When the music’s over
It’s official. I’m old. The I Ching says the one constant in life is change.
My personal constant has been music. Maybe I was blessed to have grown up in Southern California in the ’60s, when some of the best music was coming into its own.
Bands like the Beach Boys and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band played at my high school assemblies, and friends could get me into places like the Ice House and the Troubador.
My clotheshorse brother couldn’t understand why my every dime was spent on albums by Blind Faith, Janis Joplin, Cream, the Flying Burrito Brothers, CS&N and the Grateful Dead. I was perfectly content to wear the same worn-out Levi 501s and Con Surfboards T-shirt as I bummed a ride to the record store in his ’49 Dodge woody wagon before he sold it to the studios for “The Mod Squad.” We cried together the night they drove the woody off the cliff. I cried alone the day the Beatles called it quits.
I realized this past week that I don’t understand anything about music in 2004. I missed the intrigue and hoopla of the first season of “American Idol” and “Nashville Star,” so I thought I would educate myself this season.
Then all logic of talent and voice went to hell, and I learned that there are a few tone-deaf kids somewhere out there who, instead of buying great CDs by great musicians, have spent their every dime on electronic devices capable of registering tens of thousands of telephone votes for these new idols with limited musical capabilities.
I’m old. I don’t get it. I can’t name one song by Beyonce, Justin Timberlake or Britney Spears.
Saturday night I turned off “Nashville Star” as soon as the first dufus in bib overalls was allowed to stay, while the guy with the best voice and songwriting skills was sent packing. I popped in my DVD of Steve Goodman at Austin City Limits and longed for the good ol’ days.
Every now and then I read about these little old ladies who are found deceased in their home, surrounded by 56 cats. I’m convinced that 30 years from now my exit from this world will read: The body of an unidentified elderly woman was found in a one-room cabin on the backside of Mount Sopris. Authorities also found a stash of 33 1/3 RPM vinyl records and a generator-powered turntable playing a Gram Parsons album.
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A 22-year-old who allegedly took issue with an acquaintance’s criticism of his rapping skills by flashing a handgun and threatening violence was charged Thursday with four felony counts of menacing.