Aging black leather and hospital bills,
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,
But rock on completely with some brand new components.
How do you afford your rock’n’roll lifestyle? –Cake–
One thing that has never made much sense to me is how rock stars travel the world for years, getting little sleep and partying like crazy, and for every Keith Richards where you see the heavy miles, you see far more like David Bowie who still seem young. While I promise you that I share very little of the rock and roll lifestyle, I do have a similar travel schedule. It might not be private jets, but I do know what it is like to do 5 shows in 5 different cities during one week. Even though I might get less sleep and eat less healthy, there is something invigorating about hitting the stage every night. I don’t know if it’s the energy you get from the audience or the creative spirit you need to stay relevant to younger audiences, but something about doing live entertainment makes you feel young(er:)
Here’s my favorite story on the subject. A couple years ago I was doing a show for a college audience which went well. After the show a few coeds came up to me and told me how they had a great time and that I should come out with them to the bars. Now, one of the reasons I’m sharing this story is because young coeds wanted me to go out with them. It’s not only an ego boost, it also is worth repeating in a story. So I tell them that’s flattering, but I’m too old for doing that stuff anymore. I added that I could remember being in college and seeing the creepy old guy hanging out and I promised myself I would never be like that guy. One of the girls responded to this by saying, “you’re not that old.”
So you can see this story is going really well for me. I responded by saying, “that’s nice for you to say, but how old do you think I am?” She said 32. I smiled and said, “nope, I’m 40.” Now I wish I had video of their faces and the sound of their voices in unison. “You’re 40!”
Now if you think this was said with a positive tone, it was not. “You’re 40” was spoken with a disgust like “OMG, you are ancient!” And you see, that is part of my job as a comic. I’m supposed to connect with my audience. I can’t approach a group with, “well they are way too young or way too old to buy what I’m selling.” Now it can seem a bit more impossible when you do a show like I did last night where the age range was 21 to 81, but most of the time, you can find common experience.
I had some young guys ask me to go out and party with them last month. I told them I had to get up early, so I was going to have to pass. I got a “don’t be such a pussy, come on out with us.” I asked my accuser how old his Dad was? I found out he was only 2 years older than me. When I found this out I came back at him with, “is your old man out right now, partying? No, he’s in bed…asleep. Now I’ve been touring the country for almost 2 decades, keeping hours like I’m in college. Dude, you think about this someday when you are my age and you are asleep in your recliner at 10pm on a Thursday night.” (DRAMATIC, HUH?)
Look, I’m not living like Guns and Roses on the Appetite tour, but my life is different than most. I like that. Here’s hoping I can continue to outrun it catching up with me.