They say nostalgia is what it used to be; I’m sorry, but nostaglia hasn’t changed one wit in milienia.
I often think of time, as in years or eras. Living in my sixth decade, I can remember easily what came 50 years before. The world has changed by leaps and bounds since the late 1960s.
Sure, we all marvel at how easy life is made by man’s inventions—making things quicker, smaller and more advanced. Tangible life is not what it once was. One small advancement in technology that has certainly been affected is music. Today’s top selling songs and—to use a quaint term—albums, are filled with computer-generated music. I understand what my parent’s generations meant when they said, “That’s not music.”
When it comes to music I have never been stuck in a time warp—I can appreciate what is being released in 2019 from Drake to Katy Perry to Charly Bliss. Music is like friends. The old adage says: make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver, the other is gold.
My musical tastes run the gamut from classical to bluegrass to blues to rock and roll. Many people say they like all kinds of music, but how many actually listen to many different types of music in a week’s time? It is many times people come into my office, hear the music I’m listening to, and comment on my varied tastes. They can hear anything from gospel to classic country, from disco to showtunes—one never knows what one will hear coming from computer.
One could never enjoy all the music one likes, there is just too much. Music is the soundtrack of our lives. When music from our teen years comes on it is the ultimate time machine—a Neil Young song from his acoustic years takes me immediately back to a bright and promising time.
Musical tastes are not transferrable. It is rare that a child will embrace the music their parents listened to. It was many a Sunday drives with the seven members of the Zaitz family tooling around the region in a VW Bug that we kids were subjected to the easy listening radio station, you know the genre: Mantovani, Percy Faith Orchestra or other “grown up” music. What a way to torture young people: stuff them in a small car and make them listen to Lawrence Welk. Talk about child abuse.
The strange thing is, I can now appreciate that music. I don’t listen to it purposely, but I don’t hate it the way I did when I was 10.
Lately, I have been listening to a lot of John Denver, Neil Young and Carole King. The connection? All sang their own songs. And played real instrutments. In my musical quiver there is more than enough room for those artists as well as others: classic (The Beatles), recent (Nirvana) and new (Lil Nas X, Old Town Road. Anybody?)
Nostalgia is exactly as it has always been. Music is not, which makes it a powerful tool to mark eras and moments in our lives. Some music is silver, some music is gold; I’ll keep it all.
(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes.)