No-gut Mick

By John Toth

I’m watching Mick Jagger jumping around on my wall. He takes up the whole wall as the lyrics of “Jumping Jack Flash” fill the small room.

I’m playing the Rolling Stones’ “The Biggest Bang” DVD through my laptop, hooked up to an HD projector. The sound is sharp. The video is brilliant. Jagger is … wrinkled.

I thought he’d stay a young punk with a lousy voice who was taking the world by storm. But Jagger has aged. He was born on July 26, 1943.

WWII was still raging; London was being bombed by the Nazis. Mick is 68 now. He was 62 when the DVD was made.

He is jumping around though like he is still in his 20s. This guy is in shape. No gut.

I look at myself in the mirror. How can Jagger be in his 60s with no gut? I don’t have a big one, but I used to have none at all. Maybe I ought to lay off the non-fat yogurt. And, I am 12 years younger than the geriatric punk who is jumping all over my wall.

I have a different type of job. Writers do not get exercise at work. We have to go out of our way, like to a track or gym. Jagger just went to work each day and jumped around.

Writers also don’t make as much money as rock legends, who can afford to buy their own gyms rather than pay monthly dues at a public gym. It would be boring to work out in a big empty gym, though. I like having people around, especially if they are more out of shape than I am.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great that they are in there and working off those pounds. I should be doing the same more often.

A friend posted a comment recently on Facebook about a 1970s group called Deep Purple. They played a lot of heavy metal stuff, had a few hits.

Another friend commented that his favorite song was “Smoke On The Water.”

That got me going because I like that song also. Nice and simple … three chords at the most. So, I got on YouTube and posted a 2006 performance of the song by the group.

The original was released more than three decades ago. The 2006 version was fantastic. Same sound. But the group members have changed.

These guys need to find a gym.

I know we all get older, but some memories are best left the way they were decades ago. ABBA needs to stay young in my mind - Fleetwood Mac also.

In most cases, it doesn’t matter, but there are memories that are best unchanged. They represent turning points in my life that are now warmly remembered.

For example, I was a young, struggling writer in Bay City, Texas, when Blondie made it on the pop scene. Now that I’m an old, struggling writer, I don’t want Blondie, or its lead singer Deborah Harry, to change. It would do no good to see her or the group today.

When I listen to Blondie while driving somewhere, it’s not just music, but all the good things that happened at that point in my life.

Blondie just needs to stay the way it was back then.

I’m tired of watching Mick jump around like a youngster. Now look. He is running from one end of the stage to the other.

I think I’ll just hit the gym.