Sunday, 11 October 2009

Too Young to Rock 'n' Roll

Ever thought what the basic difference between men and women is? Women have a tendency to lie about their age. And it’s usually on the optimistic side. Now me – I rather wish I was a bit older than I am, say another ten years. That means I would’ve been born in the mid 1940s and thus would’ve been aware of the rising of rock ‘n’ roll and lived the whole experience in real time from day one. I really envy those who are currently in their sixties and who were lucky enough to do just that. As it is, my consciousness began in about 1962 just as the Beatles were bursting through and although I recall everything that followed, I missed out on the whole Rock ‘n’ Roll thing of the 50s.

Because I love pop music so much, I’m rather sad that I’m just too young to remember the real birth of the youth culture explosion that shook the 1950s to its core. As a result of my newly assumed age, I would’ve been in the school system throughout the 50s and into the 60s, when all those seminal records from Elvis, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and the rest were being made. Then, in 1964, one of the best years in rock ever, I would’ve transferred to higher education (hopefully). Imagine being at college during the mid-sixties in swinging London when the Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks etc were in their pomp and Carnaby Street did it’s best to make you look a dedicated follower of fashion. Sort of.

It would also have meant that I would be in gainful employment by the late 1960s and in a position to buy up all those fabulous classic albums of the late 60s and early 1970s – ones that I could only ever dream about and finger the covers of at the time. Of course, it would also mean that I would’ve probably been too old to really appreciate punk when it appeared in the late 1970s and the Brit-pop revival of the 1990s would’ve irritated the hell out of me in my advanced years but I’ll take all that in exchange for a first-hand experience of everything rock has achieved in 50 odd years.

Of course, the other reason why I wish I was 10 years older is that I would expect to be retired by now on a healthy pension and have nothing to do all day but play my old vinyl and grumble that today’s bands are not a patch on those of my youth.

What?...Oh, I do that already.


Adrian said...

I appreciate this is not really on point... still, this theme for some reason makes me think of Mott the Hoople's recent reunion. Ian Hunter at 70 performing "All the Young Dudes"!

musicobsessive said...

Haha! I don't think I was ever a 'young dude'...perhaps that's the problem!

Charlie said...

Nice post Martin. I understand what you mean about missing out on that great formative era but I really don't want to be any older. I'll just be content to live vicariously through records and videos. I lived through the great classic rock era of the late 60s and early 70s. It's hard to top that.

BTW, Chuck Berry turns 83 next week and was still performing in his 80s. There is even a picture of him playing in Sweden 2 years ago on his Wikipedia page.

musicobsessive said...

Charlie - as you say, we both lived through one of the best periods, late 60s to early 70s where we were teenagers lapping up the new culture. You really can't beat it..and yet I still feel a bit cheated that I wasn't there at the beginning. But that's just me.