Most young people get to enjoy music when it is generally well known and widely accepted by their peers. It’s nice to hear good music, and it’s even better when you’re enjoying it along with everyone else around you.
When was the last time someone blasted music at the beach, and you enjoyed it? This is what people remember most fondly about the sixties. It was the last time when everyone agreed what the good music was, and for once, everyone was right. There we all were, listening to the current music of the day, not at all nostalgic for another time.
I have countless memories of hearing a song come on the radio while playing in the street, and knowing it was great the very first time I heard it. “Jimmy Mack”, “Dancing in the Street”, “Up Around the Bend” are just the ones I happened to think of now. It happened dozens and dozens of time. Was there ever a song that was so right for a place and time as “Summer in the City” during July in
For me, the climax of this phenomenon coincided almost exactly with the end of the sixties. My brother and I got “
The End of Community:
But at that point, the cracks had already begun to appear in the community.
These individual communities can break down even further as people age, get married and see less of their friends. On their own, people then decide if they will move on to other things or not. They eventually get to what will be their own personal music. The fact that they might have some musical favorites in common with others their age may be more a sign of good marketing than anything else. Call it the Coors Light phenomenon.
The Only Community There Is:
And then there are those lovable people who never even figure out that their taste is less than universal. One friend who we’ve invited to family gatherings was visibly appalled at the music we had on at our daughter’s communion party. For us, it was an occasion for friends and family to get together to talk, not necessarily to dance. So we chose music that was entertaining to us and some other friends, but unintrusive. It wasn’t muzak, but it could be ignored if you didn’t like it. My friend didn’t recognize the music, and felt that parties were for dancing and so must have dance music. On another occasion, he came to the house, armed with tapes that he volunteered to put on in order to “liven the party up”. A quote. No doubt there were some people there who would have appreciated it, but I wasn’t one of them.
My friend not only didn’t understand that there were people who didn’t share his taste; he didn’t think anything beyond his taste existed. It’s like that part of the Blues Brothers movie when they go into a Western bar, and the waitress says “We’ve got both kinds of music here, country and western!” Call it the community that doesn’t even know that it’s not the only community.
I’m sure you’ve had someone brag to you that they liked “all kinds of music”, and they then proceeded to play the standard pop music of the day, and absolutely nothing the slightest bit unusual or unique. How can you know what you’re missing when you don’t think you’re missing anything at all?
My Time vs Our Time:
Some lucky people arrive at their personal music by just leaving on the radio. They like what they hear and that’s the end of it. Some others, like me for instance, are so impossible to please that it’s rare indeed when I love a song that’s also very popular. Thank god for the scan button on car radios. Otherwise, I’d have crashed the car by now.