Making Friends with Other Overgrown Teenyboppers
While the title may imply something negative to the reader, this blog will convey the exact opposite – there is absolutely nothing wrong with staying a teenybopper even as an old lady like me. Just when I thought I was one of the few people my age on the planet that likes to literally ROCK and ROLL (move, dance, etc) at every concert I see, I had quite the adventure on the Flower Power Cruise with hundreds of like-minded people.
These were not the sitting and polite applause types, or at least the ones I hung around with throughout my seven-day cruise. I learned at an early age to be like Maury – way before the book came out. (I am speaking of “Tuesdays with Maury” by Mitch Albom where the elderly Maury explains that dancing is an expression of joy for him.) Music makes me want to move my body to express my joy. I literally cannot sit still – it is torturous. When I am bound to not stand up and dance due to my seating, I writhe and wiggle and move in my seat. (As seen in the movie a friend took of me being serenaded by Paul Cowsill of the Cowsills when he came up to me and sang part of “I Think I Love You.” I was in the front row and could not block other’s view so I wiggled in my seat and sang along. From the back it looks like I am about to have a seizure!!)
It is an automatic reaction for me, and sometimes I think I am embarrassing myself being such an ebullient, expressive, joyous person at a music concert. To be honest, I get happy feet, and nothing can stop me, and sometimes I have to move to a corner of the arena to dance and let loose.
Of course, this is how teenagers or “teenyboppers” as I like to refer to “dancing teenagers,” express themselves and have since the Charleston was in vogue. I remember American Bandstand when I was a young girl, and those teens could not wait to get out on that dance floor and start moving to the music.
Recently I saw a documentary of Creedence Clearwater Revival on Cable TV and most of the footage of the concerts of one of my all-time favorite groups showed teens wildly dancing to every tune they played. This was in the early 1970’s, well after American Bandstand was past it’s prime. ( If you follow the link to see this old concert – while I recommend seeing the whole thing, just forward to 2:19-2:30 for a taste of the kind of wild joyous dancing I am writing about.) What fascinates me about this linked clip, is that all of the people in it are now my age, and some of us are still behaving like that at concerts!!!!!
I still (at my advanced age) go to rocking, crazy Springsteen concerts, where there are thousands of happy feet types like myself. (Watch this European crowd on his tour in Barcelona to see a typical Springsteen concert of dancing and fist pumping. And the song you will love, Dancing in the Dark by clicking on this hotlink.)
But then too, I have attended far too many oldies concerts where people sat there instead of dancing. Not everyone stayed a teenybopper as they aged. I thought I was one of the few, that is until the Flower Power Cruise.
There were non-stop concerts and ample opportunity to surround myself with like-minded people like Martha, Marilyn, Mary Jane, Donna, and Amy, Freda, most who danced non-stop with me and my music loving twin friend and roomie Linda at the front row. Some of my Houston friends attending held back a bit, but not Debbie who was down there dancing with us pretty much the whole time. There was my friend Randall, who you can see me hugging in the linked concert video as the first song begins: he is a gentleman and a great guy from Alaska who loves music like I do. (And who captured a photo AND a video for me of Paul Cowsill singing to me and so I am eternally grateful to him.) I also made friends afterward, with another hero – a musician named Paul who played with the Association and ALSO taped the Paul Cowsill bit of singing to me.
I befriended my male equivalent counterpart Alex from Michigan, who if you watch just the first song of this next concert clip alone, you will see him dancing with his arms hoisted in the air, where they stayed the entire cruise, where he did his little dance all the time and mostly in the front row.
Here is a concert linked so you can see how all the “old” people acted. (Thank you Cindy for taping the entire concert and letting us re-live the joy.) I highly recommend watching as much as you are able of this, you will enjoy. Make it through the first song though, that is worth the price of admission alone.
If you are curious to see what a teenybopper I am, you can see my tall blonde bubbliness spilling over in the second row from the stage on this concert clip. (I stick out!) By the fourth song or so I made it to the front row when Alex went to replenish his beer. This clip of the above linked deck concert was one of the favorites of most of us on the cruise, the Cowsills were in great voice, and funny and personable. This took place at 11 pm at night on the ship pool deck, with everyone dancing in a big crowd by the stage, up above it, and all over the deck. If you click on this link, fast forward to minute 2:17 to hear the first song, The Rain, The Park, and the Other Things (I Love The Flower Girl) which is done fantastically, and watch my male equivalent Alex (up on the front row with Linda) and me and so many teenyboppers in their sixties like me, dancing with joy. (Lots of arms in the air for that one and also the fourth song that comes in at minute 13:18 “We Can Fly” where my arms play a starring role in the footage – as do Linda’s.)
My dear friend Linda kept up the pace with me very well, through just about every single concert, as did hundreds of others. That’s my kind of people.
Aside from the boppers like me, I met so many like-minded people who just love old music with all of their hearts, souls, and minds. It is unbelievable to witness devotion by so many others at this level. My new friends Joel, and Jim, and Richard were my awesome trivia team buddies, along with Linda, and they were intensely into maintaining their knowledge of every obscure name of every group that ever played a rock tune.
Watching the audiences at the meet and greets, and the question and answer/interview sessions, one could see how devoted so many are to the people who made the greatest music of our generation.
I even met the Beatles Brunch radio host, who awarded me with a red colored record album of the Association, and now we are Facebook friends, as I am with so many others I met on the cruise.
And here I have to thank Al D, who put together a page for the Flower Power cruisers to post photos, videos, and reminisce.
The whole experience felt like a camp experience for adults. Instead of the campfire, we had 11 pm concerts on the deck outside (after the evening concerts in the various theaters!) but those deck experiences (daytime and nighttime) created such great bonding time. We were fed, entertained, given loads of activities, and got to act like kids again – if that isn’t like camp, I don’t know what is. It was a unanimously sad time for all when it was over. I had the time of my life, thanks to the special people who made it so, and of course the great entertainment. Such warm friendship, good music, fun times!
By the way, if you haven’t read the first blog on the entertainment WITH PHOTOS, you must click the link here.
Arlene, you are such an expressive writer! Even if I didn’t click on your links (which I did), I can just vividly picture the scenes you described in my mind, because of the colorful portraits you paint for your readers. You clearly were on one of the highest tiers of being thrilled! Unlike most experiences people have, where that lasts for a brief time, yours went on to be at that high escalation for 5 days. Because you have the videos, developed new friendships, and have an abundance of fabulous memories in your mind, you are still maintaining a very high level of being thrilled. Experiencing strong feelings, makes our memories come alive and we relive those experiences almost as strong and sometimes even stronger than the actual experience was at the time. When it’s a super positive one, as yours was to you and hundreds of others, it will bring you lifelong Joy!
A first time experience and I hope not my last. It was great meeting all the people who were there to experience great music and have fun. And fun we did have. Thank you for the great blog Arlene.
We are never too old to have fun, whatever form it may take.