There have been three occasions over the course of my lifetime where my undying love for music has endangered my physical well-being:
In 1989, I went to see Boogie Down Productions and the legendary KRS-One perform at a shitty rap club in an even shittier part of Oakland. During the concert, a fight broke out and people started shooting at one another.
In 1990, I saw Jane's Addiction at the Fillmore. Mistakenly believing that, at some point in one's life, everyone should try stage diving into a mosh pit, I jumped head-first off the stage, hit the ground, bounced up, and was immediately body slammed by a 250 lb dude. Not only did I get the living shit knocked out of me, I also bruised two ribs and couldn't move for a week.
This past Sunday, I was sitting in the front row of Carnegie
Hall watching Laurie Berkner perform in concert. As soon as she started
playing "I'm Gonna Catch You," I found myself suddenly surrounded by a
lethal gang of violent midgets who tried to trample me to death while
indignantly spitting all over me.
Okay, upon second glance, they weren't midgets. They were just wildly unrestrained dancing toddlers.
Have you ever seen a pack of unrestrained dancing toddlers? It was
terrifying! These kids bum rushed the stage like Altamont back in '69.
I kept waiting for the Hell's Angels to show up and bounce these kids
back to their seats.
In any regard, the concert was surprisingly awesome and I had more fun than I could have ever imagined.
You want to know why?
Because it proved for about the one millionth time that the best part of being a parent is letting go of any pretensions of coolness and experiencing the world through your kid's eyes.
Never in a million years did I ever imagine that I would stand in front of several thousand people, flap my arms like a little bumblebee, and dance around in a circle yelling, "buzz, buzz, buzz!"
Clearly my daughter has had a great impact on my life.
However, at the end of the concert, I learned that my influence on her may be even greater. As Ms. Berkner and her jolly bandmates exited the stage, my ridiculously cute little 3-year-old daughter climbed up on her chair and yelled at the top of her lungs, "PLAY FREE BIRD!"
Internet, I may never have a prouder moment as a father.
By the way, Carnegie Hall may be one of my all-time favorite places in NYC. During the entire concert, I kept looking around in sheer disbelief that the Peanut and I were dancing to Laurie Berkner in the same hallowed space that has seen legendary performances by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, and Ellington. Thanks to the awesomely good people over at Scholastic for comping us free tickets and amazing seats.
In other news, I turn 39 this week. Happy birthday to me!
As a wise man once said, "You're only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely."