Tuesday, February 17, 2009

BQRH #17: "Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die!" (Jethro Tull)


Time to show some fun in order to fight against the grim Winter weather....

Recently I have been thinking a lot about future, and about how the years seem to pass me by. I am 26 years old, and for some reason, while my lifelong friends are getting engaged, and/or married, and raising kids, I am still in this indeterminate stage of life called Graduate School. Thankfully, the University Park/State College area is not necessarily a bad place to experience this.

Looking at the birth date of my classmates, I can't help noticing I am the oldest single person in my incoming PhD class (two are older, but they are married). And seeing this town so full-packed with young people (who, mind you, refer to me as 'sir', as if I was much older than them...wait, I AM almost 8 years older than them!) makes me try harder and harder to remain young for as long as I can.

Apparently, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull was concerned about these same topics when he wrote this lovely ditty, dedicated to the process of getting older while clutching desperately to youth, back in late 1975. The best therapy seems to try to take the subject humorously. That's exactly what "Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die!" attempts.

The song is here presented in two versions. One is a live version from the "Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die!" tour, performed July 31st 1976 (exactly two years before the very day my mom became my dad's girlfriend: they were 23 and 22 y/o). The other is the video clip/promo film for the song recorded in 1980 (for the "Slipstream" video), with the sound of the original mid-70's studio version.

The performers on the live version (as well as the soundtrack of the promo video) were Ian Anderson (voice and acoustic guitar), Martin Barre (electric guitar), John Evans (keyboards), John Glascock (backing vocals and bass), David Palmer (sax) and Barriemore Barlow (drums). The promo film features the miming contributions of Anderson and Barre plus Mark Craney (drums), Dave Pegg (bass) and Eddie Jobson (translucent violin, and keyboards).

The two videos serve different purposes: while the first seeks to show the band live during its prime (it's hard to find mid-70's live footage from Jethro Tull), the second vid depicts the band having a blast while portraying the lyrics. If you don't know what to watch first, I recommend you to go with the second clip below. It is so much fun!

Too old to Rock 'n' Roll? What do you think?
Come on, make me some company and leave your comments below!

Best to everybody,

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