Friday, July 09, 2004

Simon & Garfunkel

Culture, Politics & Music

First off I’d like to thank the DAZE for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Austin Scene.
Finally, after 30 plus years of listening to and being guided by their words and music, I saw Simon & Garfunkel Tuesday night at the Erwin Center. It was a mixed experience. The sound was excellent, the performance sublime, the stage reasonably attractive and awash with the colors of the era providing a pleasant trip down memory lane as it should have. But take your eyes off the stage or take a close look at the artists and you are slapped with the realization that this is not your father’s millennium. Nobody but NOBODY was smoking pot! Simon & Garfunkel and no-ones getting high? I had good binoculars and made several passes across the arena and saw nothing. What kind of Hippies were you? The Fair Weather Politics kind! Even after Garfunkel acted like the didgeridoo was a bong by holding a lighter near the base, the auditorium remained smokeless. Don’t tell me it’s the Smoking Ordinance. I have seen and participated in virtual smoke-outs at many previous shows at the Erwin Center. Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Eagles, Tom Petty. I however, was not deterred… at first. I managed to enjoy a toke or two here and there throughout the first two-thirds of the show. Then suddenly, the thirtyish man next to me said “Don’t do it! Don’t do it or Me and the Big Guy on the end are going to get you kicked out of here!” To which I responded, “You’re going to assault me for smoking pot?” He obviously had no sense of what Simon & Garfunkel and the Flower Power 70’s were all about, and I began to wonder if anyone there did. Something else caught my eye through the binoculars that was not obvious on the giant screen TV’s provided to enhance our entertainment experience. Old men. It’s the same rude awakening I got when I sat on the front row at the Eagles show. As the music started, I remember looking up and wondering who all those old farts holding the instruments were. Techs? Roadies? Then they started to sing. I began to realize how old I was. It was no different Tuesday. Father Time is taking his toll on all of us. While Garfunkel was obviously still enthralled by the packed house and his opportunity to perform to worshiping masses, Simon looked a little like he was just going through the motions, but he always looks like that. Don’t get me wrong. After thirty years, it was worth the $100.00 ticket price to take a trip down memory lane. I just wish the audience had come along with me.


*G.W. Bush is not a legitimate President of the United States of America.
Long Live President Hastert.