Sunday, February 07, 2010


Well, it looks like the N’Awlins Saints found the plastic Baby Jesus in their slice of Super-Bowl King’s Cake, confounding the bookies with an upset. But I don’t really give a rat’s ass about the ballgame. I watch the game for the deliriously ridiculous ads... and the elderly Musical Icons they trot out during the halftime break.

Seems to me the best part about watching the Stoopid-Bowl in the last few years has been the overblown half-time shows.

Never mind Janet Jackson and her saggy kalamatunis. I’m talking about Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and, now, the Who. It’s like musical heaven for old ginks like me.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of listening to a room full of superannuated baby boomers - me among them - rock out to “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The irony of listening to a nearly 65-year-old Pete “Hope I Die Before I Get Old” Townshend was probably lost on most of us. “Old? Hell, sixty-five ain’t old!

I’ve had the pleasure of hearing the last three Super Bowl half-time show artists in live concerts over the years - never, of course, at the Super Bowl, but at three different venues in Houston, Texas. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I caught McCartney at the Astrodome in April 1993; I saw Springsteen at the Music Hall in November 1974 and September 1975. As for the Who, I was there when they played the Summit in November 1975 - it was the opening show of their “Who ’76” tour and the very first event in that then newly-built venue. [It was also the loudest fucking concert I have ever heard, before or since.] Holy crap - that was more than 34 years ago! And they’re still at it!

Listen: This final blowout of the football post-season is the quintessential example of American over-the-top panem et circenses. Snazzy graphics, endless ads for beer and cars, and music with fireworks. Lotsa fireworks.

But this year when I listened to the half-time show, I didn’t know whether to feel young or old...

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