Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hold Onto Sixteen As Long As You Can (An Interactive Revelation)

I’ve discovered a terrifying phenomenon in music that has nothing to do with American Idol’s search for the next David Archuletta. Did you know Huey Lewis and the News get regular airtime (unbelievable in itself)… on the OLDIES station??!!

The first time I heard it, it may have made me sad. The next time I heard it, it may have made me mad, but I’ve heard “Power of Love” three times now, and I have yet to be glad.

In my mind, to be considered an “oldie,” a song needs to be at least 21 years old and sung by people who are now card-carrying members of AARP. “Oldies” debuted on the 8-track; they are the songs my parents listened to. From Anka to Zepplin, their only social agenda was to help some guy in a leather jacket get to 2nd base with a girl in a cardigan. Aaah, the magic of the Temptations...

So I’m just not sure anyone who ever had an MTV video should get airtime on an oldies station, including Huey Lewis. The artists from MY generation are far too young to fit in to that category.

Take Van Halen. Dave and I just saw them in concert last year, and I’d hardly refer to them as “oldies.” I mean, Eddie and pals recorded their first album just – uh – okay, 32 years ago. But that was with David Lee Roth. Sammy Hagar’s Van Halen is only – oh – I guess that was 21 years ago. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure Sammy is older than my mom. WHAT!?!? (My husband just told me Eddie Van Halen’s had a hip replacement)

Okay, bad example. How about Duran Duran? I vividly remember watching them sing “A View To A Kill” -- fairly recently, I might add -- on MTV during a sleepover at my friend’s house and squealing with delight at the end as Simon revealed he was “Bon. Simon le Bon.” Sure, that might have been a couple 007’s ago, before I had kids and a husband… a college degree… a high school diploma… a driver’s license… alright, alright, so Duran Duran was 23 years ago.

I got it, let’s look at Bon Jovi. He’s still “relevant” as Randy Jackson likes to say. Jon’s not old. Not too old to put on a good show, anyway. He just had a #1 album, and he’s only been doing this for – crap! Over 21 years. At this point I suppose he actually has seen a million faces and rocked them all.

So when did this happen? When did my music get as old as my parents’ music? How is it possible that I am old enough to have bought cassette tapes well before this year’s class of college graduates was born? Especially when I am just a young (material) girl myself? Hmmm…this explains the look on my babysitter’s face when I told her we were going to a Billy Idol concert. But if Huey Lewis is old enough to sing the “oldies,” exactly how old is Keith Richards?

Maybe time’s marched on to a quicker beat than I’d realized. Maybe I should have clued in the first time I explained to my kids that Slash is a real person, not just a character on Guitar Hero.

But there’s a lesson to be learned here for anyone under the age of 23: Enjoy this time. Enjoy the relationship you have with Billboard’s Hot 100 now, because in 20 years Billboard will have moved on and Taylor Swift and T.I. will be rockin’ from their rockers – as will you. And you, too, will find yourself wondering how everyone around you got so old while you have stayed exactly the same.

Need something else to laugh at? Check out Tova Darling's Totally Awkward Tuesdays!


Sassy Britches said...

AMEN, sister! I love the line about everyone around you getting so old while you stayed exactly the same! I am completely on board with that phenomenon. Too bad nobody outside of our own little minds believes it about us! :)

That damn expat said...

I loved this post! I also find myself thinking of 'our generation' and shaking my head at most of today's music. I also say "kids didn't behave like this when I was a kid".

Morgan the Muse said...

I do not know who T.I. is.

Maggie May said...

oh gosh Huey Lewis and the News...they were kind of depressing before and this is the topper!