Today is the 11th June, 2013, it’s also the birthday of two complete opposites. On this day, in 1949, Frank Beard, ironically enough, ZZ Tops only beardless member was born. But he has the misfortune to share a birthday with an opposite. Today, in 1987, Dappy, of N-Dubz fame, also wriggled his way into the world.
I was born in 1985, which means I’m a 90’s child, I vaguely remember the start, this world of tracksuits, Mr Motivator, Meat Loaf and the tail end of a decade that didn’t want to let go. My parents are 50’s babies, and brought me up on a healthy array of musical styles. I grew up with, among other things, Abba, Pink Floyd, Queen, Metallica, Rush, ELO, ZZ Top, various stage shows, occasional Reggae and Ska, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Enya, The Beatles and the rest. Then had the 90’s thrown at me, Trance, light pop and all the other bizarre synth that came out of the 90’s. But my grandfather liked Shirley Bassey, so as you can see, I had a full and varied range of music played to, around and at me for a long time. This, I feel, gave me a healthily eclectic mix of what I consider music.
But there’s the problem. I still struggle to accept, that as a ‘nearly 30’ type, I’m an older generation, and the ages that are having children now seems to mean that there are no generations anymore, but half generations. Making me, technically, two generations above those being born now. The ones who will grow up with something worse than N-Dubz.
But maybe that’s just me. I don’t like a lot of modern music, mainly because I either can’t understand what they’re screaming about or crying about, but also because they don’t seem to have learnt a lot about the world yet. They’re too young. Maybe that’s part of it, maybe it’s because I’m getting old(-er), I can sometimes feel the rocks of old age rolling down the hill of time towards me, rapidly pushing me in the general direction of pension, which is a bit upsetting, I’m not even 30 yet.
I was brought up in the era of ‘learn, no-one can learn it for you’, whereas I seem to be surrounded by kids of the ‘don’t learn it sweetie, we’ll learn it and study for it, and do everything for you’ era, which I suppose is reflected in music.
Music, the great barrier of rebellion with which we storm against our previous generations and rules. My parents had The Beatles, with their long hair, and soft effeminate words, which railed against Elvis, with his tight clothes, seductive hip shakes and manly words, describing manly things. But then, suddenly, just as my parents were getting to the right age, along came The Sex Pistols. Angry, sweaty, sweary men, who screamed about God save the Queen, and took drugs and drank and generally upset parents and officials wherever they went. A huge change to David Bowie, the most female male to be seen at that time, as a face of a musical generation. Even if you don’t like his music or films, no-one can deny that they have heard his music. He is just one of those things we accept, David Bowie = tight trousers, odd but enjoyable music. Like we have to accept that new generations music won’t be the ‘my type of thing’ of the generation before.
My generation had Rammstein, angry screaming Germans with such amazing live shows that the majority of people can’t even remember the songs they’ve heard. My generation has kept Enya, soft and fruity, we have kept Black Sabbath, but as some kind of horrible rebellion my generation, and the half generation beneath mine, felt the need to create Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Bring Me The Horizon and Fall Out Boy. (Sorry older generation, I had nothing to do with it!)
But I think, that right there, that’s the problem. The world has gone through so many clothes, hair, shoes and language rebellions, we have nothing new to go with, and sadly music has become the spokesperson for the generations stand against it’s parents and guardians.
With that in mind, I can only say thank you for giving us T.Rex, Blue Oyster Cult and Iron Maiden, we’re sorry for Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Radio 1, but you there, next generation? You’re welcome for Olly Murs, Rammstein and dub-step!