My Top 1000 Songs #112: Slit Skirts

There was a period in high school when I spent a lot of time listening to Pete Townshend's All The Best Cowboys and Roxy Music's Avalon. Both came out around the spring of my sophomore year; I was on the cusp of getting my driver's license, and finally felt like I was coming into my own after an awkward start to my teen years. My group of friends started to solidify, some of whom remain close to this day. I was feeling almost a little grown-up; and these seemed like grown-up albums. 

Cowboys in particular, with Townshend assuming a mixed spoken-sung style, more mature themes, and a slicker sound than found on The Who's albums, carried some emotional heft for me. It was The Who, more than any other band, that got me into rock music (after my initial pre-teen days as an AM-radio loving kid). I was particularly struck by the clear ark from "hope I die before I get old" to the lamentation of impending middle age found on "Slit Skirts." "Can't pretend that growing older never hearts," sang my old friend Pete, and for all the sadness, something about the song gave me hope. I'd assumed that my love of music was inextricably bound up with my childhood; yet while Townshend's middle age crisis still felt like an eternity away, it may have been the first time it dawned on me that rock music might continue to have deep, personal resonance after I'd moved beyond my teen years.