Monday, February 28, 2005
CLASSIC ROCK REDUX
If you ever get depressed and feeling like everything is always changing and nothing ever stays the same, then try visiting your local classic rock radio station and its sure to perk you up. I got to feeling a little nostalgic the other day and turned the dial over to check it out. And sure enough, they were playing the same 50 songs that they were playing the last time I checked, which was about a year and a half ago. The same exact 50 songs they were playing when classic rock radio got resurrected around 1986/87. Its scary to think but there are people out there who have been listening to the same 50 classic rock songs for about 20 years now.
It happened right around 1981 I'd guess, in this area anyway. All of a sudden Mick, Neil and Bob disappeared and all you could find was Loverboy, the Go Go's and Flock of Seagulls. You couldn't find the old tunes anywhere on the dial. I figured....oh well, ya gotta roll with the changes....but I did start trying to collect a lot of the classic stuff on album so I could hear the songs. I didn't think I'd ever hear those songs on the radio again.
It was right around 1986 when me and a bunch of my friends went on a camping trip to the mountains. We had the required boom box and the required cassettes but it didn't take us long to realize that the local radio station was having a countdown of like the 1000 greatest rock songs of all time, to last all weekend long. They were playing all those old tunes again and even though it had only been 4 or 5 years, it seemed like a lifetime since we'd heard them! We dragged that boombox everywhere we went the whole weekend, even hiking, so we could hear all the old songs again. Our only regret was having to sleep some because then we'd miss some of the countdown. We held off leaving as long as we could on Sunday so we could hear what the #1 song was going to be. Finally we had to leave, so we tuned the car radio to the station and played it till it was static. This was in the days before everything was a countdown, but I am confident in saying the #1 song was Stairway to Heaven....isn't almost always?
Well, it wasn't long before Classic Rock was back. We had a whole radio station devoted to it. It was like an old friend had returned but.....there was a difference. This station played the same 50 classic rock songs, over and over and over again. They were no better than the pop station in that regard! Led Zeppelin had scores of good songs besides just "Whole Lotta Love" and "Immigrant Song". There is soooo much more to Fleetwood Mac than just "Rumours". You're only scraping the top of the Jimi Hendrix barrel with "All Along the Watchtower" and "Purple Haze". But that's how it is and apparently that is how its going to stay. Its been that way for almost 20 years now.
Well it didnt take me too long to get really sick and tired of that. I actually reached a point where I wasn't listening to music anymore....and that didn't feel right at all. I had become one of those people that felt that all the good stuff had already been done. Fortunately, I soon discovered a metal station broadcasting from NC State University (not Poison or Winger-type metal) and discovered the college rock station broadcasting from Duke and life became meaningful again.
This is why I don't list too many classic rock bands on my "Cosmic Sounds" list. I listened to all that stuff and loved it most dearly and it influenced me heavily.....but I just don't listen to it much anymore. I haven't tried to replace too much classic rock to CD....most of it is albums preserved in wrap and packed away neatly in form-fitting boxes. I just want to keep moving on and finding new stuff.
Do you think I'll ever stop? Or am I going to be some kind of jamming Granny or something? I am starting to find myself not wanting to go to the shows as much anymore.....sometimes Sparkle wants to go see someone and sometimes she doesn't . All my friends stopped going to shows (and caring about music) 10 years ago, and they all act like they are going to die if they miss out on 2 hours of sleep on a weeknight. I despise going by myself. So maybe that will be winding down soon unless I find a local music buddy. I should advertise.
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