You Rotten Kids Get Off My Lawn! – Music Edition


I maintain that a great deal of the “music” of today’s youth is really crappy.  Single-chord, over and over, with angst-filled lyrics sung by filthy rich twenty-somethings in a tone so whiny that they make Bob Dylan sound like the Righteous Brothers.   Lyrics like “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care…”  You get the idea.   Rap music seems to be usually obscene lyrics yelled to music that sounds like one sneaker going around in the dryer.

That said, I was in the gym today, and for some unexplained reason, the Dartmouth gym plays overhead music from a 70s rock station.  And on comes “Free Bird”.  And it occurred to me that our parents said the very same about OUR music. “That isn’t music!  It’s just NOISE!”  And I must admit, with the screeching strains of Lynyrd Skynyrd raining down from the speakers, Mom and Dad often had a point.  Some of it was really was God-awful.  “Free Bird” was followed by “Le Freak”.   Yep.  They had a point.

One has to wonder how long this has been playing out.  Did the Ragtime generation tell their kids that Artie Shaw was “noise”?


10 thoughts on “You Rotten Kids Get Off My Lawn! – Music Edition”

  1. In other rotten music news today, I’d like to point out that Johnny Rotten displayed a remarkable amount of class, considering, when it came to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

    And back on topic, I suspect that yes – each generation thinks the music after its time sucked. I remain firmly convinced that 99.9% of the music produced today is utter crap, while classic rock should always reign supreme.

  2. I freely confess to having awful taste in music, with an especial fondness for pop princesses.

    But I also have a goodly selection of more classic rock on my mp3 player, so my guy card stays safely in my wallet.

  3. My sister Martha’s brother in law, Wayne, is Ringo Starr’s tour manager. When Mr. Starr is not touring, Wayne is Bruce Springsteen’s tour manager, ( Bruce Springsteen, YUK! ). Back around 2000, Martha had a Temporary Ischemic Attack, a mini stroke, which she revovered from just fine. Ringo’s daughter has had a TIA, and when Ringo found out from Wayne that martha had had one as well, he had his daughter’s nerosurgeon call Martha’s doctor, to see if there was anything that they could do?.
    So you can say anything you want abour Bruce Springsteen, or John Lennon’s being a very silly person for most of his life, or George Harrison’s being a very odd duck indeed, I will, in fact, help you make up things about Sir Paul McCartney. But you aren’t allowed to bad mouth Ringo around me.

    When I work at the SO, I have the radio tuned to either WHAS, WLS, or WISN, so I can listen to Mark Levin, followed by Coast to Coast AM., ( and the two way, of course ). But at the resort, we have this horrible fake radio station playing over the PA. They play a lot of songs from the 80’s and 90’s that I did not like then, and they have not aged well. I have to put up with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun; Karma Chameleon, ( when he sings that he is a man without convictions, I always think, you have fogotten about State of New York v George Boyd, possesion of heroin with intent to sell, didn’t you ), that miserable The Girl Can’t Help It, and perhaps the most annoying of all, Love Shack. I am particularly vexed by the line ” and don’t forget your juke box money!”. Alas, the PA controls are locked in the server room, and they won’t let me go in and turn it off.

    I do rather like all Big Band music, though. I particularly like Glen Miller. He wanted to form the US Navy Band, but some fool at the Navy Department thought that that was a dumb idea, so he formed the Army Air Forces Band. In 1940, his band was the band at the Annapolis Graduation Ball, for my Dad’s cousin Francis Rielly’s graduation. He charged than $500.00. I wonder if that even covered expenses?

  4. I believe there is a discernible difference between generations of music, but are good newer bands as well as bad older ones.

    If you look at the 60s & 70s, with artists like the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills & Nash, the Allman Brothers; you’ll discover they all enjoyed a very wide range of influences ranging from jazz to classical to blues. The more modern you get, the more narrow the interests of the performers generally becomes. So a metal band pretty much grew up listening to metal and/or thrash, the alternative group listened to mostly punk or grunge, and so on.

    I expect that such narrowing horizons does a lot to explain the less sophisticated music & lyrics we see today. Not to mention that many of the 60s record companies were run by people who loved music, just like the 30s & 40s movie moguls loved movies.

    There was dreck forty and fifty years ago, and there’s good stuff today. It also depends on the genre. I hated disco when I was a teenager, but I now appreciate it primarily a dance-oriented style, and there’s some good stuff out there. I actually enjoy “Le Freak,” and Donna Summers. Then again, I like funk as well. 🙂 Lynyrd Skynyrd is a decent band, but Free Bird never was great music; it was just a bitchin’ guitar solo.

    I never saw the point of grunge, and I don’t like most punk. I’d rather listen to Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Yes, or Ozzy Ozborn than Nirvana or the Clash.

    More recent good bands include 3 Doors Down, Madison Rising, Indigo Girls, and Blues Traveler. If you like country there’s the Kinleys and Shedaisy. Christina Aguilera has a nice voice, but sings dreck.

    There’s lots of good non-pop performers out there, if you don’t mind looking. I already mentioned Blues Traveler. Others include folks like Chick Corea, Jeff Healey, Jean-Luc Ponty, Al DiMeola, and nearly anyone who played with the Mothers of Invention. That’s not to mention Jethro Tull and Stevie Ray Vaughn. There’s also jazz & blues greats like BB King and Eric Clapton.

  5. No s _ _ _ there I was at the St. Louis Convention Center to catch The Who and their “new” album Quadraphenia and they introduce the “warm up” band doing their first “big” gig so give a big hand for…….Lynyrd Skynyrd…yeah first big trip and I saw it. My mother, bless her departed soul, always said things changed after the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. After the ’80s I got into contemporary jazz (easy listening) because the mathmatical construction of bands like John McLaughlin and the Mahavisnu Orchestra was just a bit to technical for me so its the Rippingtons, Boney James, Acoustic Alchemy, Yellow Jackets etc. for me. Totally agree that some of the early rock bands had a wide spectrum of influences that they drew from to compose their own music. Also saw the Beatles live in Busch Stadium but that’s another story.

Comments are closed.