October 13, 2009

What's the name of that one song; play it one more time ...

Nostalgia. People love nostalgia.

It's only rock 'n' roll, but we like it.

I remember as a freshman at Central Michigan University listening to music and saying to my roommate Brian, "Funny, some day these songs are going to be 'oldies.'" Now, nearly 20 years later, they're not oldies anymore, they're classics.

In September 1991, Guns 'n' Roses put out two albums in the same day, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. At the time, it seemed like the double disk drop was just a blip on GNR's radar screen. It wasn't until last fall that they put our a studio–recorded follow–up, Chinese Democracy. You still hear the first chords to "Sweet Child O' Mine," from GNR's huge commerical break–through, Appetite for Destruction, and you remember something you did back in '87 when it was a hit. But, that album was on the shelves for about nine months before MTV broke "Welcome to the Jungle."

By no means did I set out to suggest that GNR is nostalgia. People recently paid close to $100 to go see Australian rockers ACDC. I remember seeing them in 1991 and thinking, "Wow, they're old for rock 'n' rollers." A whole new generation follows them now (and I think I was part of the second or third generation of ACDC fans ... )

Music makes us remember. Music sets the tone. I can remember where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard certain songs. The first time I heard "We Didn't Start the Fire" (even at 18 or so, I was a Billy Joel fan ... have been since I was 6) I thought it was terrible. "Billy trying to rap," I said. The song grew on me. I used to buy music when it was brand new because I wanted to be the one to recommend a new hit or album, or artist.

Nostalgia. It's caused by music. Songs set the tone for so much of what we do. If you've ever sung along, and draped your arms around all the people in your row, to Billy Joel's "Piano Man," you can't help but think of that moment in Chicago in 1993 ... right? Or at the Palace in '90 . Music sets the moment.

It used to be ... back in '77 or so, when my parents would play Jimmy Buffett's album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes that you knew they were having company. The party music morphed into constant music, though, and Mom plays Jimmy 24–7 — so they're either constantly partying ... (they're semi–retired, I guess they can if they want to ...) or just really like JB's music. But the song "Margaritaville" meant "good times." Oh, and Amy and Rick needed to stay downstairs ...

Nostalgia. Memories. Thinking back. How many times have we said, "We're making memories" ? That, my friends, is nostalgia.

Rock on ...

No comments: