Thursday, January 25, 2007

24/7 nostalgia

THE THING THAT'S so cool about growing old as a Gen-Xer is that for several years now, VH-1 has been replaying our entire youth for us.

This nostalgia barrage is a trap, yes -- but such a sweet sticky one. Who doesn't want to relive his formative years: the years when life was simpler, when everything -- especially music -- was just better?

In addition to transporting us back to carefree youth, the retro resurgence does us another favor by setting us up as guides -- elder statesmen of cool, you might say -- to all the MySpacing iPod kids who've never owned an analog sound recording and are just now discovering '70s and '80s music.

KID: Dude! R & B artists actually played real instruments back then? They had bands? Get out!

ME: Well, yeah. That was pretty much the norm until the mid-'80s.

KID: What's that thing their voices and instruments are doing? It's weird. But it makes me ... it makes me feel good!

ME: I believe you're referring to the melody and harmonies and chord progressions? Musicians used to know those, but they kinda went out of style in the '90s.

KID: Thanks to bands like the Killers (who I was into way before anyone had ever heard of them, by the way), I'm really discovering a lot of really cool, totally underground bands from the '80s who influenced them. Like New Order, the Cure, Duran Duran...

ME: [Erupts in peals of laughter.]

KID: What's so funny? Hey, do you like my ironic Hall and Oates t-shirt? [Glances around nervously, then whispers:] But just between you and me, I really like those guys!

ME: You know, some of their best songs were never even released as singles. You have to get the albums. Did you know they go all the way back to 1969? You know, Daryl Hall used to sing backup for all these Philly soul guys -- ever heard of the Delfonics? Anyway, he was with this band called Gulliver for a while. They put out this crazy album that sounded like the Beatles, with a little more soul. I might let you borrow my CD ...

KID: [Stares blankly.]

It's little perks like this that make growing old a little more tolerable.


Anonymous said...

I'm 49. Welcome to my world. [Did you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings? Cool. Oh, by the way, who the Hell is Wings?]

LAC said...

Hi 49,

Thanks, but actually, it's my world! Sorry to inconvenience you! ;)

Paul McCartney was in two bands? I thought he was just famous for singing those great '80s hits "Take it Away" and "The Girl Is Mine" with Michael Jackson!