Hope I Get Die Before I Old

No brag, just fact — I had contempt for the “Hope I die” line from the start. But I had an oddball perspective on age. If my parents had died before they got old, I wouldn’t exist. They were old as most of my peers’ grandparents, esp. my dad. (Yes, it was my Dad who told me that prehistoric “father” joke. It sounded antique as hell when I first heard it 50 years ago.) So aging had benefits — it allowed me to know about and adopt some uncommon perspectives. Particularly about what uses people put to time.

Now playing — Grease (original soundtrack album).

I used to claim with a fleck of a smirk that I went to high school in the ’50s, even though it was the second half of the ’60s — Livingston was at least a decade behind the times culturally. But I was an arty eccentric, a businessman/rancher’s son, not one of the working-class schlubs presented in Grease (in any part of the country). But social distinctions are more erased in a small town than most realize, at least back in those days. So the whiny voices and the crude ‘tudes of this (pretty cheapo production) soundtrack are what I want to keep from this phenomenon. Yeah, the parody-minded versions of ’50s tunes are beyond obvious, but the whole thing is way more raw and rugged than any other incarnation, and the better for it. Rock and roll showered a wisp of grace on white losers. And if I sure would turn to Diner and, hell, Hairspray, first — I would play this quick for a music hound who was as unexposed to it as I was for ages. “Do you know the original Grease?” becomes one of those music-night questions.

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