And here we are, in 2015, listening to music we grew up with – again. The good wife and I, sitting in our bedroom during an electricity load shedding episode, listening to The Best of Bread newly downloaded in iTunes, and getting dreamy-eyed with memories.
Forty years on and more, and still listening to the Led Zeppelins, the Creams, the Jethro Tulls, the Rory Gallagher – even the Bread.
Are we still so caught up in the way we felt when we were 17 or 18, that we can’t let go of the way we were?
Are we trapped in a desperate search for rejuvenation, for our lost youth, or….
Was it just really, really good music?
I was listening to Hendrix this morning in my car, to something that I swear I had never actually heard before – such is the magic of a biiiiiig iPhone memory, and iTunes – and I was struck by how very slick, and effortless, and GREAT it was. Hendrix and friends, off an album Gus Silber recommended to me via Twitter just last year (People, Hell and Angels), doing an instrumental blues that just blew my mind.
It also effortlessly took me all the way to work, given minimal traffic while University students pretend to work at revision, but this is by the bye.
Another thing: I was tempted into a little Zeppelin episode on Saturday last, after a longish drive in the rain and mist, with a 2008 remastered offering called Mothership bought in Scotland, pumping out 1968 and 1969 songs from albums I and II. LOUD.
Very, very loud.
And you know, my 19 year-old daughter and her friend joined me, and the friend enthusiastically recognised a track she liked – probably “Ramble On” – and sang along.
What made it for me, though, was on Sunday when I was selecting some music for a family lunch, when I accidentally launched Zep’s “Good Times, Bad Times” – and my 22 year old son son cranked it up to the max my 1983 vintage NAD 3020 amp can do, and sang the whole intro with me. Turns out Led Zeppelin is his favourite band, right up there with Green Day – and, would you believe it, Queen.
We segued into Hugh Masekela and decreased the volume considerably, but my heart had been touched. I had brought my children up right.
Oh, I’ll give an ear to Coldplay, U2 and the Chillie Peppers; I’ll even audit the Black-Eyed Peas and The Eels and Wolfmother – but if I really want to relax, with my eyes closed and immersed in noise, I’ll choose Cream, Zeppelin, Rare Earth, Blind Faith or Hendrix.
Because I can.
Because they are So. Fucking. Good.