There is an American reporter on NPR, whose name I always forget, that inexplicably speaks in a BBC cadence. He is not English, nor does he have an English accent. I am so embarrassed for him that I immediately change the station, no matter how dire and important the news he is delivering.
Seeing as I live in a Rock & Roll town, this means that I am now listening to either Pink Floyd or Led Zepplin.
I grew up listening to WXKY 1260 until WMMS took over the air by playing whole album sides – I think WXKY’s record was three songs in a row. From 1975 – 1981 I probably spent more time with Matt the Cat, Kid Leo and Denny Sanders than any blood relative. Somehow all that music, all those artists and styles, from all those years have been boiled down to a 2011 mix of four albums:
- Dark Side of the Moon
- Wish You Were Here
- Zep IV and
- Physical Graffiti
These were great albums. Even mentioning them I can picture the album covers which, of course, were studied for hours. As much as I enjoyed them, I am puzzled by being back in 1977 every time I turn on the radio.
There was a point around 1979/1980 where groups of friends began to split into musical sub-groups. I remember this wedge because of heated arguments about Adam and the Ants and Sugar Hill Gang. That was the first time everyone in my crowd did not immediately like or hate the same music. More divisions followed – Iron Maiden v Talking Heads, Judas Priest v the Clash, Tom Petty or U2. And what the hell was Bruce doing with Nebraska?!?
It was a time when music was much more elemental in my day-to-day life. Now it is a pleasure but not a passion.
I had another Groudhog Day moment the other night when I was having dinner at Lola and realized the ambiance music was all Floyd, Zepplin, Edgar Winter et. al. It did not enhance my meal, but it did remind me I was in Cleveland.
It would be great if once in a while all this nostalgia radio pulled out something that didn’t just take you back but let you rediscover. Or in the case of the 20-somethings at the Lola bar – discover.
Here is a favorite track of mine from vinyl that was borrowed from me and never returned. I might just have to go buy it on iTunes.