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It’s nice to leave the grownups at home

Don’t bother going out this weekend. Last weekend couldn’t be beat.

Last Saturday, three bands played at Cooper’s, and they were all young. The people who came to see them – they were young, too. Of course, there were giiiiiiiiirls there – pretty, young girls.

It was phenomenal. Normally, Nevada County – and in particular, Nevada City, and specifically, Cooper’s – is a lot like Never-Never Land. Baby boomers come here to forget their divorces, wear tight jeans and become real estate agents. They meet their next future exes at places like Cooper’s, where they can listen to yet another cover of “Brown-Eyed Girl” and imagine the world is still theirs to save.



But last weekend, for a few hours, Clapton was not God. Twenty-somethings stormed the saloon. Youthful mirth spilled out of our souls. It felt great.

It felt like a bar should. The grownups were out doing grownup things – or maybe not, but at least we didn’t have to compete with them for limited space. Not many of them, anyway. One guy was there wearing a Members Only jacket, but it might have been an ironic thing. (Probably not, though.)




Truth is, most of the time we kids don’t mind sharing our downtowns with you old people. We can appreciate your classic rock and jazz fusion, and we can survive it. We can handle your jean jackets and high-top sneakers, and even the way you go off on left-wing diatribes before driving home in your Beemers and Benzes.

It was nice to have the place to our young selves, though. Sort of like we finally got to leave the kids with the baby-sitter and go out, except the other way around. And it was fair, too – you guys get plenty of opportunities to hear your music and flirt and hang out.

It seems fair to me, anyway, and maybe to many of you – but not to all of you. One well-known, older local musician actually got violent with the Cooper’s staff Saturday night during the first band’s set. That newfangled rock ‘n’ roll music – I guess it’ll make you flip out.

No, actually it turns out he was upset because the bar had taken a night he was supposed to play and given the gig to – gasp! – a younger band. They even told him they’d cut him a check for the missed show, but he was not to be placated. No matter that he’s played more shows than anyone can count at Cooper’s and all over the county. No matter that some other, younger people live around here and might want to hear something different.

Cooper’s and Mikail Graham, who books the bar’s bands, and all the other establishments around here that bring in a variety of music – young and old, classic and progressive, folky and funky – deserve praise and thanks for catering to a community that is comprised of more than just former hippies.

And the old guard musicians need to appreciate that playing someplace for 15 years doesn’t mean you alone are guaranteed to play there 15 more. Music is for young people, too, even – especially – when it hurts your ears. If that upsets you aging artists, start voting Republican.

Yes, there’s room for all of us here. But still, don’t bother going out this weekend. At least, not if you’re old. I don’t know how long I can wait to see the pretty, young girls out in full force again.

Josh Wimmer works on the copy desk at The Union. His column appears every other Friday. Call him at 477-4239 or e-mail him at joshw@theunion.com


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