Two nights ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Orlando to cover the opening night performance of Family Force 5's "It's All Gold" tour at the ultra-hip, downtown nightspot, The Social. My official review will post in a few days at Ink19.com.
As I stood outside the club, fumbling for my I.D., I noticed that I was getting all sorts of odd looks from the throngs of teenagers standing in line. I quickly recognized these uncomfortable-looking grimaces -- I'd noticed them before. They were exactly the same looks that I'd been receiving recently from the kids at my church when I'm working production for the youth group's music program.
Then it dawned on me. Oh no! Say it ain't so! I was immediately hit with a startling and crushing revelation. I'd become that guy. At (almost) fifty, I realized I was no longer a card-carrying member of the hipster scene. What happened? I used to OWN that bandwagon!
Flaunting my unique, fun and fabulous fashion sense and having a lifetime's worth of "insider" show biz experiences, I was (in my mind) still the "cool" guy. But I'd seen this look on too many young faces lately. The verdict was in -- I was now officially the "creepy" guy!
My new bandmates, Cody and Cameron.
(It's obvious that I still fit in!)
You've seen that guy. He's the one trying to look hip, but (very) clearly hasn't been since probably back in '89. He hangs out at cutting edge, youth-oriented events (typically by himself) -- events which he's WAY too old to be attending, but believes that he still fits in -- completely oblivious to the fact that teens become disturbed and parents panic and take their children's hands as he approaches.
And I'm certainly NOT "creepy!"
Yikes! The "creepy" guy? Really? That's not me... right? After all, I was to meet up with my fourteen-year-old niece, Megan at this show. That would certainly dissuade everyone's anxieties -- including the doorman, who also appeared to be creeped-out by my presence. If the perception is that you're somebody's "uncle," then you're "cool" for accompanying a young person to a show. But the longer it took for Megan to arrive, the more disapproving stares I received. "Oh hurry up," I said to myself over and over, as I knew that by hanging out with me, she'd quickly eliminate this unwarranted "creepy" factor.
I really do have a fourteen-year-old niece!
(Me and Megan, after the Family Force 5 show.)
Finally, Megan arrived -- just as the band was taking the stage. And it was an awesome concert, to be sure. The band rocked, we had a blast, no cops were dispatched and by the end of the night I was back home, cranking up my Foreigner 8-tracks and alphabetizing my Mary-Kate and Ashley videotape collection. You see, I'm not so old or creepy after all!
Author Christopher Long's latest book,
C'MON! - My Story of Rock, Ruin and Revelation
is available NOW on Amazon.