Wednesday, June 1, 2016
OLD FRIENDS / BOOKENDS
The song, “Bookends” was written by Paul Simon in 1968, and became both the first and last song on the first side of the fourth Simon and Garfunkel album, also titled “Bookends”. It’s a very pleasant song to listen to, which you can do by clicking on the link below:
YouTube to the rescue
If you think that the duo look a bit young in the link shown above, you’re absolutely correct, since they were both 26 when the song was recorded.
Paul Simon was born on 10/13/1941, and Art Garfunkel was born on 11/5/1941, which means that both of them have ALREADY discovered how “terribly strange it is to be 70“. If you’d like to see what these two music icons look like at the age of 74, take a quick peak at the pictures below.
William Shakespeare, of course, figured out how terribly strange it was to be 70 a long time ago, since Act II - Scene VII - (The Forest) of “as You Like It” details the “7 ages of man”.
The lyrics to “Bookends” have become more significant as we’ve gotten older, since we already have friends (and relatives) who have reached, or surpassed, that age. Here’s the lyrics:
Sat on their park bench like bookends
A newspaper blowin' through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends
Winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders of the old friends
Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear
A time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you
I’m not a septuagenarian yet, but I’m an awful lot closer than I used to be.
There was a time, of course, when people who were 70 were considered to be absolutely ancient, but the Baby Boomer generation apparently operates on the belief that we’re all gong to live forever.
In addition to Simon and Garfunkel, most of the musicians we listened to during our college years are still performing in their “retirement years”.
In October, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Neil Young will be performing together in Indio, California. Tickets were priced at $395 each, and the concert was sold out in 5 hours.
When the concert starts, the age of the performers will be as follows:
Neil Young - 70
Keith Richards - 72
Mick Jagger - 73
Paul McCartney - 74
Bob Dylan - 75
Ronald Reagan has the distinction of being the oldest person in our country to be elected President. On Inauguration Day of his first term of office, he was 69 years old, but turned 70 less than a month later. On Inauguration Day, 2017, Donald Trump will be 70, Hillary Clinton will be 69, and Bernie Sanders will be 75. As Bob Dylan once sang, "the times they are a changin'".
The guy who played “Dirty Harry”, incidentally, became 86 years old on May 31, As recently as a year ago, he was still working. His latest project, the film “American Sniper”, grossed over $500 million internationally, which made it one of the most successful films that he’s ever been involved with.
Both Sharon and I keep in regular contact with a handful of people that we have known for over 50 years - which brings up a point.
Most of us would consider it desirable to have a nice house, a new car, and a fat bank account, but none of those things are as valuable as something that can only be acquired over a long period of time.