Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Teenage Music

Buy time don’t lose it

~ Duran Duran “The Reflex”

John Taylor and Roger Taylor of Duran Duran recently did a Q&A session on their Tumblr page, and among the many gems (I love the ‘70s Batman show, too, Roger!), I was struck by this answer from John Taylor about his thoughts on today’s music scene.

I seem to recall reading an article about research that shows that our brains are more susceptible to lasting imprints when we are adolescents, but anecdotal evidence would seem to bear that out as well. I think John summed that up very nicely.

I grew up listening to quite a bit of different music (my Dad liked country, especially Johnny Cash, my Mom liked gospel, and my big sis Diana was a stone cold Beatlemaniac!), but I really got serious about listening to music in the ‘70s, when I was in high school. So much of it was Top 40, AM radio stuff, but when Shane and I discovered Devo, the B-52s, and so many others, that was all she wrote. We became obsessed, and the nascent MTV fueled the obsession. Duran Duran was obviously a big part of that.

So here I am, some 35 years later, still loving all of those bands, so much so that we’re flying to Berkeley in October to see DD! (More on that in the coming months.) I still seek out new music, and there is a lot of great stuff out there. One of my pet peeves is to hear someone say, “Today’s music SUCKS!” No, it doesn’t. You’re just too lazy to look for the good stuff. There are plenty of newer bands that I dig a lot.

But when it comes down to what moves me the most, what touches me inside and brings out my inner lizard, it’s the stuff of the punk/New Wave era. It was a time when Shane and I pored over the liner notes of albums and learned the lyrics. I subscribed to Creem and later Rolling Stone and learned everything I could about the bands I loved. I was a little musical sponge soaking up everything I could.

I believe that JT is right. The music of our adolescence is what remains the least for us. I’ve made an effort to not stagnate or be stuck in a musical rut, and there is so much fun music being made out there even as I type! But for those of us a certain age, pop in “The Reflex” and see how we react. You’ll probably be a little embarrassed for us, but we won’t care!


  1. ... I am not sure... the changes in society do not reflect that of maturation or intellectual growth... both which are key to any art movement... if the changes are indeed an accurate barometer for the future, then I have my doubts about the worth of popular music... it has become stagnant, as though all the new discoveries of musical styles have been found and the appeal is to our lesser, more base instincts...

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  3. i still appreciate all my teenage metal. sabbath, led zep and slayer will never be old to me, nor will the smiths and joy division. i think that the internet has made it easier for music to be cross generational as well as more accessible- back in the old days i would swap mixed cassettes with my friends or get sampler records and split 7 inch records to check out new bands. who didn't get 12 records for only a penny and join the mail order music club? now it's all just a click away- want to check out a new band- just find their facebook or look up their youtube- easy as that. i really do miss going to $5 shows though in halls and dive bars-

    so glad to see you writing here again- i can hear your voice in my head as i read!



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