Monday, December 10, 2012

Guns Roses n I

Circa 1988.

We are travelling in a car in Delhi; my cuz sitting up front with the driver, me behind. And he keeps replaying 'Paradise City', looping the tape back to the beginning and stopping exactly when the guitar takes over. Just the clear, strong sound of the percussion vibrates through the car (it was equipped with the state-of-the-art Sony system) and as much as I liked to believe then that it was irritating, I can admit now, that I turned into a fan that winter evening in Delhi.

Guns n Roses. I got hooked to their music and yes, I do have the cuz to blame!

In the all-girls convent I went to, most of my friends were listening to Wham, Madonna and the like. Pop music was 'in' and I found myself strangely alienated because I loved hard rock, a bit of metal, soft rock and I also listened to the popular music of the time.  But if there was someone in class who had tapes of GnR, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen etc, it was me.

And it was, yes, you guessed that right, all because of the cuz!

Circa 2012.

When I first heard that GnR were coming to India on a three city tour I was instantly transported back to those days, when we, the first of the MTV generation, would sit glued to the idiot box watching videos of songs we'd only heard before! And we saw Slash actually strum those chords, and Axl, well...Axl...the archetypal bad boy of the 80s and 90s, was irresistible. His voice, his long locks of hair, his....well...suffice to say that if you loved hard rock, you'd definitely like Axl.

And here was this opportunity presenting itself to me. All I had to do was find someone to babysit the children, travel to Mumbai and decide what to wear!!!

So after much hemming and hawing, I finally made it to the Guns n Roses, Appetite for Democracy tour, Mumbai concert on 9th December.

I watched him for three hours. strutting about on the whole stage. He hardly stood still, kept running about, kept singing, kept entertaining us. But what struck me real hard is that he has mellowed. This was a not-so-hyper Axl, so different from his younger avataar.

Yes, 25 years can age anyone, and it is not easy, not easy to watch your icons look old-er; not easy to see their long locks disappeared somewhere, not easy to see the bags under the eyes, the sagging chin, the expanded waistline.... Somewhere it makes you aware of your own aging.

His voice still sounded the same....and he still held us in thrall the whole time! The way he looked at us and said, "I've been waiting 27 years to come to India"....and while I thought, "Oh Gosh! Why didn't you!!!" my knees turned jelly...



I walked out with a lump in my throat and a resolve, that I will allow my children to see their idols and icons perform LIVE any opportunity I can 'afford'. Because we must be able to live the experience of our adulation in its entirety. 
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