Never Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll

2004/2/26 Eric Clapton, musician, poses with his guitar, photo AP

Commentary by Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith

The one place I wanted to be this week was London. Not to witness Tony Blair's re-election, but to see Cream in concert.

When my first college roommate, Chris Nelson of Orange, California, said, "Listen to this," I was hooked. Cream was the first supergroup. They lasted just over two years and until this week had only played once since 1968 – in 1993 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The reviews this week were fair to rotten to pretty good. There's just something organically incongruous, though, about codgers playing rock and roll. In Cream, Eric Clapton is the kid at 60, the recently liver transplanted Jack Bruce is 61 and the arthritic Ginger Baker is 65.

We baby boomers don't want to let go of the past and scalpers in London were getting upwards of $2,500 a seat. The only drug in most of the attendees apparently was Lipitor. A few were probably packing some Cialis for after the show.

I saw the Rolling Stones the last time they played in the Garden here in New York. I looked around; the crowd was old. My age. I turned to my friend and I said, "Where are the babes?" They gave birth to our children, of course, and had the good the sense to stay home.

Even so, I wish I'd seen Cream this week. It reminds us of a time when we weren't fat, impossibly un-hip and had a clue.

Those were the days.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
  • Joel Roberts

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