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Steve Peake

Today's Neglected Number of Choice - The Fabulous Yet Forgettable 58

By May 4, 2009

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philipbailey.jpg As far as numbers go, I've always thought 58 is one of those random ones that's never received its share of attention. I mean, once you get past the snooty single digits, the respect level certainly seems to drop, except maybe for milestone numbers like 20, 25 and 50. Well, dammit, I guess I'm here to rectify yet another wrong in this space; somebody's gotta do it.

I don't know about other children of the '80s out there, but I used to think 58 was damn old, decrepit, ancient, hoary even. My viewpoint on that as I quickly approach 40 has changed significantly and for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the '80s music icons I just noticed who will be turning the big 5-8 this week. Forgetting for a moment that Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen and Bob Seger are on an impressive list of '80s music figures who will celebrating differently-numbered birthdays this week (hey, it's not like they're gonna be 58 or something), I find it simultaneously heartening, strange, surprising and comforting that Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads will both turn that mystical 29X2 this week. Both could be but rather certainly are not my father, which should mean - based on estimates from my youth - that each must be approaching a rather imminent death. And yet, according to U.S. life expectancy, these dudes probably have at least two more decades in which to sing falsetto and try to convince David Byrne to put the group back together. So am I young or old or somewhere vaguely in between? All I conclude from this is that it's not yet time for my childhood musical icons to be dying of natural causes. Today at least, I'll consider that comforting.

Album Cover Image Courtesy of Columbia


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