I would have regretted it too. Or not gone. And I’m turning 64 this year.

I was a Beatle fan in 1963 at age six. I hung with the Beatles through thick and thin. When they discovered pot, their music changed, and I stuck with their music. When they discovered acid, their music got even weirder, and I went right along with them. (When Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band dropped, I was ten, so taking acid to really grok their sound was out of the question. In case you were wondering.) But once they started falling apart as a band, I outgrew them. By the time they broke up, I had broken up with…

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

When The Beatles released “When I’m Sixty-Four” in 1967, Paul McCartney was 25 years old. Right around that time, a popular phrase that circulated was, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Seeing as I was 10 at the time, that felt plausible to me — but then, what did I know? For that matter, what did Paulie know about being 64?

64 is twice 32, so was one to doubly not trust anyone over 60? But Paul’s lyric is full of whimsical questions: “If I’ve been out ’til quarter to three, would you lock the door?”, signaling that this was not…

Dear young friends,

I’m writing to you, stirred by the “OK Boomer” frenzy that everyone is in this week. Thanks to the vigilance of the New York Times and all the other media industries out there, it’s been the talk of the town and it’s got a lot of old people in a tizzy.

We owe you an apology.

If things were up to me, I would gather my whole generation and have us all apologize to you for pushing our planet past the brink, into a state of unwellness and danger, where icecaps are melting, sea levels are rising…

In 1969, I was 12 years old. My mother wouldn’t let me go see Easy Rider.

Mom bought me the soundtrack album. I also managed to buy the movie script (paperback edition) — complete with color glossy pages in the middle with studio stills and frames from the film. I read it repeatedly. I played the record over and over, carefully lifting the tone-arm to repeat “Born To Be Wild” or to skip over “If You Want To Be A Bird”. I might as well have seen the movie — but I hadn’t. …

J. Johnson

Composer, arranger, writer living in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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