Young Blood


       I removed my new Bluetooth earbuds when I sat down on the patio since the pub’s interior is closed once again due to new restrictions. Camp gave me the quizzical eye. ‘These little beauties also contain a mic and deliver a sound like a full room hi-fi system,’ I explained.

            ‘Wow,’ Camp said with a hint of cynicism, those make you look fifty years younger.’

            ‘I’ve subscribed to Amazon Prime Music streaming service and somehow they know how old I am. When I chose the ‘Your Soundtrack’ option they played only songs from the late sixties and early seventies. First, I thought that they just played the best songs ever but then I realized that they tailored the music to my age group. I must have put in my birth date when I signed up.’

            ‘And you will get all targeted advertising like dentures, adult diapers and reverse mortgages,’ Camp said with a chuckle.

            I was undeterred.  ‘Fact is that all the best songs were and are written by artists in their twenties, maybe early thirties but then the creative juices dry up. Just look at Mozart, the Beatles, Dylan, the Stones and even Adele and all the bands from those early days. And then there is the club of 27, all those artists that od’d at that age like Robert Johnson, Hendrix, Joplin, Cobain, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison.’

            ‘Don’t forget those that died from accidents and plane crashes like Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Richie Valence, Ricky Nelsen, Otis Redding, John Denver, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the list goes on.’

            ‘Incredible really how many died so young. But my point is that the best poems and songs are written by the young. I can’t think of a great song written by somebody in their 50’s or even seventies. Maybe Freddy Mercury and Leonard Cohen are the exceptions and I guess you could add Bowie to that list but McCartney wrote Yesterday and Black Bird in his mid-twenties, just when Jagger and Richards wrote Satisfaction and Wild Horses. In fact, the Beatles disbanded in 1969, before they were 30 years old. ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,’ was recorded by Otis Redding just days before he died at 27.’

            Camp nodded and we both agreed that the best popular music was written in the 60ies and 70ies. We drank to that. I pointed out the golden coastal mountains reflecting the setting sun and we also agreed once again that we indeed lived in a paradise. Today’s beer made us very agreeable.

            ‘We now have exponential growth again with a thousand daily cases. This bleeding virus is not going away as fast as we want it to,’ Camp said. He had to bring up the darn virus again. It seems to rule our present lives.

             ‘I listened to an interview on CBC with Dr. Brian Conway the other day and he admitted that over half of these transmissions are community based in Fraser Health and occur in the 20-40 age group. ‘There is a segment of people who disregard the protocols and flaunt the restrictions’, he said. In other words, they go to parties and indoor gatherings with strangers. Surrey, Langley and Burnaby are also the most densely populated and fastest growing regions in B.C.’

            ‘But many others like us, who are following the guidelines and protocols are held hostage by the few who don’t give a shit,’ I said. 

             ‘Being young and foolish is the prerogative of youth.’ 

            ‘Yeah, you have a point. Which goes to show that Bernard Shaw was right: Youth is wasted on the young.’ 

            ‘It’s also the teenagers who bear the brunt of the restrictions: no parties, no sports, no mixing with families of friends, remote schooling and yet they feel punished for something they have no control over and do not understand and it manifests in depression, anxiety and even aggression. I feel sorry for the kids. It’s not their fault.’

            ‘Tough on the parents as well. To explain something like a virus, which they don’t understand either.’

            Just then Imagine, John Lennon’s iconic song came over the sound system. Released in 1971, when he was just 30 years old. We both listened in awe, tapping our fingers to the rhythm.

            Vicky brought our second round right on time, when the song ended.

            ‘Did you guys get your shots already?’ she asked. 

            ‘Nope, not yet, we’re too young and healthy,’ Camp said.

            ‘Just to celebrate that, we’ll have two shots of tequila,’ I said.

            Vicky laughed. The shots are on me boys.’

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