I was working for radio legend John Records Landecker 16 years ago when a momentous item arrived in his mailbox: his AARP card. John was one of the first of his generation (the Baby Boomers) to receive one, and it irritated him beyond belief. He cut it into little pieces, and sent it back with a note saying something like “My father is the one in AARP, not me.”
We did a bit about it on the air, and many other Baby Boomers called in to say the same thing. To a person, they were offended to receive the card. John even asked me to help him write a song about it, which we did. The song is called “Baby Boomers” and it’s to the tune of “Louie Louie”. These are the lyrics…
I’m a Baby Boomer, oh yeah, And I’m getting old.
(wah, wah, wah, wah)
I’m a Baby Boomer, oh baby, I’m getting old
I’m a Baby Boomer, and it ain’t fair,
That I’m growing love handles and I’m losing my hair,
I’m saving rubber bands and other worthless stuff,
And when I try to read my arms aren’t long enough
Cause I’m a Baby Boomer,
There’s no denying that I’m getting old
(wah wah wah wah)
I’m a Baby Boomer,
There’s no denying we’re all getting old.
Mylanta, My Tums, My Tagamet HB,
My Pepto Bismol, and My Pepcid AC,
Well it really don’t matter where my food chain begins,
‘Cause I’m never gonna get no acid indigestion.
((c) 1996 Landecker/Kaempfer reprinted with permission.)
This song became the centerpiece of our stage show for the next few years. John actually appeared on stage wearing a diaper (Baby boomer, get it?) when he sang it.
I’m technically a Baby Boomer myself. I was born in 1963, the second to last year of the Baby Boom. But I never really thought the song was about me because I was only 33 (going on 34) when I wrote it. Well, those 16 ½ years have flown by, and this week I got my own copy of the AARP Card in the mail.
Maybe it’s because of the song, and the years performing it, but I had a slightly different reaction to the AARP card than John did. Instead of freaking out and cutting it into pieces, I read all the paperwork that came with it. Wait a minute here. There are some actual discounts involved.
I’m not sending back the card cut into a million pieces. I’m joining.