I and a few friends who, except for Shannon and Linda, are decades younger than myself, used to gather at the Holiday Inn Lounge for quiet drinks and conversation. Jen, barely 30, or Erin, barely 21 would inevitably play the loud, nearby jukebox, …
Call me a relic, call me what you will; say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill. Today’s music ain’t got the same soul; I like that old time rock ‘n roll. Like Bob Seger said so melodiously, “… that kind of music just soothes the soul. I reminisce about the days of old, with that old time rock ‘n roll.”
Exactly! I couldn’t have sung it better myself. The Beatles went even further by saying you couldn’t even get them on the dance floor for anything else. I quote, “Give me that rock ‘n roll music, if you want to dance with me.” Same here. Should a fetching young gal solicit me to dance along to today’s lyrics, I’d say simply, “No thank ya ma’am; I’ll just sit here and sip my prune juice, if ya don’t mind,” or something similar.
I and a few friends who, except for Shannon and Linda, are decades younger than myself, used to gather at the Holiday Inn Lounge for quiet drinks and conversation. Jen, barely 30, or Erin, barely 21 would inevitably play the loud, nearby jukebox, which I dreaded since my inherited deafness keeps me from clearly hearing the lyrics OR the conversation.
It was always new songs from new groups I know nothing about, like “Hoobastank” or “Cake.” One night I surprised them by arriving at the jukebox first and playing one of my personal favorites from the ’80s, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” by Freddy Fender. Watching their eye-rolling sarcasm, you’d have thought I had just subjected them to something by Minnie Pearl. The only toes I saw tapping were Linda’s, who self-admittedly is “older than dirt.”
Hoobastank? Cake? Hey, they can have their Cake, and eat it too. As for me, I could live by “Bread” alone. The soft-rock, ’70s songs by Bread, like “Baby I’m-a Want You” soothes the savage beast.
Listening to a few stanzas of Cake made me imagine Bread sitting at the next table and me serenading them with their own lyrics, “I would give everything I own; give up my life, my heart, my home; I would give everything I own, just to have you ... back again.”
Admittedly, I don’t give new music a fair chance since I’m always watching TV instead, but I’ve heard enough to know I still prefer grooving to the oldies. Not only do I like the rhythms and lyrics better, but even the group names. The new ones have nonsensical names like: Jimmy Eat World, Built to Spill, Temper Trap and Tired Pony. Groups from my era had meaningful, inspiring names like Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Cowsills, and Crazy Elephant, who gave us “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’.”
I’ve noticed modern bands have a lot of numbers in their names; Sum 54, Maroon 27, Blink 52 and so-on. We also had our numerical groups, and I was a huge fan of Three Dog Night and their smash hit, “One (is the Loneliest Number).” We had The Jackson Five, Dave Clark Five, and the Four Tops. Have you noticed though that we had much lower, less complicated numbers? Yes, things were much simpler then.
Songs from my day were more family-oriented too, like “Sylvia’s Mother” by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, with more polite lyrics. As the young man on the phone begged Sylvia’s Mother to allow him to talk to Sylvia, he used the word “please” often. How often do you hear that word in today’s lyrics? It’d be more like, “Put her on the phone, ya old bag!”
Now we have song titles like “You Make Me Sick” from Pink, and lyrics about same-sex carousing from that tramp, Katy Perry. She has no qualms about boasting, “I Kissed a Girl,” and by her own admission, she “liked it.” You’d never hear Olivia Newton John or Donna Fargo confess such things publicly. And Donna was the “Happiest Girl in the Whole USA.”
Now I’ll admit: It wasn’t always perfect morality in the old songs either. Meat Loaf sang about “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” and he was obviously hinting of more than just a little tongue-wrestling. But it wasn’t uncommon in my day for kids to get a little hormonal in the car while watching the “Submarine Races.”
I’ll tell you one thing though: Meat Loaf is a whole lot better for you than Cake.