Sex, Drugs, And Bubblegum Pop (Week 48)

Sex, Drugs, And Bubblegum Pop is the most outlandish column on UTG. Written by Mr. Jayce, vocalist for Secret Secret Dino Club and all-round funny guy, this column isn’t as much about the music as it is the experiences people in the music industry have.

WARNING: This column does and will continue to contain content some readers may find offensive. If you don’t have a sense of humor, this column is probably not for you.

I always seem to get messages, tweets and whatever from fans telling me how old I am. At 24, obviously i probably seem old to a 14-year-old girl, but I have never felt old. In fact, the last few weeks of my life have made me feel incredibly young. I’ve been spending a lot of time, mostly for respect to my father, helping out my 90-year-old grandfather.

My grandfather and I have never gotten along. He is a rotten, racist, perverted old man with heart of stone. He stares at the girls I bring to my house like they are steaks. He told his nurse she had “pretty nice jugs for s puerto rican” the other day. It doesn’t help that now he is completely helpless on his own, and is getting very delusional. He seems to say and do whatever he wants with no regard for other people. It makes me wonder if I make it to 90 years old, am I going to be this person? A person who’s own children don’t even want to be around, and someone who has really left no positive impact on any of the people around him. Someone who sits in a recliner with the TV turned all the way up and makes everyone’s life as difficult as he can while he just waits to die.

After spending about 3 weeks cleaning up old man piss and shit, changing diapers, and severely injuring my back carrying almost-dead weight, i decided i needed to treat myself to something. My favorite band “The Beach Boys” were coming to town for their 50th anniversary tour and I had planned on going since the date was announced months and months ago. I planned on just sitting on the lawn of the amphitheater because i figured i’d probably be going by myself anyways. When show day came i decided to see if any tickets were available inside just incase they had something i could pay a few more bucks for and enjoy the concert from a seat. It just so happened that there was one ticket left in the front row. I decided that it didn’t matter what the price was i was just going to buy it, fearing it would be my last opportunity to see The Beach Boys in concert. I got my credit card out and just started filling out information, honestly not even looking at the price of the ticket.

As i’m checking out from the Live Nation website, it gives me an option to put in a rewards point system number that my credit card happened to have. I figured I would try it and maybe i would get a few bucks off of my ticket price. For some reason that I will never understand, Live Nation gave me this front row ticket for free. If there is a God, he must have felt sorry for me and hooked it up. I got very excited, which is not something i ever really do, and i started getting ready to go the the venue about 4 minutes from my house.

In a state of disbelief i got my ticket from will call, grabbed a $14 bud light lime (I was by myself and I happen to think it’s delicious) and walked straight up to the front row. I figured front row would still be behind a barricade and about 15 feet back. Once i got to my seat i realized that I was literally right up to the stage. My beer rested on the stage. Once in my seat i figured that this would probably be one of the coolest nights of my life, and I was right.

The original Beach Boys, most of them over 70 years old, made their way to the stage and began playing their massive arsenal of hits that span the last 50 years. With a great backing band and true professionalism, they sounded the best I have ever heard them and let everyone know that they were having a great time, even for their age. I cried my eyes out watching a bunch of 70 year old men do what they love the most in life, and that is to perform for their fans. Putting all past drama. lawsuits and other issues behind them, they put on the concert they probably all agree that they should have been putting on their entire career.

Throughout the show, which was about 3 hours long, members of the band were not only incredibly humble, but some even came up to me in between songs and had conversations with me. About their grandkids, sunglasses, and normal things that every 70 year old man would talk about. What i will probably deem as the coolest moment of my life, During “California GIrls”, Bruce Johnston held the microphone in front of my face and I was singing over the PA with the Beach Boys. I’m so glad i have spent my life listening to them and knew all the words, or else it would have been a pretty embarrassing moment. The band played 48 songs, and at the end of the show Bruce thanked me for coming and handed me a set list, which i will cherish as long as I live.

When I got home I thought about what a pleasant evening I had with these aging men, and how much i appreciated it. It made me really rethink getting old. Some men fight age as hard as they can. Rather than becoming unappreciative and selfish like my grandfather, I saw 5 men who have enjoyed their lives and have no problem with nostalgia. Perhaps they had aged a little more gracefully than my grandfather, but now I honestly believe age is directly related to your attitude. 24 years doesn’t feel like a burden to me whatsoever. I’m proud of my years and I’m going to continue to be proud of them for the rest of my life. Every year is not a year closer to death, but a year of knowledge and happiness that I appreciate and don’t ever take for granted. You have a choice in life to get old and complain about how things used to be, or get old and be glad you were there for them. I can only hope that in 50+ years I’m still able to be doing what I love to do.

Mr. Jayce

James Shotwell
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