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How To Keep Baby Boomer Time

The First Step: Hank Williams Birthday With Live Band Karaoke.

The Birthday Boy With A Fan

The Birthday Boy Smiling With A Fan
(image via J Howe Photography)

How often does something come up and you think, “I don’t have time for that?”

You don’t have time? Or is it something else, like, “I’m too old for that?”

Boomer, please. You have your dignity. You have your pride. You’ve paid your dues.

Step outside your box and do something different.

Now you have fear? Good.


via Landmark Saloon

The Landmark Saloon did a show recently.

All you had to do was walk in and sing a song or two. Sounds easy enough so far?

The folks at The Landmark made it even easier. They had a song list to choose from and a sign-up sheet.

They even had a book of lyrics on stage.

Sign up, steel your nerves, and wait your turn.

Why should Boomers sing Hank Williams? He’s not rock and roll. He was dead before rock and roll sunk into the culture.

If you’re thinking, “This is what my grandparents listened to,” you’re right.

Maybe you have a friend who’s dad used to play in his own hillbilly band, who sees Hank as a tribute to another era. You’d be lucky on that one.

Hank’s connections go deep. He was a version of Live Fast And Die Young before Jimi and Janis and Jim Morrison checked out.

That’s enough to show up on the boomer radar.

If you’re a jazz fan, or love the blues, Hank is right there. His phrasing and time changes sound simple until you try and sing his songs.

Then you try again and again until you find a groove.

While waiting to be called, hum your song. Avoid running out the front door.

Listen to the singers on stage and remember you’re just like them. Except you won’t be pulling out  harmonica from your shirt pocket for a solo. Leave that to the band. The fiddle, guitar, and steel guitar have that covered. You’ve got enough to do just keeping calm and carrying on.


If you must dance during the solos, whoop it up without knocking things over.
(via J Howe Photography)

A young woman in front of the stage dances the night away. You remember the Bruce Springsteen video from 1984 where he pulls the young Courtney Cox on stage for Dancing In The Dark.

Is this a Bruce moment? Your Bruce moment? Maybe, but it’s not a Bruce sized stage.

While you wait, someone sings the same song you chose. Uh oh. He does a straight ahead Hank version and leaves you thinking of Adam Lambert singing Johnny Cash.

What will you do?

Again, settle down. Act like you’ve been here before. You haven’t? That’s why it’s called acting.

A half hour passes and you know you’re coming up. You tell yourself you could leave right now and no one would care.

Before you debate flee or fight any further, you hear your name.

Instead of pretending to tie your cowboy boots and low crawl out the door, step up.

The woman at the front of the stage took a few songs off. If you get her dancing again, you’ll be happy.

With an off-key voice somewhere between Elvis and Buddy Holly you hiccup through Your Cheatin’ Heart until the solo break. The woman in front is dancing. You reach over the stage. She takes your hand. You share the rhythm of the moment and lead her through a spin.

For about a second you think of spinning too. In your mind’s eye you see the mic crash into the steel guitar while you take a dive into the drum kit. Luckily for everyone coming after you, the solos end and you finish the song without the ballet moves.

Now what? Slink off the stage, or shake hands with the band? Give the fellas a thank you. They’re tight, right, and you didn’t cut into their work. It’s a miracle.

Before you step off, take a moment with the birthday boy. Invite your new friends into the shot. What would Hank do? Keep smiling.


(image via J Howe Photography)

The enduring message from NW Boomer is get up and go before your get up is gone. Do more.

You’ve always wanted to ham it up? Take a walk on the wild side? Sing your song?

Take a stand, Boomer. You don’t need permission, but if you do you’ll find it on boomerpdx.

What time is it? Time to break out the big hat.

If you can’t make it to The Landmark Saloon, find your own landing place and make a mark.

About David Gillaspie
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