I don’t know about you, but every now and again, I like to be reminded that there are people WAY cooler than I am in this world. It keeps me humble, gives me something to aim for- a new aspiration. And there’s a group of people in Massachusetts who are a near impossible act to follow. They have out-cooled me by a mile.
They are the Young@Heart Chorus: born in 1982 and directed by Bob Climan, Y@H is comprised entirely of senior citizens, with most aged in their 70s and 80s. They specialize in unique arrangements of pop/rock songs by a wide range of artists including James Brown, Nirvana, the Clash, the BeeGees, Sam Cook, and Sonic Youth. I recommend their covers of “Golden Years”, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” and “Fix You”, especially. [Chris Martin would probably pay start paying them royalties out of sheer amazement if he heard their version.]
I recently watched the documentary– PBS has been airing it a lot lately- and recommend it without reservation, and with a million billion stars. You will laugh, whether you are 22 or 82. And you will cry, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or one of those half-crazed, chainsaw-wielding loggers from that show on the Discovery Channel.
It is so easy to for me to complain sometimes: to feel blasé, to get all stick-in-the-mud about where my life is going- or isn’t going. That is until I see a whole lot of people older than my grandparents giving Joey Ramone a run for his money- and doing so in front of sold out concert halls, prison yards, royalty, and everyone in between. Then I think twice.
Seeing these folks take who they are and marry it to music they appear to have nothing in common with to give it a whole new life inspires me, not only on a creative level, but a personal one. When was the last time I really- and I mean really- stepped out of my comfort zone to try something new, or to learn about what one of my friends likes? I sometimes feel terrified of the future. Maybe I should try looking it in the face and giving it a good laugh instead.
Either way, I need to take a cue from Y@H.I’d venture to say we all do.