When I was 14, after we graduated from Markham Place School at a ceremony by the gazebo on the hill by the baseball fields, there was a party for my eighth grade class with pizza and a six-foot-long sub from Danny’s and a DJ and stuff. We were euphoric, as kids are at the end of every school year—and even more so this year, it being the end of grade school in its entirety, and us having recently returned from an overnight class trip to Washington D.C. that had seemed to engender good feelings all around. I was a dork in 8th grade, not invited to many of the birthday parties you’d overhear about on Monday, at which more popular guys would get to kiss the girls who would end up signing your yearbook, “Dear David, I don’t know you very well, but I know you’re very nice! Have a great summer!” But so much of that bad stuff seemed to float away at the graduation party—everybody had fun. Kids talked to and laughed with kids they hadn’t talked to or laughed with through eight years of going to school together. It was great.
At the end of the party, after we’d all gone crazy to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and shouted the “Hey! Get laid! Get fucked!” ad-lib parts we were supposed to shout when the DJ played Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony,” and been moved to a level of genuine compassion and emotion that felt foreign to us as 14-year-olds when Martin Torbert, who was in a wheelchair because of the muscular dystrophy he would die from six years later, slow danced with his girlfriend to Survivor’s “The Search Is Over,” which was announced as “their song,” at the end of the party, someone had the idea that me and Ted Trainor and Matt McCabe and Dave Murgio should do a lipsync performance of the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up.” Ted and Matt and Dave were all more popular than I was, but I was known as a music nut, and the Stones were my favorite band, so I think this is the reason I was included. Me and Dave argued for a minute over who would get to be Keith Richards, but since Dave was more popular, and since he said I would know the words better, he won and I agreed to be Mick Jagger.
I was a little nervous when the music started, looking out at the faces of my classmates who I knew didn’t know me very well, and who I feared didn’t like me very much. But everyone was smiling and obviously into it, so I got into it, too. I danced like Mick, and put my hands on my hips and threw my arms back and stuck out my lips and pouted as I mouthed the words into the imaginary microphone I held in my hand. I had his moves memorized, from watching the famous video of him singing this song onstage in the Philadelphia Eagles jersey during the Tattoo You tour from a few years before. I had practiced them plenty in the privacy of my bedroom. I strutted like a rooster and leaned back-to-back against Dave, just like Mick and Keith did, when we harmonized on the “You make a grown man cry-aye-aye” parts.
It was a resounding victory. Everyone cheered and mobbed us at the end of the song, just like we were real rock stars. As things settled down, and people went back to get a last slice of pizza or cup of soda or whatever, Liz Ryan, who was pretty, and pretty popular, but also a bit shy, came up to me and smiled and quietly said, “You were a good Mick Jagger.”
So now the guy from Maroon 5, Adam Levine—about whom I harbor feelings similar to those expressed by Richard Lawson, who wrote on Twitter, while watching him on the TV show “The Voice” back in April, “How many hookers do we think Adam Levine has murdered in his basement torture maze? At least several?” —now Adam Levine, and to a lesser extent Christina Aguilera, with their song “Moves Like Jagger,” currently the no. 1 song in this whole god-forsaken country, and has just been made even worse somehow, with the addition of two verses from the unfortunately existing Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller on a new remixed version, now all these people… they have hurt me very deeply in a way that they will never be able to truly understand.