|Anka on top, Valli below|
A few years ago, the world of every Gen X-er and quasi-'90s kid was unpleasantly rocked when 68-year-old teenager Paul Anka
decided it was a good idea to cover Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Sure, it's easy to see where this smarmy, crooner take on grunge was supposed to be some kind of knowing meta wink at Anka's once-upon-a-time idol status and subsequent career as a novelty act. But really, Cobain's words coming out of old Paulie's overtan, elfin face was just depressing. That said, Anka's early originals like "Diana," " Crazy Love," and "Puppy Love" are nice bubblegum reminders of a time when teens didn't use Manic Panic and huff gas. So buy a ticket for a trip through the supposedly innocent '50s.
, on the other hand, seems to know his place in the pop canon. He started out singing sugary hits such as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and "Candy Girl" with the Four Seasons. He tried and failed to go solo with darker, more adult
material. Then, just in time for the whole Happy Days
-driven nostalgia-fest of the '70s, he returned to sugary stuff with the theme to Grease
. And, ever since, Valli's gone novelty -- reprising "Sherry" and the rest, parlaying his hits into Broadway success with Jersey Boys
, and touring casinos across the country. Now, fingers crossed, Frankie won't take a crack at "Rape Me" anytime soon.
Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10. Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Shows start at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $47-$77 through Ticketmaster.com. 954-797-5531; hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com