I like to think my music tastes run to the eclectic. I love listening to Thelonious Monk as much as to T.
Rex. And, Liszt is just as cool as, say, Lionel Hampton. But, there’s nothing like working out to classic rock. I like those pulsating sounds as I’m pumping or pedaling away.
So, with my iPod still nursing its post Mt. Kilimanjaro wounds, I tuned in my favorite rock station this morning and stepped onto the elliptical trainer. What immediately stuck me, though, wasn’t the same old, recycled songs but, rather, the dramatically different radio commercials.
I’d grown accustomed to hearing banal spots for drag racing, blue collar beer guzzlers hitting on hot babes and the latest, greatest winter sporting gear sales. So, imagine my surprise when I heard one spot after another for cancer, heart disease and other afflictions associated with aging boomers. The effect was striking to say the least.
So, I began thinking what a smart image move it might be for aging rockers to update their classic songs, and make them, shall we say, more age appropriate?
Here are some suggestions:
Van Halen’s no longer screaming ‘Dance the night away’ anymore. Now, they’re unplugged and suggesting, instead, to ‘Sleep the day away.’
Bruce’s ‘Born to run’ has many possibilities and could be altered to ‘Born to limp’, ‘Born with the runs,’ or ‘Born to run (to the bathroom several times a night)’
The Stone’s signature song could be updated to: ‘(I can’t get no) erection’
Neil Young’s ’24’ becomes ’64,’ and it’s most poignant line changed to ‘…64 and there’s not much more.’
Jim Morrison’s long gone, but I’d like to think a simple update to his classic Door’s ditty would resonate with aching Boomer fans: So, with just a little editing, we now have ‘C’mon baby, light my fireplace.’
And poor, bald and battered Peter Frampton would now lament, ‘I hope you don’t feel like I do.’
Last, but not least, let’s not forget The Who, who could really hit home with, ‘Talking ’bout what’s left of my ggggggeneration.’
The opportunities are endless. If classic rock radio audiences are willing to listen to commercials from the likes of Mount Sinai Medical Center, Montefiore’s Heart Clinic and the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, why not bring the message full circle with updated tunes that tell it like it really is?