Writing about my mix and seeing people’s responses made me think about the kind of music I like and why I like it (other than the fact that it is awesome). I learned a lot about music from my parents. This has led me to assume that many people are influenced greatly by their parent’s musical tastes which are, in turn, influenced by their parent’s musical taste and so on and so forth in perpetuity. Therefore, I wonder, does music skip a generation?
I also assume (erroneously but not entirely so) that musical taste solidifies between the formative years that I will label as being between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Granted, there will be much loved bands that come into ones life after that age but I postulate that the new bands will not greatly contradict the sensibilities of the aforementioned formative bands.
Now, I don’t know exactly how old my parents are. I am ashamed to admit this because they both read this blog and I have seriously condemned myself. You would think I could just figure it out based on the years they were born but as I do not know those either I am screwed. I do know, however, what their birthdays are and approximately when their anniversary is and that I love them very much so they’ll have to just accept that. I’ll just say they are in their early to mid 50s and were, therefore, born in the mid to late 50s meaning their formative musical years were in the late 60s and early 70s, which was arguably one of the greatest times for music ever.
I love music from that era. The kids I grew up with loved music from that era. My current friends love music from that era. Naturally, I assumed that everyone loved music from that era. However, while having a conversation with one of my student workers I found out that I was mistaken. My student did not love music from that era. What was even more shocking to me was that the student knew next to nothing about music from that era. I mentioned a bunch of big name groups to get some kind of reaction; The Beatles, Hendrix, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin (who i never heard in my house but many of my peers heard in theirs), various Motown groups…you know the stuff. The thing is that this student didn’t. All he could say was “I’ve heard of some of them but I don’t really know any of their music”.
I love my student workers, every last one of them, but I didn’t know what to say. I felt like there was a huge chasm that had suddenly formed between us. How can you not know what Hendrix played? What do you mean you have never heard The White Album? You can imagine how I kept trying to find things they knew and continued to fail. It made me wonder if I was a total freak. I decided that was not the case and there had to be another reason.
I know people have children at all different ages. According to the most recent data I could find in one quick Google search 25 is the average age for a first time parent (2004) and that was a high. Since I’m talking about people who are currently 18-22 and were born in the late 80s (gosh that makes me feel old) I’m guessing the average age of their parent was about 23, just cause. That means they were born between 63 and 67 making their musical formative years fall in the early to mid 80s and they are now in their early to mid forties. Therefore these kids grew up listening to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and the like. My students knew who all those people were. They also didn’t know jack about early 90s music. They were too young to really care and it either didn’t jive with the formative sensibilities of their 80s entrenched parents. Thus, i have proved that music skips a generation.
I realize that this proof is full of assumptions and holes but what do you expect from a blog post? I’m not saying my students can’t appreciate the music my folks taught me to love. They just haven’t had the chance to be exposed to it. Now that they know me (and I have music in my office all the time) they have a better chance of expanding their musical knowledge and I am doing my best to make sure that it happens.
1. Close my eyes/ feel me now/ I don’t know how you could not love me now
2. Elephant wields the rod/ While the donkey throws you the bone/ I'd rather have a bone than a beating I suppose/ Either way still the dog
3. Silver birch against a Swedish sky/ The singer in the band made me want to cry/ We're all inside our own heads now/ We are leaving new friends/ We are leaving this town
4. When I had you to myself/ I didn’t want you around/ Those pretty faces always made you stand out in a crowd
5. So they say I was sometimes cruel/ I don’t know if I would say that too/ oh I/ I don’t know about that