Kan you ever be too old for Kerrang!?
As a spotty teenage boy reading the magazine on Newcastle’s Metro 20 years ago I was well used to the weird looks and disdainful sighs every time I reached inside my satchel and whipped out the latest edition.
Back then I didn’t fit into the Kerrang! demographic because I went to a posh school, wore a smart uniform and had hair cut above the collar.
In fact there were occasions when people laughed because I looked so out of place with my shiny shoes, smart slacks and battered copy of a mag preaching sex, drugs and rock and roll.
But two decades down the line and it’s no different.
At least back then I was young enough to read Kerrang! and my personal favourite of the time, Metal Hammer. These days I can occasionally look like more of a rocker – coming back from London the other day someone even asked if I was in a band – but an old rocker at that.
And every time I pull out my copy of Kerrang! in 2010 it’s clear that everyone on the Metro – young, old, rocker or chav – thinks the same thing: aren’t you a bit old for that mate?
I don’t know. Am I?
This week’s issue featured a two page spread on Kiss’ Islington Academy gig – a show I attended with a bunch of people much, much older than me.
There was a look at Megadeth – both the band and their fan base have a few years on me – and a page on Steel Panther. Those boys were ripping up the Sunset Strip when I was barely into my teens.
Cover star Ville Valo can’t be any younger than me and I saw Slash at Gateshead Stadium when I was 17 and he was a good deal older. Both are Kerrang! faves and yet this is a magazine I should have stopped reading at least 15 years ago.
But it’s not as if reading Classic Rock is any better. When that sees the light of day between Central Station and Tynemouth a whole new volley of strange looks bounce my way.
Only this time those eyes are saying ‘you’re way too young for that crusties’ tome’. And I must admit they’re probably closer to the truth – I don’t know anyone else under the age of 35 who subscribes to the finest rock magazine in the world. Their loss, obviously.
But the point is I’m stuck right in the middle of a socially unacceptable void – my taste in magazines makes me a figure of ridicule with just about every passenger who populates Tyneside’s favourite mode of transport.
And yet it seems to me that if you rock enough you’re young enough and if you roll enough you’re old enough. Kerrect?