It's safe to say that none of us wants to get old. But there's no stopping the persistent, inevitable passage of time.

    It's safe to say that none of us wants to get old. But there's no stopping the persistent, inevitable passage of time.

    We're all going to get old. Some of us are well on our way. Some of us are there now.

    The physical aspects of age and aging, they're pretty obvious to even the most casual observer: Our bodies are going to shrivel up and get knotted and wrinkly. But many of us also fight the usual losing battle of growing old on the inside, too, mentally of course, but emotionally as well, and in the way we view the world around us and the way we live and act in that world.

    Basically, it all comes down to the notion that we were cool when we were young – at least we thought we were cool when we were actually living and experiencing a youthful-driven life – and we don't want to lose that cool even as our youth becomes smaller and smaller and, finally, downright microscopic in our life's rear-view mirror.

    Who doesn't want to be cool, after all, and, maybe more importantly, remain cool? Our definition of cool may evolve as we mature, but we never want to entirely shed that label.

    It's almost sad to even write the actual words, but when I was a teenager safely tucked within the confines of my crew of friends, I felt cool as can be with my faded jean jacket, expensive sneakers and mullet for the ages beautifully bouncing on my shoulders with each confident, cocky step that comprised my signature strut.

    But maybe what defined us more than our clothes, our hair or the way we carried ourselves was the music we constantly played...the music we constantly played at decibel levels that rival a jet engine.

    Back then, our parents – as we as parents are insisting today to our kids as they worship hip-hop and other musical genres that shun actual songwriting and exclude the actual playing of instruments – told us those “hair metal/glam rock” bands were shallow, talent-starved and basically awful. So we just turned the “mindless noise” up louder.

    But that doesn't mean our wise elders back then were wrong. In fact, in many cases, they were pretty spot-on. I'm proud to admit that I still think I register fairly strong on the cool meter, but that doesn't preclude me from expanding or maybe just altering my musical tastes, and in the process leaving a lot of that 1980s hair-metal music safely tucked away in my distant past.

    Now, that doesn't mean this particular life development hasn't come as at least a bit of a surprise. When we were punk kids, we swore we'd carry our love of those shrieking guitars, screaming vocals, booming base and thunderous drums to the grave, but, perhaps predictably, we for the most part have not. At least I haven’t.

    If you would have told me when I was 18 or so that in 2016 I'd write a column saying I find 90 percent of Guns-n-Roses songs unlistenable, I would have immediately commenced with my best "Welcome to the Jungle" Axl Rose shriek accompanied by my signature impression of Axl's most famous on-stage dance moves, and concluded you were off your meds.

       But it's undeniably true. While some hair-metal bands from the 1980s still resonate with me when I come across them on the radio dial - very early Motley Crue and Bon Jovi, Def Leppard up to the "Hysteria" album, a handful of Skid Row tunes, some Scorpions classics - the rest of it basically makes me cringe. I mean, how can anyone listen to Tom Keifer gurgle his way through any Cinderella song and not say, "Dude, for the love of God, clear your throat!" KISS...come on...really?

    The other day, I opened the drawers on my wooden compact disc cabinet to peruse my alphabetized collection of CDs in excess of 500 in number - thanks to Internet music streaming and iTunes, I haven't bought a CD in more than a decade and the drawers probably hadn't been opened in at least a couple years - and I couldn't help but smile as I saw the names upon names of the bands that long ago I so happily invested so many of my restaurant cook paychecks in. But, oh, they were so cool back then, and I was so cool as I absolutely wore them out in my CD player. My air guitar skills...unrivaled.

    And, dammit, I'm still cool, I’m just more of a “Band of Horses” strain of cool. So don't ask me to suffer through "Sweet Child O'Mine", "Shook Me All Night Long" or "You Give Love a Bad Name." Or any song by Jackal. They were the worst band in the world in 1988, a title they still hold today.