Bridges to Brooklyn


My parents listened to the Monkees. Most of the adults in my small New York town played Frank Sinatra, the Boston Pops, Mantovani and Broadway musical soundtracks. In our house, my father's enormous record collection included the Kingston Trio, Simon & Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Dave Clark Five, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, even the Moody Blues.

But he drew the line at the Rolling Stones.

"What the heck is that?" he'd cry, standing in my bedroom doorway, looking pained.

Like my friends, I bought albums by the Beatles and a long line of soulful singer / songwriters. But when protest and radicalism encroached on our very proper white-bread Long Island town, not only did I want to join it, I wanted to listen to it.

Ageless Wonders


Had I ever been to a Rolling Stones concert? I couldn’t remember.

But the beauty of being a survivor of a once party-hearty and still-in-touch group of emotional exiles is you share a ragged-edged collective memory, a swirling fog of mutual recollection. You may lose a particular event for a few decades, but the right phone call can bring it back.

“Of course you’ve been to a Stones concert, you idiot,” said my friend Mike. “You went with me. It was the ‘Tattoo You’ tour in ’81. I’m not surprised you can’t remember it.”

He described the details, and eventually all of it —well, some of it — came back. I started feeling regretful, wondering how many concerts I can't remember I've seen, until I consoled myself by thinking about how many concerts Keith Richards can't remember he's given.

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