I must have heard those title words so many times in my life. My grandfather uttered them every time he would hear our music play. I guess it is true for the older generation to feel this way. Maybe it is true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Then Prince died. I was not a diehard Prince fan. I liked his music and would sing along whenever I would hear it. The day he past a thought occurred to me. What band or singer do these kids have to idolize today? Hear me out on this.
Each decade has had their share of musical icons. The forties consisted of the big band era. Now that was music! The fifties had groups that sang that bubblegum feel good music. The sixties saw Motown, The Beatles, and eventually to the Woodstock bands. You had artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, The Temptations. I can keep going,
The seventies was that turning point. You had disco and Rock and roll. Pink Floyd. Queen. Billy Joel. The Bee Gees. The eighties saw the rise of pop music. British bands took center stage. It was a conglomeration of music. The nineties brought about boy bands, grunge, and rap. The early 2000s continued those but also brought in hip hop.
When we look at 2016, I often wonder if kids these days have anyone huge to look up to in the music world. Sure there are lots of one hit wonders. I enjoy them myself. But is there really an artist or band out there that a kid these days will say “Wow! I want to be like them!”? Will they try to pick up a guitar or drumsticks ? Will they open up a notebook to write down lyrics and then try to sing them to emulate this pop icon?
As a kid (and an adult) music was everything to me. I was exposed to all different genres of music at a very young age. You can catch me listening to Benny Goodman on one of those “This is such a fun day” moments. Or you might hear me listening to Nirvana on one of those days where you just want to be alone. I just don’t see anything that sticks out for me in 2016. Justin Bieber? Taylor Swift? Sure, they are very popular. But, are they good?
Listen to a song with a great guitar solo. Listen to a song with that beat that is so unique. Nothing is new these days. I have heard old songs being remade constantly. These kids need something to hold on to. Maybe I’m just getting old but I would have to agree with my grandfather if he was still around: These kids really don’t know good music.