Birthday, I would like you to dance
It’s a funny thing, turning 50. One cannot deny a certain patina of maturity, and yet the urge and ability to rock ‘n’ roll are perhaps stronger than ever. It’s reassuring to have living role models, such as Lemmy Kilmister and Keith Richards, who have proven that rocking out transcends generations and is not strictly the province of the chronologically young.
So it’s only fitting upon achieving such a milestone birthday that one throw a party and invite as many friends over to play music and enjoy one another’s company as is possible. So for one evening not long ago Culture Vulture World Headquarters was turned into Rock ‘n’ Roll Central. A retrospective and perhaps rebirth of a few of Chico’s alternative rock legends, combined with a showbox setting for a couple of brand new projects that may yet break the surface of the public scene.
For old wine in new bottles there were the soulfully rendered classic rock songs of Sarah Foster’s Tequila Mockingbird. For pure energy and enlivening volume there was the big guitar, Texas rock of Tom Little’s Sin Twister. For a demonstration of punkabilly fervor and vocal harmonies built on love there were the original songs performed by Josh and Robyn “Bun in the Oven” Indar. For the transformation of a theatrical coffeehouse band into a rock juggernaut there was Danny Cohen in trucker hat and plaid slacks leading an electrified Near Death Experience through churning landscapes of eerie psychedelia.
For pure party music that drew everyone into the room to bounce and smile and whoop with joy there was the 20th anniversary reunion of Secret Service, led by singer/guitarist Norma Ybarra and bassist Karen Kindig assisted by keyboardist Dave Hurst, lead guitarist Matt Myron, trumpeter Doug Roberts and yours truly on electric Latin percussion. Actually, Culture Vulture was wielding the sticks for all of the above groups, and a finer time has never been had by any drummer, I guarantee it. Huge thanks go out to all who attended, especially Snake, 12-Pack, Mark, Glenn, Bob and the real heroes, Billy and Chris.
You guys are the best.
Birthday, take a cha-cha-cha-chance
So anyway—not to get all preachy and sentimental on you or anything like that—Culture Vulture highly recommends celebrating your birthday by doing whatever it is that you love best with whoever it is that you love doing it with most. And if your wedding anniversary happens to fall on the day you celebrate your birthday, and your spouse is the loveliest and most wonderful person you know and she’s given you a present that allows you to pursue your art with renewed vigor and dedication, and if she happens to have her birthday on the day after your anniversary (which was spent celebrating your birthday [Confused yet?]), make sure to do something nice—like take a romantic getaway to the coast—as soon as possible after all the festivities. You won’t regret it.
Songs concerning birth
1. “Born to be Wild,” Steppenwolf
2. “It’s All Right, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” Bob Dylan
3. “Birthday,” The Beatles
4. “The Jackson Song,” Patti Smith