My friend dropped me a note last night that said, "Great concert. They've still got it." She was referring to The Who, who played Salt Lake City last night. I don't doubt it. Even though The Who is now really just Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend, they have been in the business long enough--over 40 years--to know how to put on a show.
Pete was interviewed via telephone by a local reporter about past visits to my town. The reporter asked, "Do you have any specific memories of past visits to Salt Lake City?" Pete replied: "Salt Lake City was sadly somewhere that I was first called a 'long-haired queer' on American soil -- in 1967 by a very sexy and glamorous woman of about 40. I'd love to find her now I've cut my hair real short, we could pick up the conversation. She'd be nearly 80. We could compare notes and work out what might have changed."
Well, Pete, I'm sorry that happened to you, but at least you were a big rock star at the time and people were also kowtowing to your every whim. Those of us who wanted to be you, who wanted to have long hair and look like rock stars and attract grrrls and be hip, we had more of a problem. People called us "long-haired queers" all the time. There was hardly a day went by without some sort of insult or verbal assault, or even a physical assault.
Nowadays things are a lot more mellow when it comes to hair styles. Forty years ago when our hair started to sprout my parents thought we had been put under an evil spell by you Brits. They thought you were the sons of Satan. They didn't realize--because they didn't know history--that long hair on men comes into fashion every 100 years or so. Even my parents' righteously religious Mormon forebears sported long locks circa 1840-1860.
Forty years ago anything that reeked of the wicked world of rock or teenagers was looked down on with alarm and panic, and that disdain and disapproval came out of their mouths with crass and tactless remarks about hairstyles or clothes. I was actually fooled, as were some of my peers, by nagging parents and school administrators, into thinking there was something intrinsically wrong with boys wearing long hair.
These days when I walk into schools on my everyday job I see boys with hair that looks a lot like the way you wore it in 1964, Pete. Nowadays nobody calls a kid a queer just because he has long hair. The kids take it for granted they can wear their hair any way they want and no one will call them names. I, for one, am very happy about that. Yep, Pete, with m-m-my g-g-generation, when it comes to long hair we won't get fooled again.
Another report just came out touting the healthy effects of dark chocolate. While in California we visited the Scharffen Berger factory in Berkeley. These folks make some of the most delicious dark chocolate ever. I'm sure if I ate a pound a day of Scharffen Berger chocolate I could live to be 150.
Those of us who always thought of chocolate as decadent…something used to seduce members of the opposite sex, heh-heh, now know we can ease our consciences and seduce away by telling our seducees the chocolate is actually good for them.
One of the coolest parts of the tour was seeing all of us in hairnets. I got to wear a beard net, too, making me feel like I was wearing a burka. When in Berkeley, visit the chocolate factory. There's no Willy Wonka, but the chocolate is definitely a golden ticket.
Ciao for now, El Postino
Dave, Karen, Sally and Postino ready to boogie on down to chocolate town.