Last week I was lucky enough to score a couple VIP suite tickets to see Van Halen play at the Shark Tank. Even though I am not a fan of VH (let the hate mail begin), I still consider myself lucky because the suite is open bar and I get to hang out with some great friends. Plus, it was a much needed night out with the wife away from the little ones. All-in-all it was a great night, but the concert itself left me a bit depressed about life and aging. After the concert I spent the next couple days thinking over and over- “Man, David Lee Roth is old.”.
I had expected the band to come out in a mist of fog with fireworks and pyrotechnics in the background. I wanted to see big hair, outrageous outfits, and smashing guitars. Before the show everyone was telling me how DLR was the ultimate, quintessential rock star. A rock star’s, rock star. What I saw was an old man wearing tight leather pants gimping around the stage singing songs no one knew. Eddie Van Halen wasn’t looking much better either. I left the concert thinking, is this what I have to look forward to?
I realize I am no DLR, but at least in my own mind, I am a rock star. In my youth I would travel constantly for work, going to all the industry events and after parties, drank too much booze, stayed out till the sun came up, and then hit repeat. Now that I am getting older and have a family, I am slowing down a bit. I may still drink more wine than I should, but now, if I stay up past midnight, I know it is going to take 3 days to recuperate. Sad realization kicks in, I am getting old.
I have become the stereotype. Married, kids, mortgage, career, back pain. Advil is my drug of choice. When I walk into a crowded bar I think, “Oh man, this has to be a fire hazard”. Nirvana came on the radio the other day and I changed the station. It is official, I am getting old.
Today though, I have been reminded that there are some benefits to aging and that, as the saying goes, you are only as old as you feel. I was awakened today by my six year old running into my bedroom and jumping on my back yelling, “Happy Father’s Day, Happy Father’s Day, Happy Father’s Day!”. Then he dragged me out of bed and made me wake up his little sister so they could give me a present, a Superman coffee mug that he picked out for me all by himself. I like this part of getting old.
Enjoying my morning coffee that was being kept hot in my brand new Superman mug I stumbled across this awesome photo posted on Facebook by a friend of mine, the daughter of the man pictured. I love, love, love this photo. It was the perfect reminder to me that you can still be a rock star at any age. I have only met the man a few times, but I know he is a hardworking man who raised a terrific daughter and still rocks it in his 70’s. Case in point – getting up on stage at a Chippendales show in Las Vegas to celebrate his 70th birthday. That is kick-ass.
Full circle to DLR- by obsessing over how old he seemed and my own mortality, I failed to fully appreciate the feel good side of the concert. Not being a fan of the band I did not know this, but the guitarist for VH, Wolfgang, is actually the son of Eddie Van Halen. “Hey son, want to go on tour with one of the greatest rock bands of all time?”. I am still not a fan of the band, but I think that makes Eddie a pretty cool Dad.
I would love the chance to go on tour with my Dad. I was lucky enough to go on a week long fishing trip with him a couple years ago and I could only imagine the fun that could be had if we added Vegas, Boston, and Chicago to our stops. In the last 2-3 years I have learned more about him than I ever had over the course of the other 30 or so before. Mostly, I learned that he is a lot cooler than people realize, even more so now at the ripe old age of 80.
So, to you awesome “old” Dads, Happy Fathers Day. Thank you for the reminder that the secret is to stay young at heart. I am looking forward to the chance at being as cool as you all one day.
And happy 70th Mr. Miller. You are still a sexy beast!