Thursday, June 16, 2005

Rock n' Roll Nostalgia

There's big money in seventies rock groups picking up their guitars and performing their music for aging baby-boomers. To think that Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones still give a two hour concert at their age suggests to me that they either really love what they do, or they need the money. One of the reasons why seventies musical acts are popular is because of the nostalgia that accompanies the experience of listening to the same music that played over the radio on a date with their highschool sweetheart is intoxicating.

When I hear a particular song played on the local oldies radio station, I am jettisoned back to a time in my life that was less complicated. It doesn't matter whether or not I liked the music then. When I hear a seventies group this many years later, it reminds me of the thrill of adolescence. It recalls a time when my future was still uncertain, and the objective of my life was different than it is today.

Tonight, I attended a concert of a band called the "10,000 Maniacs." They reached the pinnacle of their musical career sometime in the late eighties and early nineties. Tonight, they played the same old tune, but with different voices. As I watched a new generation of fans dance on the dance floor, I remember a time when I would have danced like that. Though I was never a 10,000 Maniacs fan at the peak of their popularity, I admire any aging rocker who still thinks there's an audience willing to pay money to hear them sing. Perhaps this is the purpose of nostalgia. When we have considered how far we've come, the fact that we can still dance with a few extra pounds and a little less hair doesn't seem that bad after all.

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