Wisdom should come with age, but so should certain hard truths.
Yes, the body creaks a lot more, hangovers last longer and going to bed after 10pm seems like a strange concept, but lately I’ve been noticing some harsh realities.
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Are any of the following statements too close to home?
- The music played in the supermarket seems a lot cooler. When I was stocking shelves in high school, the rule was that only light, harmless music was played in the store and, if possible, instrumental music. When I went to get some food the other day, I heard The Smiths’ How fast is it now? play in the product section. That sent me to the liquor store where I belong Come as you Are from Nirvana, which left me so depressed that I had to buy a second bottle of vodka. When I was delayed five hours by Air Canada at Boston’s Logan Airport on Thursday, I found myself humming along to MGMTs Children who played in the terminal.
- Teens tell me the biggest song from the 80s is actually break my pass by Matthew Wilder. While I’ve always regarded this as a one-off curiosity from 1983, it has been revived for Gen Z as the soundtrack to countless TikTok dances. Not only has it been viewed over 40 million times on YouTube, but it has also been streamed almost 300 million times on Spotifylargely because TikTok got young’uns in the song.
- I’m both relieved and irritated that Kate Bush’s Running up that hill is a big hit for its use in a scene in Stranger Things 4† I love that this masterpiece is now being appreciated by a new generation 37 years later, while at the same time they are thinking, “Damn kids! That’s MY generation’s song! And now you’re going to ruin it by liking it!”
- You remember a time when “going viral” meant coming home from school with chickenpox.
- Are you confused if someone points out that the first Lollapalooza tour was 31 years ago and that it was conceived as an alternative festival? Check out this year’s poster to see how much has changed.
- I get tense when a younger person refers to their record collection as ‘vinyl’.
- Meanwhile, the insistence that cassettes are back in vogue is driving me nuts. Anyone who was cassette fetish today wasn’t around when they were the only thing we had when we wanted to take our music with us. They’ve never stepped on a jammed tape, a melt stain on the dash, or a pile on the floor of your buddy’s car.
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- Paul McCartney turns 80 this month. Stevie Nicks is somehow 74. Heck, at 57 Eddie Vedder is now eligible for some bigger discounts.
- As of this year, Kurt Cobain has been dead longer than he lived.
- You decide to prove to yourself that you are still hip when it comes to new music, but give up after a few days because music was clearly so much better when you were young.
- Your kids will laugh at you if you tell them you stood in line at night to buy concert tickets. If you really want to make them giggle, tell them about the times you waited for a record store to open at midnight so you could be the first to own a hot new album.
- Remember when all concert tickets were stamped “No cameras or recording devices?”
- More with concerts: Looking at the PA systems bands use now and wondering where all the speakers have gone?
- Somewhere in the house is a box of DVDs with compilations of the music videos of your favorite groups. Bonus points if you can replace “VHS tapes” with “DVD”.
- For that matter, do there seem to be more people with canes and walkers at the concerts you attend? And are you relieved when everyone finally sits down to watch the show?
- When was the techno of your college days called “EDM”?
- Those flights where the flight attendants (they were “stewardesses then”) played the same movie for the whole plane. And let’s not even talk about those weird non-electric stethoscope-like earphones that everyone had to use. (Sidebar: Back then you could smoke on airplanes too. And yes, the smoke inevitably drifted all over the cabin, so there really was no point in having smoking lines.)
- A little bit of you died when Radio Shack stopped publishing their annual catalog in 2011.
- You saw a movie at the mall and then bought the soundtrack at HMV on the way out. (Another sidebar: did the original Top Gun 36 years ago really came true? Yes. Yes, I did. And where are you, Kelly McGillis?)
- Anyone else so excited about the return of CREAM magazine like me? Boy how so!
- You called a radio station to request a song and waited (if you got through) for it to play.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go yell at some clouds.
Alan Cross is an announcer with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.
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