Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Thoughts About Keeping On Keeping On

On this day in 2006, The Karl Rove played a late night show at The Atomic Burrito in Charlottesville, Virginia. The set list: So Tired, Different, Righteous American, Little Metal Toys, Empire In Decline, River Of Blood, JROTC, God Bless, Windowless Facade, Another Shitty Day in Fun Town, Caspian Sea

I remember when I was a kid it seemed as if everyone who listened to rock and roll viewed the age of thirty as some sort of very bright line that musicians who played that sort of music crossed only unwillingly into inevitable irrelevancy. And, of course, around the same time one of the more prevalent aphorisms solemnly intoned by the wise 20-something elders of the day was, "Never trust anyone over 30." What a time. (Anyone remember the movie WILD IN THE STREETS from 1968?)

Now, of course, all the Baby Boomers are in the 50s, 60s and even early 70s. 30 doesn't look so old anymore, eh?

What disconcerts me about this, however, isn't the laughable age-ism so many young people exhibited in the late '60s and early 70s (the '60s didn't die until 1973, by the way), but rather how old so many of them act today. I've been shocked on more than one occasion to happen upon a friend or acquaintance from long ago who I haven't seen in many years who seem so hobbled with their years as to be unrecognizable. (I'm knocking on wood for the sake of my own health here.) 

At least one of the very greatest musicians who first came to prominence in the '60s, though, refuses to give in to old age. This was the set list for a September 21 show that Paul McCartney played at New York's Barclay's Center: 

  • A Hard Day's Night  
  • Save Us
  • Can't Buy Me Love  
  • Letting Go  
  • Drive My Car  
  • Let Me Roll It  
  • I've Got a Feeling  
  • My Valentine
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five  
  • Maybe I'm Amazed
  • I've Just Seen a Face  
  • In Spite of All the Danger  
  • You Won't See Me  
  • Love Me Do  
  • And I Love Her  
  • Blackbird  
  • Here Today
  • Queenie Eye
  • New
  • Lady Madonna  
  • FourFiveSeconds  
  • Eleanor Rigby  
  • I Wanna Be Your Man  
  • Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!  
  • Something  
  • A Day in the Life  
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da  
  • Band on the Run  
  • Back in the U.S.S.R.  
  • Let It Be  
  • Live and Let Die  
  • Hey Jude  
  • Yesterday  
  • Day Tripper  
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)  
  • Helter Skelter  
  • Golden Slumbers  
  • Carry That Weight  
  • The End  

Yeah...THIRTY-NINE songs. A SEVEN song encore. A THREE HOUR show. By all accounts one of the best shows anyone in attendance has ever seen by ANYONE. And Paul's now 75. I don't give a crap what you think of Paul (and I'll admit of the four Beatles, he was only my third favorite behind John and George); if you don't admire the man's dedication to his craft, his out and out love of music and live performance, and his determination to give fans an exceptionally generous amount of music for their hard-earned cash, then you're just being an old grump. 

I think the longest show I ever was a part of (as a member of Book of Kills) unfolded way back in October 27, 2001. We played twenty-seven songs that night. The set list: Maryland Ave Blue Jam, Abandoned, Why Won't You, Running, Money, Killing Time Again, Because Because, Cave In, Sweet, I Hang Heavy-->Up In Flames-->Can't Stand It, Face, Psycho Killer-->Bad Person, Caroline, If You Want It Take It, Accidentally Naked, Fade, Rain, The Lonely Song, Fat Woman Lying In The Street, Don't Stop The Scream, If I Asked You, Just An Average Day, To Dream A New Dream, Abandoned.

By the way, here's a nicely written article about the performances Paul, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Who, and Roger Waters gave at last year's "Desert Trip" in California almost exactly a year ago.

"John's time and effort were, in the main, spent on pretty honorable stuff. As for the other side, well, nobody's perfect, nobody's Jesus. And look what they did to him." -- Paul McCartney