Anyway, today, I was driving around running all the errands I hadn't had time to do this week during tech week -- groceries, putting gas in the car, paying bills, etc. I flipped to one of the two oldies stations I have preset in my car. I was happily bopping along to Martha and the Vandellas and then the next song came on. And it was . . . are you ready for this? . . . "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister.
Let me say that again.
IT WAS "BROKEN WINGS" BY MR. MISTER.
This "Broken Wings." The one that came out in the 1985, my freshman year of high school. I am so not ready for music that I listened to (and loved) in high school to be played on an oldies station. And I know that I have readers out there who were in high school during the Motown years and the British Invasion, so this isn't meant as an insult or anything like that.
Sure, part of my horror was in the fact that music I remember so vividly was being played on an oldies station. I accept that I'm old, but those little reminders, especially when they happen for the first time, are a little jarring. What really kind of bothered me more, though, was insult on behalf of Motown and the British Invasion and the early days of rock-n-roll. Does Mr. Mister really belong sandwiched between Martha and the Vandellas and the Beatles? As much as I enjoyed Mr. Mister back in the day (heck, I even owned a copy of their album Welcome to the Real World on cassette -- remember those?), I don't know that I buy the notion of them being "classic." Does anyone besides me even remember Mr. Mister?
It brings to mind a friendly debate that I had more than once with a former colleague of mine who has since retired. Has there been any good music made since the 1960s? Another teacher and I tried to argue that we would be comfortable putting a band like U2 alongside the Beatles and Stones and the gang. I'd add to the list REM, Talking Heads, the Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, the Ramones . . . but after a handful of bands, I kind of come up empty. And then, too, there's the question of how would it sound to have, say, the Beach Boys followed by the Chili Peppers?
Are we creating music anymore that's built to last? I'm sure back in the 50s and 60s, the notion didn't exist that this would become the dominant music of our culture, and maybe that thought that this music was a fleeting fad allowed them to create the music that they did. Now that pop and rock rule, have we gotten sloppy? Is anyone going to be psyched to hear Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers on the oldies station 20 years from now? Is anyone going to even remember Miley Cyrus 20 years from now?