who once sang, "My, my, hey, hey, rock 'n' roll is here to stay.
It's better to burn out, than it is to rust.
Hey, hey, my, my, rock 'n' roll can never die."
Or something like that.
Party on Wayne.
Party on Garth.
Rock on Neil.
And rock on Paul Barrere.
Tom Ross is a longtime Steamboat resident. His column is published Tuesdays and Saturdays in Steamboat Today.