When I Was Young

No, this wasn't in 1965; this was just last month.

My friends and I drove across three state lines to see Eric Burdon and the Animals. No, this wasn't in 1965; this was just last month. They were performing at the Hard Rock in Biloxi, Mississippi.

As a child of the '60s, I'm not sure what I was expecting, my mind's eye remembering a scruffy young group of working-class kids belting out countless bluesy hits like "House of the Rising Sun," "We Gotta Get out of This Place," and "It's My Life," to name but a few. We were in the second row, stage right, but still had a pretty good view. Turning around and scanning the audience, I was taken aback by the rows of elderly folk, gray- and white-haired, bald and wrinkled fans, patiently waiting for the show to begin.

It reminded me of being a child, sitting in church surrounded by old people--there to worship something I didn't care much about. It then occurred to me that now I/we were "those old people" in our own place of worship, gladly remembering the hymns of our youth. As we quietly sat there, the band hypnotically drew us into the music with such a tight, loud, and pounding set that I thought my insides were going to exit my chest.

I closed my eyes, 15 again--absorbing the pulsing deep thump of bass and drums, impeccable lead-guitar work, and the whirling strains of that signature keyboard--then opened them suddenly and stood when a stocky, white-haired Eric Burdon appeared on the stage, and together we roared and remembered when I was young.


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