Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Elvis, Beatles, or The Rolling Stones...

"Everything you are and do from fifteen to eighteen is what you are
and will do for the rest of your life."
letter to his daughter, September 19, 1938

At a family function this past weekend, I made a snarky comment about my little sister's oh-so-twee indie bands, with "all their chimes and handclaps and stuff," to which my other more mature than myself sibling countered with "well you like all that weird world music" and thankfully dessert in the form of cherry pie arrived to end all sonic disputes.

We all prefer the sounds of our adolescence, though the prior generations have done a great job of monopolizing the canon, as if there wasn't good music made before 1965 and as if the world stopped ten years later.

It's not that I really hate Freedom Rock all that much, but the entitled mentality of certain members of that generation and infinite PBS fundraisers with washed up 60's burnouts doing The Songs That We Got High To and the assumption that well duh there hasn't been anything good since the Beatles and Bob Dylan and maybe I just don't understand the hagiography of the agnostics in my midst because when I think of St. John I don't think of Lennon and his primal screamer of a soulmate.

While I do love the first couple Police albums, this song exemplifies everything wrong with my Boomer Overlords. Ian Mackaye once sang that we're not the first and we know we're not the last, and that's a good kind of humbleness to have to realize that. Sting on the other hand, well...

This might be particularly sensitive to some of us peons, due to a time warp vortex especially strong in Parmastan, where classic rock never died, those who consider themselves more hip will maybe prefer the Velvet Underground or Elvis Costello but little beyond that or their influences, crackers still wash their Camaros while listening to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" on the boombox, and every other classmate of mine in high school that wasn't into the Wu-Tang Clan seemed to own an AC/DC t-shirt. Something about those post-war bungalows and bowling alleys where time hasn't changed much. As inner-ring suburb Cleveland kids, a love of some kind of classic rock is almost a birthright even if some of us prefer more fuzz and weirdness.

I don't understand the appeal of Of Montreal or Throw Me the Statue or whatever the Urban Outfitters/American Apparel set are listening to these days, but I don't have to. I've still got power chords, black t-shirts, and my dad's flannels to fall back on.

1 comment:

Randal Graves said...

St. John's Wort.

At the risk of betraying my Parmastanian roots, Throw Me the Statue reminds me of an episode of Friday the 13th: The Series where they had to toss a cursed statue out the window to save some poor yokel from being turned to non-rolling stone.

I love this post, & I'd like to think I won't be boomers redux (you kids and your crappy music, listen to Ride the Lightning get off my power chord!)