That’s the name of my kid’s album, available, well, online, from his band, Worst Party Ever.
They’re not on the radio. They aren’t going to play a big stadium show.
They are not the musicians of MY youth.
It’s 2020 and the music times are way past changin’.
Classic rock doesn’t exist in this world, except for us classics. You know, Baby Boomers. Us geezers who reveled in FM and concerts and all the accoutrements of growing up in the 1970s. I.e., sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
That’s right, I lived that sh*t. So, I had hard time when I first started reading Steven Hyden’s Twilight of The Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock because the guy who wrote it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that a guy almost young enough to be my son loves the bands of my generation as much as I do, but his perspective is not the same as someone who actually experienced the rise and fall of this firsthand (albeit a little later than most due to my being at the tail end of the Boomer generation). Sorry, but seeing these aging hipsters in the mid- to late- ‘90s is not the same as enjoying them in their youth. Yes, you were young when you discovered my music, but the bands weren’t. You went to see your parents, not your contemporaries, and that counts for something.
While it amused me to read this hero-worshipping account of what it was like to see these bands well after their prime, it didn’t do much else for me but make me feel old. Until that part of the book came to its rightful end and Hyden got a little more thoughtful and edgy, especially regarding the white guyness of this genre. When I put it in the context of my son’s band, it’s a delight to see how far we’ve come. He’s living in a rainbow world, so diverse that there are colors you haven’t even thought of. Yet. Different times for sure. But wait . . .
Isn’t that how this thing we call classic rock began? Weren’t the Beatles and the Rolling Stones an integral part of the hippie movement, when it wasn’t all about the machine and we loved each other for who we were? Aren’t todays musicians headed right back to the garden?
From where I’m sitting, not far from my very open minded, Bernie Sanders lovin’ kid, the answer is yes. Worst Party Ever is doing their own thing, in their own time and their own way, but not without a nod to the classic rock their moms still blast while cleaning the house. They know where they come from. Rather than lamenting its death, realize classic rock still has its influence.
Yes, it’s almost time for the sun to set on Keith (it WILL happen), but it’s already on its way to rising again as kids like mine know where they came from musically . . . and where they are going.
Words from a mere mortal
An eye-opening exploration of the state of classic rock, its past and future, the impact it has had, and what its loss would mean to an industry, a culture, and a way of life.