A few years ago—or has it been ten or fifteen now?—I read an article on the C.F. Martin guitar company’s website claiming that many of today’s baby boomers have lost all interest in loud, electrically enhanced music. They seem to prefer quiet, mostly acoustical music. The kind more commonly associated with Martin guitars, as a matter of fact.
The article made sense. Because I’d paid good money for CDs of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Jimi Hendrix, I force myself to listen to them once every couple of years. If I remember to, that is.
Forty-some years ago I spent hours and hours listening to artists like those—under headphones with the volume cranked up dangerously loud. I didn’t need illegal drugs to enjoy that kind of music. And I didn’t have to roll up the car windows because the music from the next car over at the traffic light was giving me a headache.
But those days are gone. Along with some of my hearing.
I started playing guitar during the “folk fad” of the 1960s and early 1970s, and I’ve never lost my admiration for the acoustical musicianship of the Kingston Trio, Ian & Sylvia, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and dozens of similar artists who didn’t deafen me with unnecessary volume.
I haven’t lost all of my interest in rock, but I never listen to the radio anymore. I couldn’t tell you what singers are popular now or what song is currently number one.
But let me listen to the Everly Brothers or Bread or The Association, and I’m more than satisfied. Even folk rockers like The Byrds continue to appeal to me. And what about the wonderful story tellers-in-song like Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, and Gordon Lightfoot? Their songs from “back then” are still just as enjoyable today.
I also listen to some of the country songs I used to enjoy. John Michael Montgomery, Ronnie Milsap, early Olivia Newton-John. Songs I could understand the words to. Words that made sense. Uh, usually, anyhow.
Has advancing age turned me into a retro fan? Or have I always been one? I don’t care. I like what I like, and I don’t have to justify it to anyone.
What about you? Has your taste in music changed? If so, how?
I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
By the way, “On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I use “As I Come Singing”—check it out here–to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Look at the list here.