In retrospect, when I watched the 9/11 ceremonies in Manhattan from my living room (a misnomer), it struck me, there’s a reason singers who had hits in their twenties shouldn’t try to sing them when they’re pushing seventy. I watched Paul Simon, folk guitar in-hand, completely butcher “The Sounds of Silence.” You know what would have been more respectful? Umm, silence?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved the ceremony and I feel that yes, two black granite holes in the ground with water flowing down in the middle like a tub drain is exactly the way I would have done it, fer Sher, but……..What? Too soon for a 9/11 memorial joke?
When you are sixty six (WNBC), and some well intentioned young person contacts you to please sing that hit you had in the sixties, well, to paraphrase Nancy Reagan, Just Say No. You can no longer reach those highs anymore, so it’s kind of like asking Steven Hawking’s computer to sing an all mid-range rendition of our National Anthem. “…and the VoiceText’s read glare!”
Look, there’s a reason there will never be a Led Zeppelin reunion, besides Bonham’s death. By the way John’s death was a necessary evil. If your drummer doesn’t die before your third album, it’s all over. Def Leppard tried to get away with just one arm and look what happened to them. Anyway, Robert Plant knows all too damn well that unless we want to hear the line “does anybody remember laughter?” sounding as if it were sung by Richard Sturbin of the Oak Ridge Boys, it’s probably not a good idea. Get over it; it’s never going to happen, aka, the Levee broke, his vocal chords have gone Over the Hills and Far Away so it’s time to Ramble On.
I have noticed there are some older singers who still sound as good as they did when they were young. Then I realized this was only because they sung rather crappily even back then. Rod Stewart comes to mind. He always sounded like a 4-pack a day, seventy-year-old vasectomy gone horribly wrong, aka, he’s good to go for a long and productive career. Tom Petty also comes to mind. If I can sing like him until I’m 80, I’m reasonably sure he can do so. Here comes my voice, here comes my voice.
Simon was like “Hello youngness my old friend, I fail to sing like you again.” He looked bloated and tired. Granted, I also look bloated and tired but, remember, I have looked bloated and tired since the Carter Administration…besides, I would have just said no. Oh yeah and, Paul, give up the hat. We all know you’s bald. You haven’t had any hair since 1977. Nothing says ‘I’m Kool’ better than a suit jacket and a baseball hat. Are you going to Scarborough Fair? I hear they have a lot of hats there.
It’s like going to a Stones’ concert. You go to hear the old songs, knowing full well they’re getting on in years. But somehow you’re never fully prepared for Mick Jaeggermeister and the Crypt-Keeper Four. Has anyone actually told ‘Keef’ he died years ago? Will the next tour be ‘The Mausoleum Tour 2012’? Speaking of 2012, remember the Mayan prophecy? The Stones opened for them. At some point, fellas, just stay home. But, then again, nothing says rock & roll like adult diapers. Sympathy for the Hamper?
Back to 9/11. I never thought I would ever feel sorry for a billionaire, but it happened. The cute little old Jewish guy who owned the 99-year leases on the Twin Towers, 86 year old Larry Silverstein, who had just acquired them a month before… He had been in a car accident when the final papers needed to be filed. He had his Doctor kill the morphine drip and called his minions to his hospital bedside to get the job done. He really just should have hit the M button one more time and done the cross-eyed smile. That’s what I do to get through Zano features. He admits he is alive only because his nagging Jewish wife made him keep an appointment with his dermatologist. He would have otherwise been in the Top of the World restaurant on 9/11, having some tenant meetings and then dying. If you have ever encountered one of these old women, you know you just don’t argue. The payment for that is, to paraphrase Jimmy McMillan, Just Too Damn High.
America’s Napoleon, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, kept the clergy out of the ceremonies, mainly because he needs to feel important to make up for some, er…shall we say shortcomings?
As Rudy Giuliani said when asked, “The microphones won’t melt if the clergy was there.”
He also said there was no room for the Fire and Police personnel. Jeez Bloomers, ease up. You really can’t get re-elected this time, besides, changing the law to suit yourself usually only works once.
In closing, while the Freedom Tower looks to be a beautiful building and all, I preferred this runner-up:
You have to admit this captures both the essence of the War on Terror as well as our New York sensibilities about, well, everything. Hello Bronx cheer, my old friend…