Back in 1980 I purchased my first record: The Who’s “Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy”. Sure, the title is weird (surpassed only by REO Speedwagon’s “You Can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish” in sheer badness), but still, I loved that album.
Among the many memorable lyrics, one particular phrase stuck in my mind: “I hope I die before I get old” (from “My Generation”). I have often wondered whether Roger Daltrey (now 70) still sings that lyric. And if he does, can he get through it without breaking into an ironic, melancholy grin?
My dad turns 80 today (no, this isn’t a joke; he really was born on April Fool’s Day). This past Friday my family held a birthday hootenanny to celebrate the auspicious occasion. Since I live a ten hour drive away I opted to send pre-recorded birthday greetings. My under-three-minute reflection (always leave ’em wantin’ more) offers a rather striking contrast with Roger Daltrey. While the singer’s lyric flees his own mortality in pursuit of the elixir of youth, my dad has embraced his own mortality as it has been illumined in the softening glow of eternity. For those interested, I’ve included my little speech below.
And the picture? No, that isn’t my dad. That’s what an aging app on my phone says I’ll look like in 35 years.