Friday, December 02, 2005

A Significant Birthday


Idol shopping, originally uploaded by Theresa K.

I'm a couple days late with it now - Billy Idol celebrated a big birthday on November 30.

Clem Burke celebrated that one just a few days before Billy did.

I'm just reminded of this chronological marker thing because well... I remind us daily that Punk IS 30. Those of us who ushered in this new way of making music are now at or pushing 50.

People who are young enough to be our kids are lionizing some of us, making movies, writing books. Some people wonder what the hell the fascination is about. Others still, are trying to interpret our lives...man am I glad that Sex Pistol Steve Jones has a forum with his radio show!

Apart from that, life in the 21st Century makes me believe that in many instances, the generation gap is greater than ever.

Of course, there are exceptions. There are some musicians I know who are ageless, and are so pure that the chronological marker doesn't matter. They get it. Of the younger generation, I'd say those people include three men who kept the punk spirit alive in the 90s - The Oblivians. Each of them: Eric, Greg and Jack know music inside out without prejudice or judgment. Its no wonder they are the favorite of purists everywhere. Then there's King Louie, a young man in his early 30's, doing a very punk one-man-band thing. Mick Collins, Troy Gregory, Matthew Smith, Tom Potter and Dan Kroha all from Detroit, also know their music inside out and are not only adept at the genres they've played in (garage, punk, soul, psychedelic, prog, trash) but are called upon to back the masters when those masters need a band.

Of course, these musicians come from Memphis, New Orleans and Detroit - music meccas if ever there were any! Who hails from my home turf that's as good as my Class of 77? The Willowz from Anaheim have the spirit, indeed.

I wish that more people would delve deeper...but I suppose that's the discontent of postmodernism...its a copy of a copy. My generation's artful expression, while itself a commodity, has become twice commodified...

Maybe I'll give the kids (people under the age of 42) some homework. Today, please listen to the Velvet Underground. Pay special attention to the difference between Lou Reed and John Cale. Write to me and tell me in 25 words or less WHY Mo Tucker is worth copying. There will be a test later.

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