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The times they are a changing

Posted Thursday, July 5, 2007, at 7:35 PM

Bob Dylan wasn't kidding.

This weekend as I kicked back in my easy chair reveling over a day off I came to a realization I'm not quite sure how to handle.

I was watching a show on one of my many "docu-channels" and a show about the history of rock-n-roll came on. It focused mainly on Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Chuck Berry, considered by many to be the fathers of modern rock.

A large portion of this program centered around Elvis' evil hips and the stir they caused across the nation.

This got me thinking about how each generation of parents has had something in the music industry to be appalled by.

First we had Elvis, then the Beatles and their "mop-tops". Then we move a little farther out there with bands like the Grateful Dead and the hippy movement from that era.

Then come the 1980's and things only get more interesting with the uprising of rap music and Ozzy Osbourne chewing the head off a pigeon in a meeting with his record label. Then in the 1990's my generation gives us Marilyn Manson. Enough said.

I just can't imagine where things will go from here. If history serves, things will not only get more radical, but considerably more.

What I wonder is in another 10 or 20 years, what will my kids and grandkids think is the greatest thing in the world?

I'm not intending this to pick on any bands in particular or even rock-n-roll. I just want to take a deeper look. A number of these bands I love and don't see the problem, but that always seems to be the case with the bands that came before our own generations.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I'm a 53 year old male and rock music has been a part of my life as long as I care to remember. Every generation has it's music and what a power it has. We hear a song from long ago and it immediately takes us back to a particular time or event and we remember every detail of that event as well as the lyrics to the song. So why can I remember the words to every song from thirty years ago but can't tell you what I ate for lunch yesterday. I guess it's just comes with age. However, you won't convince me that the fact that I find a lot of today's disgusting lyrics offensive has anything to do with me getting older. A lot of what our kids and grandkids are now exposed to has got to have a real negative effect. My generation has no one to blame for this than themselves. My parents would simply have never allowed any real trash to enter the lives of their kids. We have just sat back and done nothing to stop it and let it be shoved down our throats with excuses like free speech, etc... We gripe and complain about it, but only amongst ourselves when we should have been speaking out and letting our voices be heard. A small minority have been making all the noise and setting the standards for our children. If we don't step up and do what's right, we'll really be doing an injustice to our future generations. No, I'm not stuck in a time warp or anything like that, but I do love good rock n' roll that actually requires some talent to play. Long live Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.

-- Posted by mark7 on Sat, Jul 7, 2007, at 8:18 PM

Wow, this issue turned out to be a hot topic. Guess we won't go here again even though it could be a very interesting topic especially if you remember your parents condemned everything you listened to and raved about how it was destroying todays youth. Even though I listened to pretty mild music I remember hearing the discussions about rock and roll and Elvis moving his hips. Couldn't show it on TV. Remember that. I guess it didn't hurt me or you too bad. I didn't grow up to be a serial killer. We grew old and are complaining about todays music ruining the youth.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 10:49 PM

I have to say when I was a teenager there was plenty my parents found to be against our values and morals and did not let me listen to- at all. I bought a single, Bette Midler- From A Distance. Great song in terms of the message. Nothing wrong with the song. My dad didn't want me listening to it because of who SHE was in her personal life. Not wanting to support people who live an immoral lifestyle. I was so upset then, now I see his point.

I went to a store recently and dug around in the clearance bin for some "old" music. Found Vanilla Ice for my brother- as a joke. He used to love him. Anyways, we were listening to it and were shocked. When he was younger he didn't know half of what this guys was talking about in his lyrics.

I think there has always been offensive music. But it has most definitely gotten worse. A whole lot worse.

Have to agree with Mark7 though. No one does anything about it. If enough people did it would make a difference.

Honestly some of the music I've heard... I don't see how it could get any worse!

-- Posted by vambfly on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 10:37 AM

I mainly listen to Country Music and let me tell you, if you analyze what they are saying in some of the songs it is X rated and always has been. But, I like it. I think that todays music is just a little more bolder about saying the same things outright.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 3:42 PM

MMMmmmm....I had no idea you guys were over here discussing music! How have I missed this blog for two days? Guess I was distracted by the wild stuff on Corey's other postings - and Minnie's. In fact, they're all getting pretty interesting - something for everyone: fanatics and funny people alike.

When I went to high school (yes, this is dating me big time!) we used to go down the street at lunch and eat at Fat's place on the corner. Pretty calm on the jute box until Elvis started singing You Ain't Nuthin' but a Hound Dawg. We thought at first that he was country (we called it "Hill Billy" back then), but then it went beyond that, and everyone knew it was Rock 'N Roll -- and the dancing started! Fat's little place filled up with kids dancing. It got bigger and bigger, until the adults got scared and thought we were gonna take over the country, I guess - so they shut it down. Something about how Fats didn't have a license to dance.

License to dance..... Ah, that says it all. We didn't have a license to dance. They just couldn't stand to see us having so much fun on our stupid lunch hour. They'd rather we stood across the street from the high school and smoked... (not me - my future husband did that. I danced. Now he's dead and I'm still here, dancing....)

Thanks for the memories, Corey. Sorry I got a little off topic. Mark7 is right - you hear a song from the past, and you remember everything..... (Excuse me while I cry a bit...)

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 8:22 AM

Glad your here. You think that music might have caused me to start smoking?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 8:34 AM

If it did or if it didn't, you need to stop yesterday! My husband was smart, too - He could do anything. Smartest man I ever knew - but he couldn't quit smoking. He'd have smoked in the hospital, while he was dying, if they had let him.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 12:47 PM

Gosh, I don't want to turn this blog into a wake....... Better pick it up, hadn't I??

So Vambfly thinks Vanilla is old, huh? Hahahaha! Heck, I don't even think Elvis is old! Try Glen Miller. Now, that was SMOOTH!

Could you dance to Vanilla?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 12:53 PM

I wouldn't want to dance to Vanilla. =)

I wasn't saying that Vanilla Ice was old- but with the ever changing music styles and etc. his music could be considered old.

His first hit was over ten years ago.

Elvis rocks- he'll never be "old". =)

Some of the BEST music was written before my... teenage years. Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Eddie Arnold, Johnny Cash, Elvis.. could go on and on. They don't make music like that anymore.

-- Posted by vambfly on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 7:15 PM

I grew up on my parents' music from the 40's - the Ink Spots, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters - (WWII music) - Boogie Woogie - Spike Jones - My brothers and I played the old 78's until they cracked!

The longer I live, the more I realize that all music just lives out there in the stratisphere - never changing - never growing old.

I didn't remember that Vanilla was a guy. That's how out of it I am.... I do remember that song "Ice, Ice, Baby"....Didn't Vanilla do that one?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 7:49 PM

Vanilla ICE, right?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 7:57 PM

Hey, how about Hank? He was pretty good. Come to think of it. He died of a drug overdose too didn't he? Are the times really changing?

You know what gl, every time I tried to quit smoking I failed and every time I started backed I smoked more than I did before I tried to quit. I am afraid to try again. I might start eating the things.

How to stop smoking would be a good blog. Anyone had success at that? I know a guy who told me that he followed the almanac and waited until the sign was in the knees and he ate apples when he craved a cigarette. He said one bag of apples and he was through with the craving. Think he was joshin me?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 10:14 PM

Well, I know that whatever patch was available prior to 1997 didn't work on my husband....

My mother was able to quit several times throughout the years. She hadn't smoked for a number of years when she died at 84; however, her respiratory therapist said that her lungs really showed the effects of years of smoking. Still, 84 isn't a bad life expectancy.....

I think some people become more addicted than others. My husband's family members were nervous and high-strung. They were worriers. (I say "were," because most of them are dead, now.)

Mom was light-hearted and laughed a lot. I think her happy attitude kept her more healthy than most.

Mmm...how did we turn a music blog into one about smoking??

Sorry, Corey! When I come back (gotta leave for work), I'll drum up some more Old Fogie music for ya!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jul 16, 2007, at 8:37 AM

Yes, Vanilla Ice sang "Ice Ice Baby".

You know, that song actually never got old I guess. People still know it and still get it stuck in their head.... unfortunately. =)

-- Posted by vambfly on Mon, Jul 16, 2007, at 10:32 AM
Corey Noles' response:
Yeah it certainly does get stuck in your head. Thanks by the way, I'm sure it will be at least two days before I get rid of that one. LOL!

Better that one than "It's a Small, Small World," which I mentioned to my brother-in-law last week -- and he got it stuck in his head. By the way, he has an interesting malady: He says that, ever since he can remember, he's had continuous music in his head, one song after another - even when he's involved in conversations.

Anybody ever heard of such a disorder? Well, I guess it's a disorder, though it sounds kinda cool to me.......

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jul 16, 2007, at 5:17 PM
Corey Noles' response:
It's certainly better to have a song in your head than just plain old voices.

Hahahaha! Especially if you answer them!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jul 16, 2007, at 10:13 PM

Back to obscene music lyrics -- Did anyone hear Mike Smythe's comments this morning? He took issue with rap lyrics for their demeaning of women. I haven't heard the song he was describing, but I saw an episode on Ophra a while back, and she took the rappers to task for the same thing. I especially liked her panel of women, who spoke out against such lyrics.

Back when I was still teaching, a bunch of the teachers went to a sophomore dance to help chaperone. We were all enjoying the remake of an old song (the one that goes..."Mo-nee, Mo-nee"). At one point, the kids yelled something out in unison, and I thought, "Oh, how cute! They've got a little act going here!" Then, one of the younger teachers sitting down at the end of our table, whispered something to the next teacher....and it passed down to me. She said, "Are they saying what I think they're saying??" Turns out, they were shouting, "Everybody get laid!" Oh, my heavenly stars!!! We kept passing the information down the table, and each teacher would gasp and pass it on, until it reached the tough old business teacher, who said, "Well, we'll just see about this!" and she went storming across the floor to the sound system guy. The kids knew the jig was up, and yelled, "Aw, Ms. Happy, let us sing!" but she stopped it.

Lesson? Pay attention to the lyrics! They may not be what you think they are!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 17, 2007, at 7:26 AM
Corey Noles' response:
HAHA! Having embraced the whole "college experience" I know exactly what you're talking about with "Mony, Mony". As matter of fact I remember a little bit more, but since I like my job and all I won't be posting it. I must say though, I've never heard it at a high school dance! Did any heads roll over that or did everyone just watch?

Ah, we had a pretty liberal administration at the time, and the kids were really good kids - which is what surprised me about what they were shouting. Some of them were remarkably quiet in class - but, once they got on the dance floor - Look out!

It mainly provided an endlessly funny story to tell and retell. I especially got a lot of mileage out of laughing at the teachers who remembered the song from their own teen years. They were singing away, never realizing that the students had added some particularly colorful lyrics!!

It's a funny memory! Must have been...let's see.....83? '84??

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 17, 2007, at 6:18 PM
Corey Noles' response:
If the lyrics aren't enough for you watch them dance! Think to yourself, Elvis Presley was censored for FAR FAR less.

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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