I dig the Stones, the Beatles, Hendrix, Cream, heck even Buffalo Springfield is cool, singing about paranoia striking deep and all that, but Classic Rock radio is bad for you.
We may have to break up.
I have noticed something frightening over the last several years. I bet you’ve noticed too, but perhaps you’re in denial. Listening to a classic rock radio station can go from good times to ugly in nothing flat. I admit that I am, now, of a certain age. I guess. I’m fine with it. Really. I am. I SWEAR! Stop asking, okay?
There’s nothing like classic rock to hang by the pool with or when you’re working around the house and the tunes are blasting from a cruddy boombox. (Okay, the fact that I say boombox instead of iPod says something, doesn’t it?) Anyway, a friend of mine noticed awhile back that classic rock radio makes an excellent companion when you’re doing construction because the signal strength always seems to be the best; no static; no weird interference if you happen to stand in the wrong spot like you get with, oh, NPR for instance.
But here’s the problem. It’s hard when you’re grooving out to “Sunshine of Your Love” or a little “Dazed and Confused,” and you’re daydreaming about plugging your Stratocaster into a Marshall stack and cranking it to eleven like you did when you were a kid when a song comes on the radio that is actually from when you were a kid and not when your parents were kids. You follow? I don’t want to hear the Doors’ “Light My Fire” followed by Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.” And I really don’t want to hear Jane’s Addiction followed by the Grateful Dead!
“Teenage Wasteland” was a revolution when it first came out and so was “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” but they should not exist side by side on the FM dial. Likewise, The Clash can “Rock the Casbah” anytime, but not right after that Don McLean song!(I mean, who doesn’t love/hate “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie,” you know? Everyone seems to know the story, McLean tells it himself, but that doesn’t translate into renewed interest in the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, or Ritchie Valens music these days. Sad, but I digress.)
I just want to listen to some old songs and cheese out a bit if Journey comes on the radio. If I want to hear Pearl Jam I’ll put on a CD. (That’s right, a CD!) I don’t want to be reminded that I’m old. I get that when I look in the mirror or try to buy a beer and I don’t get carded. I don’t want to hear the songs that “defined a generation” when the DJ is, in fact, talkin’ ’bout my generation! I was there, okay? I was one of the wasted youth watching the Berlin Wall come down along with Jesus Jones, determined to change the world in the 90s. Guess what, it changed, and we got old, just like the generation before us. But please, for the love of God and Mayan calendars, stop the madness! Don’t you dare play Aerosmith and the Smiths back to back!!
If you do, I really mean it this time, we’re over.
Right after the next song.