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You live, you learn

india Updated: Feb 09, 2011 21:56 IST
Hindustan Times
Roger Daltrey

Roger Daltrey, then 21, first came out with a hit in 1965 that had the line: "I hope I die before I get old." Now, Mr Daltrey, 66 and living, has a way in which he can wheedle out of geriatric embarrassment - apart from trying the fashionable routine of pitching the 60s as 'the new 30s'. It turns out that fellow fogies with a sex and drugs and rock'n'roll past on their CVs are lining up not the fine white powder but notes that will help them lecture in institutions of learning. Steve Miller, who insisted through a hit song, "I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker", recently checked in, no, not in Betty Ford Rehab Centre, but as an artist-in-residence at the University of Southern California's (USC) Thornton School of Music.

Mind you, this isn't something on the lines of Bob Dylan's oeuvre entering the portals of PhD studies. This is more like Axl Rose wearing something more substantial than hot pants to cover his now substantial girth and lecturing students on the 'diatonic structure in "November Rain" and the architecture of tempos through the device of multiple bridges'. The truth is that royalties, in this age of downloads, aren't that chunky from those still swinging from the 60s or even the 90s. But as the dean of the USC's music school sees it, bringing old rockers to students is something that a professor, "no matter how well intentioned, just can't do. It makes all the learning go beyond just theory".

And to prove exactly that point our very own Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) recently concluded a discussion on whether Malaika Arora's item number 'Munni badnam' from Dabangg and Katrina Kaif's 'Sheila ki jawaani' from Tees Maar Khan can be deemed obscene. Why do we get the feeling that learning, whether in California or in Ahmedabad, is much more fun than it ever was before?