"You can ask me anything. You've opened up to me, and now I will open up to you."
Charles Bradley, the 66-year-old soul singer extraordinaire, spoke those words to me a couple hours after his fiery Friday afternoon Coachella set. I had just told him how much his spellbinding performance had moved me. "I saw James Brown in the 1980s," I told the former JB impersonator. "You were every bit as good, man."
Bradley put his arm around me, pulled me close to him, and kissed me on my neck.
It was perfect.
I had come to Coachella to write about the festival through the eyes of a 52-year-old AARP member with a suburban home, two kids, a wife, a dog, thinning, gray hair and an expanding waist. This weekend would also answer a question that had gnawed at me: Had I become too old to rock 'n' roll?